This week it’s #volunteersweek and it’s been trending all week on Twitter.
There is an estimate of 12.7million people volunteering each month and 19.8 million people volunteering each year. This could be taking part in a fundraising event, supporting youth groups like Scouting or Guiding, going into care homes, running marathons etc.
I’ve been a volunteer in GirlGuiding since age 13 starting as a pack leader. I’ve held my guiding warrant which has allowed me to run brownie packs, help at rainbow and guide meetings, run camps and help at different events for the past 13 years.
GirlGuiding has shaped me from a young age and has given me some valuable skills and credit on my CV. Things like leadership, taking imitative, award achievements, having stability in a role and being able to stay in one role. It gives the chance to grow and become more independent with going to international camps, running activities and networking opportunities. It can help you grow and develop who you are and what you love.
In recent years I have volunteered at different events as well. I was a cultural rep for Walt Disney World, during my time I volunteered to go to meet Make-a-Wish children, meet children in schools and talk about the UK or do a bowlingthon and skydives. At university, I raised money for a charity by holding my own event as part of my degree. I’ve ran Race for Life twice (well walked most of it!).
There’s been arguments in the newspapers saying is it relevant to have voluntary experience on a CV. Having education qualifications like degrees and masters are more important to have. I disagree. I think education qualifications do help you. However I was accepted onto my university degree due to my voluntary experiences and commitments I showed. It’s helped me answer questions during job interviews and helped me whilst in that role. It can show skills you might not be able to show elsewhere like leadership, problem-solving, time management and working part of a team.
I don’t think having a strong education background is needed any more as when I started in my career, I didn’t have one. I’ve grown and developed skills I didn’t know I had. It wouldn’t have happened without being a volunteer.
I encourage you to go out and seek being a volunteer. Remember you can become a volunteer in an interest you have or a charity your passionate about. Volunteers are always welcomed in all places. It gives you a chance to meet new people and develop skills. You won’t regret it!