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    I'd love to hear from people who volunteer, for a feature I'm planning to run on the TSR homepage.

    If you currently volunteer (or have done previously), could you take a few minutes to answer the following questions? Either post below, or PM, either is fine.

    Why did you first decide to volunteer?

    What did you get out of it personally?

    What do you think your chosen charity got out of it?

    What advice would you give to someone considering volunteering?

    Are you currently a student? If so, where?

    Anything else you'd like to add about your volunteering experience?

    Thanks!
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    Greetings.

    Why did you first decide to volunteer?

    I decided to volunteer because I had some free time and wanted to experience a new organisation/people while constructively developing myself and helping people at the same time.

    What did you get out of it personally?

    The benefits are quite numerous. I've been able to gain/have:

    - Develop myself in knowledge (mainly) and mentally (standing in front of 16 strangers is no picnic!).
    - Meet a diverse field of people.
    - Satisfaction in knowing I have helped people in the community.
    - Respect and recognition from colleagues, friends and co-workers.
    - A strong point to place on my C.V.
    - Experience of volunteering (which you can share).
    - The opportunity to travel with people to conferences/events.
    - Experience of new things (if presenting large groups of people, or treating a stabbed person is new to you, that is).
    - New skillset.
    - New qualification.

    What do you think your chosen charity got out of it?

    They got someone who was willing to put time and effort into their role. I did the best I could and helped them out whenever they needed it and asked me.

    I like to think I helped them with their cause and represented the organisation well and appropriately.

    What advice would you give to someone considering volunteering?

    Give it your all. Always be honest - even if you think you're just a volunteer, you're not. Once you volunteer for an organisation, you are part of that organisation. Any worthwhile organisation will look out for you and help you when you need it.

    Don't be afraid, put your effort into it and just remember that you're taking the time to make a difference.

    Are you currently a student? If so, where?

    No. I'm an apprentice in the public sector in London at the moment.

    Anything else you'd like to add about your volunteering experience?

    What has worked for me is always wanting to learn more by taking on more responsibility and dedicating more time. I've found the easiest way for me to do this is throwing myself into the deep end - not everyones cup of tea, but it's quite fun.

    If you have the time, see if you can volunteer for more than 1 organisation. You may be able to draw from them and become better.
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    Why did you first decide to volunteer?
    I was bored and miserable over the summer, and my dog was really ill so I decided to volunteer at the RSPCA where we got her from. And I've just started volunteering at a charity shop and a food co-op to pass the time again

    What did you get out of it personally?
    I think the RSPCA was way more rewarding, in that I could really see that what I was doing was making a difference and it was pretty nice to go in one day and for a dog that'd been there for ages to have gone to a new home! I've found all the volunteering I've done a lot of fun, I'm not the most confident person ever (I'd probably win 'shyest person you'll ever meet'), so I've gained some confidence in talking to people and what not. New skills (I learnt how to tag clothes this morning ), new people...filling up all my empty time with something worthwhile.

    What do you think your chosen charity got out of it?
    RSPCA got a complete animal lover who goes incredibly sappy over dogs Nah, I'd say I'm pretty reliable, quite dependable...I get on with things, even if it's gross.

    What advice would you give to someone considering volunteering?
    Choose something you're passionate about, stick with it.

    Are you currently a student? If so, where?
    Yup, Edinburgh College of Art/Uni of Edinburgh

    Anything else you'd like to add about your volunteering experience?
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    (Original post by shooks)
    1. Why did you first decide to volunteer?
    2. What did you get out of it personally?
    3. What do you think your chosen charity got out of it?
    4. What advice would you give to someone considering volunteering?
    5. Are you currently a student? If so, where?
    6. Anything else you'd like to add about your volunteering experience?
    1. First reason was because it was part of my IB requirement (CAS).
    2. Fun, knowledge, connections, bonding with current and new friends, additional information for my CV and satisfaction.
    3. They* earned people (my friends and I) who were willing to do a lot of the activities most "city people" wouldn't want to do in Indonesia.
    4. Volunteering should be done whole-heartedly and its best to volunteer in activities that you know you'll enjoy.
    5. Yes (university student) in Jakarta, Indonesia.
    6. It was worth the time and effort. I wouldn't mind doing it all again

    *Note that I have volunteered more than once.
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    1. Why did you first decide to volunteer?

