As someone who spent over 10 years working in the charity sector I’m a strong advocate for volunteering and the benefits that both parties gain. The volunteer may do their role for many reasons and I have worked with a tremendous number of volunteers in my time. I give you examples such as work experience, social interaction, gratitude for support given, donating time rather than giving financially; and for each person you speak to the reason may be slightly different or vastly different than the person before.
My own volunteering extends back as far as I can remember; I don’t even remember how, when, or why I started! Possibly it stems back to “bob a job” as a Brownie/Guide! showing my age now πŸ™‚ I’ve also done many varied activities in all my volunteering: conservation work of many types (including founding a local group), brailling texts, modifying texts for conversion to large print, sitting on committees, answering surveys, reading books.
The last one on the list is the most recent and current role. I volunteer as a “Cancer Voice”. This is run by Macmillan Cancer but I am not restricted to volunteering solely for Macmillan. I have since I joined in I think it was 2009, enjoyed the following opportunities:-
A. Read and commented on numerous books
B. Watched and commented on DVD’s
C. Taken part in numerous surveys to help development of services and guidance for patients
My most recent review was of a book called Mindfulness Based Cancer Recovery. It is available in paperback and as an ebook. When I reviewed it I read it from cover to cover and then submitted my review. However this book will need to be read again as it was more of a workbook to work through than a linear read.
As a Cancer Voice I am not just restricted to reading books, though I tend to find that it is the easiest way for me to volunteer as I work full time and getting free time to attend other activities is not easy for me.
I hope that you have found this interesting enough to consider volunteering yourself. Take some time out to list your skills and abilities, or even areas that you need to develop and that you are willing to invest time in improving, while using your current skills to help others. It’s a good idea to choose an organisation that sits well with your ideals and contact them to see if they have need of your personal skillset or opportunities for you to learn (for example I could type and was taught how to use brailling software).



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