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Have you thought about volunteering?

Volunteering is unpaid activity you choose to do freely to support your community, an individual or the environment. However, volunteers also gain a lot of benefits for themselves too.

How volunteering helps you

It helps you:

  • Develop skills and experiences you can mention on your CV and applications.
  • Try out an area of work you might be interested in.
  • Feel you are doing something worthwhile.
  • Meet new people and make new contacts

There are other reasons for doing it too:

  • If you are 16+ you will need to stay in education or training longer. One option is to study for one day a week while working, being self-employed or doing voluntary work.
  • If you are looking for paid work or training then having experience gained through voluntary work can be a great way to show you are committed to a job area and that you have started developing relevant skills.
  • If you are 18+ and considering higher-level study then voluntary work will be something to promote on your personal statement as it shows commitment, engagement, passion, etc.
  • When applying to higher-level courses having relevant voluntary work experience could show your commitment to a specific course subject and might make the difference between getting on the course or not. For example, being able to show relevant voluntary experience if you want to go into teaching, nursing, social work, etc. will indicate your commitment and also show you have some understanding of the job role.

 Here are some of the reasons people choose to volunteer...

Make a difference

  • To make a difference to the people or world around you
  • To give something back to your community
  • To spend quality time away from work or a busy lifestyle
  • To use your skills and knowledge to support your community

Employment or career experience

  • To gain new skills, knowledge or experience
  • To develop existing skills and knowledge
  • To enhance a CV
  • To gain training or accreditation
  • To get an employment reference

Social reasons

  • To improve confidence and self-esteem
  • To meet new people and make new friends
  • To be part of a valued team

What to do if you are interested

  • Explore organisations offering volunteering opportunities
  • Explore the National Citizen Service (NCS) which is open to all 16 and 17-year-olds England. It helps you build your skills for work and life, while you take on new challenges and meet new friends. It runs in the spring, summer and autumn. You’ll have a short time away from home and take part in a team project that will help your community.

What should I expect from volunteering?

  • Your travel expenses to be paid.
  • A written role description or outline of your duties.
  • Training and guidance on your role.
  • Support or supervision from an experienced volunteer or member of staff.
  • To be safe and covered by insurance to carry out the tasks you’ve been given.
  • To be made aware of the organisation’s policies and procedures, including who you should talk to if you are unhappy.
  • To feel valued by the organisation and able to contribute to its development.

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