    To gain some experience to put on my CV.

    2. What did you get out of it personally?

    Being able to develop new skills, i.e dealing with customers, using till, etc, and being able to meet different people

    3. What do you think your chosen charity got out of it?

    A volunteer who enjoys working there and can be available to volunteer extra days

    4. What advice would you give to someone considering volunteering?

    Do it. You gain so many new skills and meet many people

    5. Are you currently a student? If so, where?

    Yes, Newcastle

    6. Anything else you'd like to add about your volunteering experience?
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    (Original post by shooks)
    I'd love to hear from people who volunteer, for a feature I'm planning to run on the TSR homepage.

    If you currently volunteer (or have done previously), could you take a few minutes to answer the following questions? Either post below, or PM, either is fine.

    Why did you first decide to volunteer?

    What did you get out of it personally?

    What do you think your chosen charity got out of it?

    What advice would you give to someone considering volunteering?

    Are you currently a student? If so, where?

    Anything else you'd like to add about your volunteering experience?

    Thanks!
    1. Because I couldn't find a real job
    2. Something to put on my CV
    3. Money
    4. It is better work than other jobs, just no pay as a result.
    5. Yes, Sixth form.
    6. Not particularly
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    Why did you first decide to volunteer?
    Initially I volunteered to complete my D of E. Now, having finished my Gold award, I'm still going

    What did you get out of it personally?
    It feels good, I'm a young leader with the local beavers unit (the scouts, not the animal ) and it's helped me with confidence, but also helped me to gain trust around the local community too.

    What do you think your chosen charity got out of it?

    The scout movement in general is struggling a huge amount currently with getting enough leaders since it's fully volunteer based, and with beavers you need 1 leader per 3-4 children, so without myself and my friend volunteering, the group would be struggling to continue running!

    What advice would you give to someone considering volunteering?
    Don't think about it as an unpaid job. Think about it as a fulfilling experience. You get a lot out of it and it's a great experience. Stick at it for as long as you possibly can. I'm going on 5 years now, and i'm only 18!

    Are you currently a student? If so, where?
    Yes. I'm just finishing off my A-Levels

    Anything else you'd like to add about your volunteering experience?
    It's been inspiring in many ways. Having personally grown up through the same group which I'm now helping out with, I feel like i'm both reliving my own childhood but also helping others to hopefully take the same route which I personally have taken. Also, having done this for so long, I'm seeing people now entering year 7/8 who I knew when they were just 5-7 years old, so it's nice to see people growing up!
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    Why did you first decide to volunteer?
    I've been in Guiding since the age of 5, decided it was time to give something back! Plus it's loads of fun - been volunteering for 10 years now

    What did you get out of it personally?
    Bit of a headache once a week (actually not joking!) but most of the time it's very enjoyable, nice to have a creative outlet and have a break from uni, have made lots of friends through the people I've been running packs with, plus of course it's great to put on the CV

    What do you think your chosen charity got out of it?
    In the case of Guiding it's more about what the girls get out of it - chance to do fun and sometimes educational things in a less formal setting than school, meet new people, try things they might not otherwise get to. And by volunteering the charity can keep offering more girls these oppportunities

    What advice would you give to someone considering volunteering?
    Do it! I run a pack with a few other students so we all understand when someone has to take a week off for coursework etc, so the overall time commitment isn't massive but it's good fun and the girls get a lot out of it

    Are you currently a student? If so, where?
    Yep - uni of Bath
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    Why did you first decide to volunteer?
    Initially, it was something compulsory for those in Year 11, as means of experience and something to put on our CV's. But two years later and I'm still in voluntary work; I enjoy working with other people and gaining experience that I wouldn't otherwise find in a school environment.

    What did you get out of it personally?
    A lot. Seriously, volunteering can be life changing. You gain a wide variety of skills, which come in useful for future employment. I used to be shy and quiet, volunteering has helped me come out of my shell. Being able to talk to those in the community is wonderful as well, I live in a small town - so chances are I know the people working in these places already (I'm working in three separate volunteering placements).

    What do you think your chosen charity got out of it?
    Someone who enjoys what they are doing and puts in the effort to help whenever they can.

