For Volunteers’ Week – a whole week centred around celebrating the contribution and impact of volunteers – We spoke to some of Youth Leads UK’s volunteers to see what they think is great about giving something back.
“Volunteering is a big part of my life for three reasons. Firstly, I enjoy meeting new people, making new friends, and hearing everyone’s stories. Secondly, being in higher education means that I have a lot of free time on my hands, and by giving my free time to charities, I am not only keeping myself busy but also helping others! Finally, volunteering helps to give my life a purpose, it increases my responsibilities, and I gain an immense amount of life experience for free! I would not be the person I am today without charities like Xplode enriching my life and providing my friends and me with valuable opportunities and experiences.”
“When I first started volunteering with Xplode last year, I never could have imagined the impact it would have on my life. I feel more confident in myself and my abilities, more outgoing, and more independent. I’ve met people from all walks of life who I never would have had the privilege to meet otherwise. Through the work Xplode do for the community, from their employability training for young people to their book-gifting event to tackle childhood illiteracy, I’ve had the chance to give back to the town that I call home. I have made memories and friends that will stay with me for life, and I am forever grateful for the opportunities Xplode have given me.”
“I like volunteering as it gives me a break from work and studying, yet I know I’m still being productive. It’s also great to know that you’re doing something beneficial while learning new skills, making new friends and improving your CV!”
“I volunteer as it makes me feel a part of a community of people who share the same interests and the same level of aspiration. It also gives me the motivation to move forward and do bigger and better things. Without volunteering, I would not have been able to do half the things I do today; I would never have thought I could be a part of a magazine for a start!
Other people out there should take the opportunity to volunteer because it really does open up new doors for everyone. Not only have I seen a difference in myself but the other people around me who also volunteer, I have seen their visions and ambitions shape into something else. Anyone and everyone can volunteer and take a step closer to something they have always wanted to do; it’s the big push factor in helping achieve your goals.
First, I was proud when I took my interview to become a part of Xplode, and after that, every little thing I did as a part of Xplode only made me prouder of myself because I was taking my writing and personal views forward onto a platform I had tried so hard to reach initially. From writing articles and posting them online, to taking part in the magazine’s fashion shoots and writing for upcoming releases, I have really loved each and every experience.”
“Volunteering has helped me develop my skills for my chosen career and has given me the right experience that will help me find a job. Others should highly consider volunteering because to employers it shows you have a willingness to work and a passion for what you are doing. You will stand out amongst the rest.”
“Volunteering has allowed me to meet new people, benefit the community and spread my message across the local area. It has really helped me become more confident in both writing and in terms of social interaction with others my age, but also older. Everyone should volunteer, as it allows you to develop your own skills and makes you feel better about yourself at the same time, never mind the benefit it has to others. My proudest moment as a volunteer was chairing the Greater Manchester Youth Combined Authority meeting last April. This allowed me to lead the discussions on important issues such as mental health, history and radicalism, as well as developments in the Curriculum for Life. On top of this, it allowed me to meet influential politicians, including the Mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham.”
So if you too want to make a difference just like our own volunteers, then there are loads of ways you can get involved. Do-it.org is a great starting point and lists all the projects you can get involved with in your local community. Of course, if you’re interested in volunteering with Xplode, check out our join page for more info!