Posts Tagged ‘inspiring’
Amy Birch, 20, from Dorking has been awarded November’s Volunteer of the Month for her work on the Halow Project which supports young adults (16-35 ) with learning disabilities.
Nominator Liz Dimmack, Student Liaison Manager at Guildford College says “Amy supports more activities than almost any of Halow’s other volunteers. She is the first to offer help with the activities, always positive, and is always willing to ‘give a bit extra’.”
Volunteering has helped Amy to increase her skills and confidence, as well as gain some great work experience which will help her to pursue her goal of joining the Surrey Police Force.
Meet the winner!
Well done Amy! When and why did you start to volunteer?
I started volunteering about a year and a half ago. I thought volunteering would be a great way to gain valuable experience. My career goal is to join the police force so I thought that volunteering would help me to increase my communication skills and gain experience of dealing with the public.
In what ways to do you feel you’ve made a difference to others? Is there something you’re especially proud of?
With the Halow Project, I feel I’ve been able to give people with disabilities the chance to take part in activities and helped them to integrate more into the community. I’m glad I’ve been able to give young people something positive to do with their time, rather than them hanging around on the streets and causing trouble. I really enjoy being able to see the joy you can bring to other people and knowing that you are giving them the opportunity to do something which they may have been unable to do without your help.
How do you feel volunteering has changed you as a person?
Volunteering has definitely helped to increase my confidence. I am also now a lot more appreciative of what I have and I have learnt to be a lot less judgemental. Volunteering has also given me great experience that will help me to pursue my career in the police force.
So has volunteering helped you to achieve your career goals?
Definitely. Firstly, volunteering allowed me to pass my college course, as this was a requirement and secondly volunteering has increased my confidence and given me really valuable experience and skills which will help me make me stand out from others.
What would you say to encourage other young people to sign up to vInspired.com?
I would say that you’ve got nothing to lose. It will help you gain volunteering experience that looks great on your CV and will help to show others that not all young people are what they are negatively stereotyped to be.
What do you think are the positive things that young people have to offer communities and society?
I think that young people can offer society new ways of looking at things, enthusiasm, hard work, and energy.
Has a young volunteer you know made an outstanding contribution that has gone above and beyond what was expected of them? They could be our next Volunteer of the Month!
Anyone can nominate – whether you’re someone who manages a volunteer, or a family member or friend.
If you’re a young person, inspired by Natasha’s story – why not start volunteering and registering your hours with vInspired?
Being able to see the positive impact you make is one of the reasons people choose to volunteer.
Volunteering can, at times, be highly challenging and a real test of character. When things don’t work out as we expected, we might struggle to see, or even begin to question, how much of a difference we’re actually making.
Don’t. Volunteering is a global movement greater than the sum of its parts – and the decision to contribute to that movement is in itself demonstration of your positive impact on the world.
Here are 8 quotes to reassure, encourage and inspire you to keep up the good work.
“It’s the action, not the fruit of the action, that’s important. You have to do the right thing. It may not be in your power, may not be in your time, that there’ll be any fruit. But that doesn’t mean you stop doing the right thing. You may never know what results come from your action. But if you do nothing, there will be no result.”
“No work is insignificant. All labor that uplifts humanity has dignity and importance and should be undertaken with painstaking excellence.”
Martin Luther King Jr.
“The purpose of life is not to be happy. It is to be useful, to be honorable, to be compassionate, to have it make some difference that you have lived and lived well.”
Ralph Waldo Emerson
“Few will have the greatness to bend history itself, but each of us can work to change a small portion of events. It is from numberless diverse acts of courage and belief that human history is shaped. Each time a man stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope, and crossing each other from a million different centers of energy and daring those ripples build a current which can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance.”
Robert F. Kennedy
“Never forget that you are one of a kind. Never forget that if there weren’t any need for you in all your uniqueness to be on this earth, you wouldn’t be here in the first place. And never forget, no matter how overwhelming life’s challenges and problems seem to be, that one person can make a difference in the world. In fact, it is always because of one person that all the changes that matter in the world come about. So be that one person.”
Richard Buckminster Fuller
Make a difference
Feeling inspired? Check out latest volunteering opportunities on vinspired.com now.
