Voluntary work is an excellent way to gain career related experience, in fact some university courses and jobs insist on it before applying so you can demonstrate an understanding of what is involved in a particular area. (E.g. Care, Social Work, Nursing, Youth Work, Radiography, Physiotherapy, Coaching).
Many organisations offer the opportunity to volunteer in a variety of roles from administration, fund-raising, public relations, personal support, mentoring, counselling working with all sections of society.
Voluntary work will help to improve your skills, it will also help to boost your confidence, allow you to make new friends and can help others at the same time. Helping others is a good way to help yourself. Research showed that volunteering for a good cause can increase our happiness as much as if we doubled our income. The more voluntary work volunteers did the happier they got and they were also less prone to depression and physically healthier.
Voluntary work doesn’t just have to be with a charity, it can also be in industries such as media, journalism, TV, advertising, politics, publishing and radio and can give you a head start in these fiercely competitive industries.
- Do-It www.do-it.org.uk search volunteer opportunities by geographical location in the UK: just type in your postcode. Excellent. Also information on gap year opportunities overseas
- Volunteering England www.nvco-volunteering.org.uk/i-want-to-volunteer find your local volunteer bureau and give them a ring!
- Timebank www.timebank.org.uk opportunities in the UK and a searchable database of overseas voluntary organisations
- Voluntary Sector Jobs www.voluntarysectorjobs.co.uk list all types of charity jobs, housing jobs, jobs in NGOs, the Arts etc.