Holly Peters has completed volunteered with Age UK, Plymouth Argyle Community Trust and through the National Citizen Service. She tells us about volunteering benefits.
“Volunteering opportunities are only a click away from you and most organisations would be thrilled to take you on as a volunteer, in fact many places rely on volunteers. All it takes is that twenty seconds of courage to either zap off an enquiry email, dial that number or ask in person, and then you can achieve a sense of purpose that is otherwise unobtainable.
“There are many reasons to volunteer. The self-content that comes from giving back and aiding local communities springs to mind first. Though, more selfishly, looking at a bigger picture – in a world where grades aren’t always all you need to secure work, volunteering allows you to bulk up your CV and personal statement – setting you apart from others.
“Volunteering can be enjoyable and rewarding. I volunteered at an Age UK Centre and expected to just be performing general chores, but the opportunity to give my time and listen to the stories of people who’ve led an amazing life was precious.
“In my experience, volunteering was one way that I could make the dragging weeks of summer seem worthwhile and laced with purpose; instead of lazing around, compulsively watching television and becoming one with the sofa. For instance, along with a group of friends I voluntarily delivered a beach clean in my local area, which despite being physically challenging didn’t feel like a day of unpaid work; instead it was a memorable opportunity to do something for the environment under the beaming sun.
“Volunteering not only provides you with a sense of pride but is also something that people and organisations are really grateful to you for. Many organisations function solely on the hard work performed by volunteers; therefore your efforts will be greatly appreciated – that positivity is infectious and enough to encourage one to continue volunteering. For example, I volunteered at a primary school after I finished my exams, and although the difference I made seemed fractional to me, to the individuals whose workloads were reduced, it wasn’t and they made me feel useful and appreciated. So, now I return there once a week and help where I can.”
To find out about volunteering opportunities near you visit www.do-it.org