Our round-up of the top opportunities added to vinspired.com this week. Get them while they’re hot!
1) Team v: Last weekend, our young leadership programme, Team v started in style. Want to help change the world? Opportunities to get involved with Team v in your local area are coming in thick and fast – apply now!
2) Cheer: Parkinson’s UK are looking for enthusiastic people to join their cheering squad at this year’s Great South Run, happening in Portsmouth, Sunday 28 October.
3) Train: Painted Children are offering short courses in Health and Social Care for long-term unemployed young people. Boost your CV now.
4) Dig: Archaeologist volunteers needed in the north west to take part in Groundwork’s 12-week project researching a local heritage legacy. Hands-on experience involved, apply now!
5) Congratulate: Fleet & Church Crookham Athletics Club need volunteers to help out with medal presentations on Sunday October 28th.
Have we missed any great volunteering opportunities you’ve seen or are involved in? Share them here by posting a comment below!
Our round-up of the top opportunities added to vinspired.com this week. Get them while they’re hot!
1) Autumn fun: If you’re 16-17 years-old and fancy having a half-term to remember doing awesome activities, learning new skills and meeting new people – sign up for Experience of a Lifetime!
2) Fundraising Do you have a brilliant fundraising idea for the British Red Cross? If so, you could win £100 towards making your idea a reality.
3) Adventure: Community Farming volunteering opportunities in beautiful Uganda with Big Beyond, now recruiting.
4) Sporty: A Common Wealth, a new programme from Everything is Possible is all about promoting intercultural dialogue through sport.
5) Spooky: Volunteers needed to help at Halloween themed event for MS Society raising vital funds along the way
6) Community: Local young person’s charity CAN, are on the look out for new members of its youth steering group, Ngage
7) Theatre: Join in a fabulous Christmas production based on an Alice in Wonderland theme!
8) Music: Pianist and singer needed to help out in a BIG NOISE choir session
9) Xtreme: Sutton Ramp Events works with young people who are interested in skateboarding and other urban extreme sports. Get involved!
10) Fitness: Aerobics teacher needed to teach aerobics class to year 8 pupils
Have we missed any awesome volunteering opportunities you’ve seen or are involved in? Share them here by posting a comment below!
Two years ago, Fran Edwards embarked upon a life-changing journey with the Young Leaders Programme, culminating in being part of the world’s greatest sporting spectacle.
Here, she explains why volunteering has become an important part of her past, present and future…
This summer was one never to be forgotten or equalled. As a member of the Surrey hub of the Young Leaders Programme, I worked alongside an incredible bunch of people to make a positive difference.
Over the past two years, we planned and delivered a number of community team projects and individual challenges that were inspired by the Olympic and Paralympic Values.
These projects ranged from bringing together different generations via board games and computer games, to creating an Olympic-themed mural on our local high street, with us being lucky enough to have athletes from the Dame Kelly Holmes Legacy Trusthelp us run these events to promote awareness of the London 2012 games.
And the project culminated in a once in a lifetime opportunity of being a Games Maker at London 2012.
A place where magic happens
Walking onto the park on my first morning and seeing the main stadium in all its glory with thousands of people flocking in really brought everything home. I’ve never been emotionally moved by a location like it and probably never will again.
It became so much more than just a location, it became a place where magic happens – and I was lucky enough to be part of it. During the games, I welcomed the public to the park, gave out information & directions, scanned tickets, enthused visitors and generally did everything I could to make sure people had the best day possible.
We met, worked and had fun with an incredible number of hugely talented people including athletes, fellow Games Makers, employees and military who all went out of their way to make a difference. I loved every minute of the games, and it has without a doubt changed my life forever.
My highlights were holding the Gold medal of a French athlete, seeing Tom Daley perform, watching the opening ceremony of the Paralympics as a VIP guest of BP and seeing Usain Bolt and Yohan Blake in the 200m semi-final!
Being part of the greatest sporting event in the world
We all had different expectations and ambitions, but shared one aim; to be part of the biggest and greatest sporting event in the world. Collectively, we made it work better than anyone could have dreamt of. I have never been thanked so much in my entire life.
