How I started volunteering and how you can start too..
Volunteering is one of the most valuable things that I do in my life as it has taught me so much, from being more confident, to making friends, and even odd skills such as handling exotic animals. I’d definitely recommend getting involved in volunteering to anyone. My very first opportunity came up through an event where I took a keen interest in an animal therapy company; I got talking to the owners and they offered me some work experience.
Sometimes volunteering can come as easily as just talking in person and asking whether they need volunteers. It was such a great opportunity because I started with the work experience where I took care of all their exotic animals on a daily basis, and then I began volunteering with them during summer events.
My next volunteering opportunity arose during 6th form where we had to do an extra curricular activity during our free periods, and I chose to volunteer at a charity shop. I chose the RSPCA shop and my school, fortunately, organised it for me. If you’re still in school and want to get more involved with volunteering it’d be a great idea to ask some teachers and see what they think – you might get some volunteering groups started!
The idea of volunteering groups brings me to my next opportunity, which happened when I went to University. At my Uni we had a volunteering society and there was a student union worker who would organise a load of amazing opportunities for us to get involved in. Definitely get involved in your volunteering society, and if you don’t have one, start one up! Volunteering looks excellent on your CV, gives you something productive to do, helps you make like-minded friends etc.
Check out your favourite charities/not-for-profits online and they will most likely have a page dedicated to volunteering information. There are also websites such as www.do-it.org where you can find lots of opportunities and filter them by location and interest.
Nowadays I do a lot of volunteering online through my writing – it not only boosts my own writing skills, and portfolio, but it helps other people out so it’s a win, win really. If you’re interested in volunteering in the form of writing or using your artwork, I’d first suggest e-mailing charities that you’re passionate about asking if they need any help – yes it can be as simple as that!
Furthermore, it’s so valuable to keep in contact with all the people that you have previously volunteered for; they’ll usually update you with new opportunities and maybe even refer you to other similar ones.
If you'd like to volunteer with Vgneration whether it be blogging, tweeting or helping us out at events - contact us today!