Volunteering has helped me heal, develop and find confidence. Here are just five ways volunteering completely transformed my life. A heartfelt story from an anonymous vInspired volunteer.
1. Volunteering helped me to give something back to a special charity. My Dad was seriously ill with cancer back in 2012 and he sadly passed away in a hospice in Reading called the Duchess Of Kent, which is run by the charity Sue Ryder. Volunteering for a Sue Ryder charity shop helped me give something back to the charity that took such good care of my Dad in his final months.
2. Volunteering gave me valuable work experience and skills. Before I started volunteering, I never had any retail work experience; in fact, I don’t believe I had stepped foot inside a charity shop. Three years later, I’ve gained a lot of experience volunteering in a charity shop; from using a till and serving customers to sorting donations. From there, I’ve been blessed to have the opportunity to run social media accounts for the charity shop as well as write blogs. Furthermore, I had my first ever piece of published writing printed in a local newspaper because I was volunteering.
3. I have had the wonderful opportunity to meet some amazing new people. I’m a natural introvert and very shy but I remember vividly all the other volunteers and the shop managers being very supportive of me. I started volunteering after a particularly tough period in my life; my Dad had died less than a year ago and I had dropped out of University and felt very lost and alone. Being around such lovely people whilst volunteering made me feel more at ease and less nervous.
4. Volunteering has given me a goal. I think about how much volunteering has really helped me. It’s given me a goal in that one day; I really hope to set up a support group for young people who have been bereaved. I believe something similar would have helped me to come to terms with my Dad’s death, so I could share experiences with people of a similar age in a similar situation.
5. Finally, volunteering has really improved my self-confidence. Volunteering has given me the courage to do new things. If I didn’t start volunteering when I did, I think I would have given up totally. However, I started volunteering then I re-applied to go to University and I’ve recently come back from living in Italy and in Switzerland for a year. Earlier this year, I volunteered at two events in Hyde Park in London which was a fantastic and highly enjoyable experience.
What the world would be like if everyone volunteered?
Have you ever thought about what the country, or even the world would be like if everyone volunteered? If everyone gave even just one hour of their time each week for a charity or a cause they believed in?
This is what I think the world would be like if everyone volunteered.
First of all, I believe that if everyone volunteered, there would be a lot less pressure on charities because they would have more support. Imagine if people gave a bit of their time to charities and causes they believed in. Those charities would have the pressure taken off them.
The volunteers would benefit too because they would be able to gain new and exciting experiences, and they’d have the satisfaction of helping a cause that they believe in. Volunteers would have the opportunity to meet other volunteers and learn new skills.
I believe the world would be a much happier and calmer place because everyone would give the most precious gift that they can give; their time.
by an anonymous vInspired volunteer.
Do you want to learn new skills, overcome grief or a mental health challenge? Find a cause and connect with your community on vInspired.com. Or want to get out, have fun and save money? Check out the Inspired Card, it gives young people exclusive discounts and opportunities across the UK and Europe.