Advantages The chance to give something back, gain new skills and meet people you might not otherwise
Disadvantages No pay, sometimes long hours, "problem" clients
Don’t worry – this op isn’t going to be a pile of piffle about what a fantastic person I am because I volunteer, or why you’re all a bunch of lazy lay-abouts because you don’t, so please, read on.A UCAS form started it all, or rather the dread of an impending one did. In order to have something impressive to write - along with the fabulous grades, dancing accolades and part time jobs since I was 13, naturally ;-) - I came up with the idea that I should be doing some voluntary work. A quick word in the ear of my mother, who was working for a local charity at the time, and lo and behold, Zoë the volunteer was born.
Since that day I’ve worked with people of all ages, upbringings and nationalities in a voluntary capacity. I currently work with an organisation called Community Action which is a locally run branch of a much larger concern, Student Volunteering UK. When I’m not studying, working, hanging out with my friends or sweating it out at the gym these days, I’m usually volunteering. SVUK is our “boss”. Or not. They offer training and seminars and help and advice, but the type of projects we run and in what capacity is totally up to us. At present we run schemes looking after / helping young, old, homeless and disabled people in the Greater Manchester area, but the one I’m most involved in is a play scheme for school age children.What does being a volunteer mean? In my case the work is very similar to childcare for “normal” children, but with a slightly different focus. If you have ever been on our uni's campus early evening on a Wednesday, you might have seen a dozen children racing around the grass outside the maths building, with 3 teenage students puffing along after them. You might have heard them laughing on our bouncy castle while we supervised from the grass (not our choice, I might add, but we’re too old to have a go). You might have seen a different group making crayon rubbings of bins and paths and walls and trees in the area opposite. You might have seen yet another group making balled up tissue paper fish for a huge aquarium project we had on last week. From a distance, you might not have realised that this was anything other than an afterschool club for nice, well behaved, middle class children, run by kind, caring, paid students. But it was.
This op is about being a volunteer in general, but includes certain references to working in an organiser capacity, since I’ve also had experience in this area. To start with (even though I’m already over 400 words into this thing, so it’s a bit late to be “starting”), let’s have a look at the difference between what I do on a Wednesday evening, and what someone running a normal after school does:~~ APPLICATION PROCESS ~~
To start volunteering with our group, there’s not all that much red tape. You fill in a form and provide details of references. Our manager (who is a paid adult, as apposed to a volunteer student) chases up these, and deals with the police checks, and assuming you pass, you’re in.
Attention, this is the first review from this author
Instead of giving a negative rating, consider:
Help this member by giving your advice
Report fraud (for example plagiarism) or other issue with the review to the Ciao support team
Add your comment