The below blog post was written by one of our events and fundraising Volunteers. This is what she had to say about her Accuro volunteer experience…
When people talk about the benefits of being a volunteer there are often a lot of statements that are repeated over and over again.
Whilst all these benefits are undoubtedly true, and incredibly valuable, for me it’s the nuances that make a difference to my experience as a Community Events Volunteer.
It’s the sense of purpose you feel, when your enthusiasm and passion connect with another person. It’s the feeling of trust in you to turn up to an event when you say you will. It’s being a spare hand to hold the gazebo whilst they battle the elements “Mary Poppins” style. It’s sometimes a feeling that you can’t put into words…
When I first started volunteering for Accuro, I’d just been made redundant and didn’t think it would be easy to find another job, due to the economic climate. I’ve always been the sort of person who wanted to keep myself busy and I enjoy being around other people, so deciding to volunteer seemed the obvious thing to do.
I quickly realised that not only was I giving something of myself to the charity, but I was also getting something back in return.
I’ve gained a reason to get out from the same four walls. I’ve gained a sense of belonging and acceptance from my colleagues at Accuro. I’ve gained confidence in speaking to members of the public. I’ve also discovered skills and passions I hadn’t explored before.
Best of all I’ve discovered what a great time I have at local events, all whilst spending time with some great people. It’s probably a cliché I know, but even though I treat my role as I would a paid job, it doesn’t ever really feel like work.
I think for me one of the biggest challenges of the role is when I, or my colleagues, have to attend an event where there’s just one of us at the stall. Whilst it’s doable, I never feel I can devote as much time or attention to the person enquiring about our services, or the child who’s exited to have won a tombola prize, as I’d like to.
If we had some more volunteers, who wanted to occasionally get out the house for an afternoon, or add something different to their CV, then we would be able to offer a more comprehensive response to the public. More volunteers would also allow us to reach all of our community more of the time. Enabling us to make more of a difference to people’s everyday lives.
Some of our busiest times of year, are during the summer holidays and over the festive period. So if you are free, even on an ad-hoc basis, during these times, for example you are a student, then please do consider volunteering with us at any of our community events. I can guarantee you’ll always be made to feel welcome.