People were genuinely grateful and appreciative of the work that we were doing on their behalf. During the 2-year programme I have gained confidence and learnt and developed so much including networking, budgeting, event organisation and communication skills.
I am looking forward to my future armed with new confidence, knowledge and skills gained during this extraordinary experience, knowing what can be achieved if you work hard, aim high and grasp every opportunity with enthusiasm and determination.
There is no doubt that volunteering has helped me to achieve my goal of going to university and gain a job as a chalet host for this year’s ski season.
I am going to continue volunteering during my sports degree working with schools and sports clubs in the community and would encourage anyone, of any age to get involved and gain the rewards that volunteering can provide.
Today marks the 143rd Birthday of Mahatma Gandi, one of the world’s greatest leaders.
In celebration, here are his top 10 fundamentals for changing the world to help inspire those who volunteer and believe they can change things for the better:
1) Change yourself
2) You are in control
3) Forgive & let it go
4) Without action you aren’t going anywhere
5) Take care of this moment
6) Everyone is human
8) See the good in people and help them
9) Be congruent, be authentic, be your true self
10) Continue to grow and evolve
Find volunteering opportunities at vinspired.com
Finding your life passion and having a career you truly love – it’s not as easy as you think. That said, we think that volunteering is a great way of getting there.
Whether you received your GCSE or A-Level results recently, or recently graduated from University, this time of year can present you with some exciting new paths and choices for the future.
Choice. A world of possibility. Almost endless paths lay before you – but which one to take?
When it comes to careers, being presented with the facts – the industry options available to you – is one thing (see this post on career skills for more on that), but if you want to do something you really love, there’s one ingredient with which an informed choice needs to combine with and feed off – passion.
Take a look at any number of successful and inspiring people – from world-famous entrepreneurs, to that inspiring former school teacher. Often the reason for their success is that they opted to do with their life something that allowed them to express a passion.
Here are three steps to using volunteering to help you find out your passion and do what you love…
1. Give: find something bigger than yourself
“Find something more important than what you are and dedicate your life to it” Dan Dennett
Dedicating your time to others without expecting anything in return, helps you to get perspective on the really important things in life.
Take a moment to think about the things that are most important to you – things that have made you “you”…
There are volunteering opportunities out there covering a huge range of interests and causes that allow you to contribute to things that you feel are most important in life.
Getting fresh perspectives and being exposed to diverse cultures and backgrounds is a humbling experience; and a great way of finding and appreciating your place in the world. That, in a nutshell, is why volunteering is so awesome.
2. Explore: step outside of your comfort zone
Although we prefer the safety and comfort of knowing exactly where we’re going to and when we’re getting there, life is often not that simple. Thankfully, it’s not that boring either.
The not knowing what lies around the corner and the fear of stepping into the unknown from time to time is often what makes life so brilliant and interesting – and the great thing about volunteering is that it allows you to do just that, with minimal risk.
So try something totally new, something adventurous, something daring. Push yourself. Get lost. And in doing so, you might just discover something about yourself and others that you didn’t realise existed…
3. Discover what you love – and have courage to do it
By focussing on the things that are more important than what you are and stepping outside of your comfort zone, you’re far more likely to come across that one thing, that one area of work that you’d be happy to spend your life doing.
It sounds like a scary prospect. But guess what? Volunteering has the power to achieve exactly that.
So begin your journey right now.
Focus on something more important than what you are.
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20 year-old Jenna Rose Moore is August’s Volunteer of the Month for her outstanding work with sexual health education charity, Brook.
In just five and a half months, Jenna has achieved her v10, v50 and v100 awards.
Naomi Sheppard from Brook nominated Jenna for being “totally selfless and showing such dedication to helping others.”
On Brook’s Sex:Positive campaign, she has challenged negative stereotypes and raised awareness of the issues faced by groups including young parents and LGBT young people.
With Jenna’s CV greatly enhanced, she is now looking forward to future employment.
Meet the winner!
How does it feel to win volunteer of the month?
I’m really excited. It really wasn’t expected. Today is my last day at Brook, so it’s a great reward.
Tell us a bit about your work. Are there any achievements you’re especially proud of?
