Volunteering with young people has helped me fulfil my career ambitions
Rachael Roberts, 25, from Colwyn Bay, began volunteering last year to get experience for a Speech Therapy Career.
Rachael explains how her volunteering has helped her on the path to a career in Speech Therapy….
I’ve been interested in progressing my career since I graduated with a Psychology Bsc in July 2010. With this in mind I decided I needed to get relevant experience before applying for my Speech therapy Msc…
I had previously volunteered during my degree and credit it as the quickest and easiest way to gain experience and build a network of relevant contacts. I used my days off from my part-time job to venture out and meet influential people who may know of opportunities to work with young people with speech, language and communication needs.
So I decided to research as many relevant organisations on Facebook as possible (including Vinspired), it wasn’t long before a relevant event to attend caught my eye. I went along to the ‘Communication counts’ event run in collaboration between Afasic Cymru, a charity which supports parents of children people with speech and language impairments, and the NHS.
It was right up my street as it was exactly my area of interest – communication difficulties in young people. Although I wasn’t able to sit in for the talks, I was able to network at the event and introduce myself to the Afasic Cymru development officer.
We got talking about my wish to volunteer, to which she encouraged me to attend an informal drop-in session regarding a youth club she was setting up in Old Colwyn (near me!!)…
How coincidental was this! I then furthered my research regarding Afasic Cymru. As I was already working as a part-time youth worker I was able to sign up for an OCN in youth work at the weekends.
This enabled me to count my volunteering towards a recognised qualification and towards my vInspired hours. This opportunity enabled me to work alongside a speech therapist and community centre manager as a youth worker for Afasic Cymru on a weekly basis.
With this ‘foot in the door’ I was able to apply to Vodafone’s World of Difference campaign, which enabled me to access funding to work full time for Afasic Cymru for two months.
Had I not volunteered for Afasic Cymru this future opportunity simply wouldn’t have been possible.
I am now half way through my placement for Afasic Cymru, with lots of experience under my belt. I’ve also recently had an interview for my Speech therapy masters. I doubt I would have got this if it wasn’t for volunteering with Afasic Cymru.
If you live in the area, Afasic Cymru has a great family fun day to mark its 10th Anniversary based in Faenol Fawr, North wales. For more information, get in touch with Afasic Cymru.
You can also give your CV a boost and get formal recognition for your volunteering with our vInspired Awards.
1-7 June is Volunteers’ Week, run by Volunteering England.