There are numerous opportunities to volunteer in Wembdon. Your skills, ideas and time are valuable resources that can be harnessed to improve village life for the whole community. Most people who volunteer in the village only need to give an hour or two a month. There are also opportunities for ‘one-off’ events. Whatever your time demands are, there will be an opportunity to suit and we believe that many hands make light work! Some of the volunteering opportunities are:
The Village Market (Last Saturday of each month 10am – 12pm) – Require people to help with the stalls and also to help set-up and clear-up.
The Speed Watch team require people for 2 hours stints on an ad-hoc basis to help keep the traffic speeds down at the school crossing on Wembdon Rise. Contact email@example.com
Village Day (August bank holiday) – Require people for numerous positions on the Day.
The Wembdon Village Hall & Playing Field Trust require people for ad hoc fundraising events and also require skills to explore funding opportunities.
The Wembdon Parish Council require people who are willing to ‘Give a day’ (or even an hour) to help tidy the village once or twice a year. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Wembdon.org requires amateur photographers who can capture ‘village life’ and the amazing scenery that we have within the parish.
There are all sorts of factors that motivate people to get involved as a volunteer.
For many there is a genuine concern for the well-being of others and a belief that to get the most out of life, you need to contribute fully to society. However, there are other less obvious reasons why you might choose to volunteer and it is understandable to think about what you personally might get from this experience. Some of the benefits of volunteering include
- a chance to develop existing skills or to gain new ones
- the experience of working in a different environment
- the opportunity to learn more about yourself and your capabilities, and gain more self-confidence
- the potential for relevant vocational training which could lead to a recognised qualification
- the chance to develop your networking skills by making new friends and developing contacts
- an insight into the work of a particular sector
- the intrinsic satisfaction of contributing to something you feel is worthwhile and which will be valued
- additional material for your CV and future job applications.
According to the Institute for Volunteering Research, most people who volunteer gain a sense of satisfaction from their involvement, a broader experience of life, and an opportunity to meet new people and make friends.
The national charity Timebank says that many volunteers find the experience challenging, and that in itself helps them to acquire the skills to face other difficulties in their lives.
What you can bring to voluntary work
The term ‘voluntary’ doesn’t equate to ‘optional’. If you decide to get involved as a volunteer, your reliability and commitment to the organisation you work for is crucial – people are relying on you and expect that you will take your responsibilities as an unpaid worker seriously. So be realistic about the sort of contribution you can make as a volunteer, alongside your existing work and personal commitments. Would the occasional ‘one off’ event or a short-term project best suit the time you have available, or are you able to make a regular, more long-term commitment?
Learning from volunteering
Volunteering can be an excellent way to further your studies and enhance your career prospects. To compete effectively in the current economic climate, and to enhance your employability, it’s crucial that you can provide evidence to employers of the transferable skills you possess, many of which can be gained as a volunteer. The competencies demanded by graduate recruiters commonly include.
- people skills – teamwork, good communication, networking and empathy
- management skills – leadership, use of initiative, delegation, planning and organising
- business skills – commercial awareness and an understanding of how organisations operate.
Key questions to consider
Make time to reflect upon the experience you have gained and how it might relate to your future career plans.
- What were your responsibilities as a volunteer?
- What specific skills did you develop through this work?
- What training were you given?
- What did you learn about yourself, your capabilities and your preferences?
- What impact (if any) does this experience have on your future career plans?
Selling your experience
Think carefully about how you will ‘sell’ this experience in your CV and future application forms. Voluntary work can give you an insight into an area of work, as well as developing your skills, qualities and experience. It will help your case if you explain to a prospective employer how you have researched your career ideas and made a positive decision about your future career goals. It shows commitment, and employers are impressed by individuals who give their time to worthwhile initiatives. In addition, undertaking some voluntary work enhances your CV, gives you access to useful contacts, and helps to develop your network of contacts. It might even get you noticed by a prospective employer.
How employers view voluntary work
Most employers look very favourably upon applicants who can, alongside other evidence provided in their application, show that they have worked as a volunteer. As well as indicating which organisation you volunteered with, it’s important to explain exactly what your responsibilities were, what you learnt and the skills you developed as a result. The transferable skills developed in voluntary work are applicable in most work situations.
- References: http://www2.open.ac.uk/students/careers/exploring-your-career-options/voluntary-work (accessed 08/11/2013)