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When did you first volunteer?
Where do you volunteer?
Within groups in my local youth centre such as the LGBT+ group and the ‘Saturday Club’.
How often do you volunteer?
2-3 times a week.
What inspired you to get involved?
After being a participant in the 2017 NCS Programme, I wanted to continue to make an impact in my local community. I felt a real sense of purpose and was extremely empowered to make a change. This resulted in a trip to my local youth club to sign up for voluntary roles in various clubs including the only LGBT+ group in the area as well as children’s youth groups.
What does your volunteering involve?
My role as a volunteer varies with every group. With the Girls’ Brigade, I accompany 26 eager 7-9 year olds with biblical based activities and games. Whereas in the ‘Saturday Club’ I had a lead role in supplying conversations with the members. This group aims to help adults living with disabilities, so it’s great to host craft sessions which allow them to increase their own independence and mix with other people. The LGBT+ club interacts with teenagers who belong to this community, I lead most of the social discussions and host the debates for the members allowing them to express their views in a safe environment.
What skills or qualities are required for your volunteering role?
Volunteering is a brilliant opportunity to build confidence, expand your ability to communicate effectively as well as develop you as an individual person. I have become a lot more organised through my volunteering, I am definitely more confident in myself and my ability to speak publicly to groups and larger audiences. Volunteering has allowed me to discover that I love being a leader and that I have developed many qualities including being open and friendly but also being mindful and aware of other people’s opinions and feelings.
What do you enjoy most about volunteering and what has been your highlight?
The thing I enjoy most about volunteering is the sense of fulfillment and joy it brings to me. I am a busy person and I love to keep being involved with groups. One of my favourite aspects was teaching the younger children all the things I wish I was taught growing up, like reflecting back on their day and valuing family time. I always love to share my experiences with groups which build a great level of trust and a secure relationship with the young people I work with.
Why would you encourage others to become a Millennium Volunteer and what advice would you give them?
Personally I believe every school should include volunteering as a timetabled subject, the experience and memories I have gotten from my voluntary work has taught me so much about the world and about myself. With volunteering you can engage with people from every walk of life, which has encouraged me to pursue a career in Youth and Community work.
Some advice for any volunteers out there, sometimes life gets busy and exam or family pressures can take over but time is the most valuable thing you can give to someone.
Take a leap, give some time.