No matter what you’re studying, one of the things you’ll hear over and over is how important work experience is. Regardless of how well you do on your course, nothing stands out on your CV like good old fashioned hands-on experience. One way you can achieve this is by volunteering with a charity instead of a traditional commercial organisation, and there are lots of benefits to doing so. Charities are often very flexible with how and when you volunteer, which can be great if you’re trying to fit things around your uni timetable. If you want to come in every day over the summer, but scale back to half a day when your exams are looming, there is a good chance they will let you. Flexibility like this can make it easy to stay with one charity for a long time which looks great on your CV. More time with a charity may also mean more responsibility than you might get elsewhere. At a commercial organisation work experience often involves shadowing someone and picking up the odd task. It’s likely a charity will want to utilise you to your full potential as soon as possible. This can be great as it means you get more experience and skills out of the time you spend with them. As much as anything else, helping out at a charity feels good! I have volunteered with a number of charities including St Barnabas Hospice, Age UK and Lincs and Notts Air Ambulance and seeing the great work they do and the difference they make in people’s lives makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside! Being a part of something you believe in can be really rewarding and getting experience at the same time is a fantastic opportunity. Volunteering can also form part of the requirements for the Lincoln award, so you can enhance your employability even more! There are loads of charities in Lincoln, so finding one that suits you should be easy. Charities are nearly always looking for more volunteers, whether it’s for help with social media, events or administration. Check out their websites or contact them directly and ask if you can help.