Volunteering is a great way to develop new skills, contribute to your community and have fun. You’ll meet new people of all ages, maybe deal with the public and do new things. You can also use it to try out your career ideas and get a taste of working life. Take photos of projects you’re involved with and ask your supervisor for a reference, you can use these in the future when you go for interviews for sixth form, college, apprenticeships, universities or Saturday jobs.
If you’re planning a career working with people or animals, you’ll need relevant experience and voluntary work is a good way to get it. It’s also a way of testing out if the career is right for you and finding out what it really involves. So, for things like medical careers, teaching, social work, youth work or vet or veterinary nursing, voluntary work is vital.
And for any job, communication skills, team work and a positive attitude are all useful and doing voluntary work will show that you’ve got these skills.
Think creatively, what are you interested in and how could it link to volunteering?
Here are some ideas.
If you’re interested in:
Fashion - in a charity shop you could learn to style the customers, help them put outfits together and arrange the displays.
Teaching and working with children - try summer play schemes, story groups in libraries and youth clubs.
Media – do hospital radio and small charities may need help with their website or advertising.
Medical careers – you will need lots of different experience so think about care homes, summer schemes for disabled children, hospitals and St John’s Ambulance.
Animals - try vets, pet shops, farms and animal charities.
History -try museums and conservation work.
English – libraries and arts festivals
Music or Performing Arts – theatres, theatre groups, arts and music festivals
Maths and Science – help out in lessons with young students at school or in primary schools
Sports – coaching youth teams, summer play schemes.