Over the course of the last 15 years I have had the pleasure of being involved in several volunteering experiences.
In the mid-2000s, after hearing on the radio that the NSPCC @NSPCC_Scotland (it was ChildLine Scotland at the time) were looking for volunteers, I decided, almost on a whim, to apply. I was on a career break whilst raising my children and felt this was a fantastic way to keep my skills up to date whilst supporting a charity that I felt an affinity with.
More recently, as the prospect of returning to work came ever closer, I reached out to Glasgow Science Centre @gsc1 (who are always on the lookout for committed volunteers, hint hint!) and was delighted to assist them in conducting visitor surveys during their busiest times.
With school on the horizon for my youngest child, I reached out to my old colleagues @FPSGRecruitment to discuss the possibility of volunteering, in their Glasgow office, for a few hours a week. I felt my market knowledge was lacking and my skills weren’t quite as up to date as they could be so I was thrilled when they said yes! I worked hard for a year with FPSG’s support and when it came to applying for my first job in many years – FPSG were happy to have me!
There are so many benefits to volunteering for both the individual and for the organisation you are volunteering for. The obvious one is the feel good factor gained from volunteering for a charity that desperately needs your help, but it’s more than that. There are untold practical skills to be gained, it can give you a new or renewed focus, it looks great on your CV and each volunteering experience will be different thus broadening your horizons. All of this can be taken to your current/future employer and can give you something different to offer and perhaps a new way of looking at things.
If you are interested in volunteering in Scotland make @VolScotland your first port of call or reach out to a company in an industry that interests you.
Author: Susan Douglas