New HFVC Group volunteer intern Korel Oliver-Christie investigates the benefits of volunteering.
When most people hear 'volunteering' we picture our busy lives and the difficulty to find time to commit. However it can be a mutually beneficial experience.
My initial thoughts of being a Marketing intern volunteer were being exploited and constantly making cups of tea from hearing other's testimonials. I couldn't have been more wrong.
No two days are the same. On my first day I was not in the office long and was already out on an assignment to write content for the website. This was an overwhelming and exciting challenge; I felt involved and part of the team from the start and also wanted to make a positive contribution to the team.
Through hands on experience, I have already acquired transferable skills that I know will be invaluable, which can also be applied to different aspects of my life. Being able to integrate with experts and gain an insight in their field I will be able to develop the knowledge required to get the best possible chance of career progression.
My confidence has grown being thrown into the deep end, getting “stuck in” and building a rapport with the local community and the voluntary organisations.
Ben Thomson volunteers with HFVC as an Administrative assistant and was selected by NCVO to be one of the 30 volunteer ambassadors from across the country for this year’s 30th anniversary of volunteers’ week
. He has been volunteering for a year and says it has been a positive experience and as a result his self-esteem and confidence has increased.
Ben stated, "volunteering has built my confidence.... I was really shy and now I am confident, even my parents have noticed a big difference in my confidence. I would definitely recommend people to volunteer, especially if they are not currently in employment".
Interacting with people from a diverse background and from different cultures I would not normally meet has been an excellent experience. There is a camaraderie generated when new people, who share the same passion as myself, work as a team for a worthy cause. For instance, the team worked with a very large number of volunteers to redecorate a local community centre. We all worked together to achieve the desired result and felt a sense of achievement, when engaging in fun fulfilling activities.
Lorena Romera, Project Management Assistant for Works4U came over from Spain to volunteer for 6 months and has thoroughly enjoyed her time so far.
“It’s been great having more responsibilities, such as organising the events and supervising the community challenges, I’m satisfied within my job, plus getting involved in the community. Also it’s been nice to work with different people from other countries, engaging in different languages, while improving my English…I always encourage people to volunteer, if they want to learn new skills and gain experience."
Overall, people are unaware of the variety of volunteering opportunities available; you could be involved in administration, project management, fundraising to marketing and many more. Most importantly you are given the opportunity to help a charity strengthen ties with the community, whilst seeing the direct impact it has on the most vulnerable. Furthermore these experiences will help boost your CV and enhance your employability.