    What advice would you give to someone considering volunteering?
    Make sure it's in a sector you know you'll be comfortable in and enjoy, once you've got that bit sorted - just do it. You won't regret it.

    Are you currently a student? If so, where?
    Yes, a sixth form student. Just finishing up my first year.

    Anything else you'd like to add about your volunteering experience?
    Nope.
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    Why did you first decide to volunteer?
    I didn't have much money during college and volunteering to help teach kids aikido was a condition for discounted training in the adults' class. This was about 8 years ago and I've done it since then more-or-less every Saturday morning, excluding the time I was at university.

    What did you get out of it personally?
    A lot. It helps develop things like self-confidence, leadership, teaching skills, interpersonal skills, commitment and self-discipline, as well as gives you a good feeling that you contribute meaningfully to the community and are doing good things with your life.

    What do you think your chosen charity got out of it?
    They get the much-needed help (without volunteers they would not be able to run it), and investment in me as a long-term member of the club. The kids of course get all the benefits of the classes - confidence, personal growth, self-awareness, exercise, enjoyment, discipline, etc.

    What advice would you give to someone considering volunteering?
    I would say that it's surprisingly rewarding and the feel-good factor is not to be underestimated.

    Are you currently a student? If so, where?
    No, I graduated last year.

    Anything else you'd like to add about your volunteering experience?
    I expect I'd be a relatively different person had I not gotten involved with it as much as I have over the years. I didn't have any idea what kind of a formative effect it'd have on me, but I'm very much a better person for it, so I'm very glad I started.
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    (Original post by miser)
    Why did you first decide to volunteer?
    I didn't have much money during college and volunteering to help teach kids aikido was a condition for discounted training in the adults' class. This was about 8 years ago and I've done it since then more-or-less every Saturday morning, excluding the time I was at university.

    What did you get out of it personally?
    A lot. It helps develop things like self-confidence, leadership, teaching skills, interpersonal skills, commitment and self-discipline, as well as gives you a good feeling that you contribute meaningfully to the community and are doing good things with your life.

    What do you think your chosen charity got out of it?
    They get the much-needed help (without volunteers they would not be able to run it), and investment in me as a long-term member of the club. The kids of course get all the benefits of the classes - confidence, personal growth, self-awareness, exercise, enjoyment, discipline, etc.

    What advice would you give to someone considering volunteering?
    I would say that it's surprisingly rewarding and the feel-good factor is not to be underestimated.

    Are you currently a student? If so, where?
    No, I graduated last year.

    Anything else you'd like to add about your volunteering experience?
    I expect I'd be a relatively different person had I not gotten involved with it as much as I have over the years. I didn't have any idea what kind of a formative effect it'd have on me, but I'm very much a better person for it, so I'm very glad I started.
    I like this!
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    Yes - To get experience because nobody was giving me an interview.

    ....AND STILL AREN'T!
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    (Original post by Kagutsuchi)
    Greetings.
    What advice would you give to someone considering volunteering?

    Give it your all. Always be honest - even if you think you're just a volunteer, you're not. Once you volunteer for an organisation, you are part of that organisation. Any worthwhile organisation will look out for you and help you when you need it.

    Don't be afraid, put your effort into it and just remember that you're taking the time to make a difference.
    *thumb up*
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    Why did you first decide to volunteer?
    Needed something to do - first on my gap year and now in my long university summer holidays. For various reasons (e.g. being dyspraxic) I'm better suited to an office role than a typical young persons job in a pub or shop and I'm not well qualified for most office jobs.

    What did you get out of it personally?
    Satisfaction of knowing you are helping people, particularly in the charity I'm with now (Muscular Dystrophy Campaign) as they help ill people. Also more experience for the CV, something to do to stave off bordem.

    What do you think your chosen charity got out of it?
    Time to do more things as particularly more specialised things e.g planning the next event, research, meetings with sponsors

    What advice would you give to someone considering volunteering?
    Go for it. And check if they pay expenses back as not all charities too and its pretty costly otherwise. There isn't really one website with volunteering opportunities listed on it in the way you get job websites, its all a bit fragamented so check out charity websites and see if they are looking.

    Are you currently a student? If so, where?
    Yes, at UEA.

    Anything else you'd like to add about your volunteering experience?
 
 
 
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