Making Memories… Giving Hope

Why volunteer?

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Most charities rely heavily on, and are hugely grateful for, the team of volunteers who work so hard to support them. These are the army of people giving up some of their free time to support causes close to their heart.

People volunteer for all sorts of reasons. For many, it’s about an opportunity to give something back to society – a way to say ‘thank you’ – and to get involved with, and support, an organisation that really means something to them.

But there are so many other reasons why volunteering appeals, and why it can be such a rewarding thing to do, on so many levels. You can:

- learn new skills and potentially boost your CV

- make a difference

- make new friends, connections and networks

- gain new perspectives and get inspired

- have fun

But don’t take our word for it – in the first of our two part series, meet Sarah and hear what she has to say about volunteering:

Sarah has been volunteering for CHICKS for over ten years

Why did you want to volunteer?

I had recently moved back to Devon after working for several years in London and I wanted something to do whilst I found my feet again. Having been involved in the corporate world for so long, I wanted an opportunity where I felt that I was giving something back to society and making a positive difference.

What motivates you to volunteer?

Initially I was motivated by the general desire to make a meaningful contribution to society and to make a positive difference to other people’s lives. These are still motivations but, having come to know CHICKS’s work, I am now also motivated by seeing the specific challenges that disadvantaged children in the UK face in their daily lives. Barely a day goes by when there is not a story in a national newspaper or on television about children living in poverty or other difficult circumstances in the UK. At CHICKS you see the reality of these stories in the children who come on break. CHICKS’ breaks have such a positive impact in these children’s lives and it is highly motivating to feel that you are helping CHICKS to do its vital work.

What do you enjoy most about volunteering?

I really enjoy working with all the staff and other volunteers at CHICKS. There is always a great team atmosphere and an excitement about the difference CHICKS is making to children’s lives.

What sorts of skills do you bring to a volunteering role?

When I first came to CHICKS I thought I could only offer basic office skills, but there is such a wide variety of activities and tasks to do at CHICKS that I soon found there were many more opportunities to use and develop other skills such as interacting with the public, organising events and handling data.

What have you gained from volunteering?

I feel that I have gained just as much from volunteering as I have been able to give back to the charity. I have made lots of friends and made wider connections in my local community. I have had many new experiences such as attending gala events, going to concerts, trekking up a mountain in Morocco and dressing up as a giant bear! I have gained new knowledge and skills, confidence and a sense of purpose.

Why do you think volunteering is a good thing to do?

Volunteering is a good thing to do because everybody benefits from it. Many charities would not be able to undertake the vital work they do without the support of volunteers and by volunteering you can make a positive impact on the lives of people who might be less fortunate than you. In return you will gain self-confidence, a sense of purpose and a feeling of accomplishment. In fact, volunteering will make you happy.

If you’re feeling inspired or motivated to consider volunteering for CHICKS, take a look at our Volunteering page for all our volunteer opportunities – we’d love to hear from you!

 

Next week: meet Chris, one of our newest volunteers - he recently volunteered for CHICKS on one of our respite breaks Coastal retreat …

 

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