I mainly worked on the Sex:Positive campaign. I had to come up with a sex education programme which was a really positive experience. I created new educational resources which I took out and delivered to colleges and youth groups.
I have been able to inform young people on how to be responsible. Something I’m especially proud of is a leaflet I created in the last 2 months of my placement. I came up with all of the content and had the leaflets printed. These leaflets will continue to be used after I leave. I’m really proud of that.
How has volunteering changed you or taught you new things?
Volunteering has brought new experiences that I wouldn’t have otherwise have had. Through volunteering I have gained confidence and learnt new things – helping to recruit for senior management positions at Brook is just one example. The amount of fun I have been able to have and the amazing new people that I have met. It’s been such a positive experience that will leave a lasting impression on me.
If you were Prime Minister for a day, what would be the one thing you’d change?
I would organise a parade or fair to get young people excited about volunteering opportunities and to let young people from all backgrounds know that they can achieve anything they want and that anything is possible.
What do you think young people can offer to their communities?
Energy, new ideas and new ways of thinking. Young people often set themselves goals which to others may seem unrealistic – but when they achieve and meet these goals, it forces those peoples’ attitudes to change. Young people are often underestimated.
What would you say to encourage other young people to sign up to vInspired.com?
You never know where you might end up. There are so many different things you can experience through volunteering regardless of education or background. Volunteering is great. You can find out where your passions really lie, it helps you to network and you get to gain valuable work experience.
Has a young volunteer you work with made an outstanding contribution that has gone above and beyond what was expected of them? They could be our next Volunteer of the Month!
Find out more on how to apply and our full criteria over on our website.
If you’re a young person, inspired by Jenna’s story – why not start volunteering and registering your hours with vInspired?
It’s a no-brainer that the summer holidays is synonymous with traveling.
Add volunteering to the mix and you’ve got a memorable summer experience that ticks all the boxes; namely, exploring, meeting people and making a difference.
We’re excited to share some of the life-changing summer experiences of volunteers who have recently travelled abroad, to get you thinking about a world waiting to be discovered.
Whether you’re just leaving school and looking for a short project in the holidays or you’ve just graduated from Uni and looking for an epic gap year experience – there is quite literally a world of opportunities out there!
Enjoy our selection – and don’t forget to check our international volunteering opportunities pages…
Aimee, volunteered in India with Raleigh International
Volunteering in India with Raleigh was a challenging but incredible 10 weeks. The expedition took me from working on environmental and community development projects, to trekking 250km through tea plantations and mountains. This picture was taken half way through our trekking phase on a ‘survival day’ which involved getting everything we needed from nature, and building our own shelters, cooking on open fires, and eating from banana leaves.
Dave, volunteered in Central America with Progressio ICS
Volunteering with Progressio ICS was a life changing experience, and provided me with the opportunity to see the developing world through my own lens. El Salvador is a country in Central America with a rich tapestry of history and culture. The people have remarkable strength and it was incredibly empowering to witness the strength of solidarity, sustainability and the importance of family. I learnt so much, felt so humble and it was an experience that will shape my life for ever.
Frances, worked with children in Costa Rica via Inter-Cultural Youth Exchange
(Obviously Yarin wanted to be in this picture with her artwork!) I have taught art and a little English to 20 children in a children’s home in Costa Rica. I mainly give love and attention. I now know and enjoy a culture different to my own; a different language and I have lived in a host family which has become a second family.
Morgan, worked in Luxembourg with Youth In Action Programme
I was already a keen volunteer before I went to Luxembourg to meet volunteers from different parts but the experience has really inspired me to get involved in more social action – not just with young people in my own country, but throughout Europe.
Linsday, travelled to Africa with Big Beyond
Volunteering has been an overwhelming and challenging experience. There is just so much back home that people take for granted, such as buying crayons or other materials needed. It is just so hard to find simple items here. The differences in time management and sense of time here is a huge challenge. I’ve also enjoyed learning the daily life of other people.
Further resources and international volunteering opportunities:
The National Young Volunteers Service
Welcome to the vInspired blog! Keep updated with the latest news, volunteering tips and advice and hear about great opportunities on vinspired.com. This is also a space for young volunteers to share their experiences and express views on the things that matter to them. Want to write here? Email your ideas to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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