Summer volunteering – What I gained and why you should do it too!

This summer did you find yourself getting bored? If you are looking for something fun and productive to do with…

This summer did you find yourself getting bored? If you are looking for something fun and productive to do with your summer next year then why not look at for volunteering opportunities. Not only does volunteering look great on your CV but it really can be rewarding.

What do you do?

Myself and Perry the very cheeky Birmigham 2022 mascot

The world of volunteering is massive! There is such a wide variety of opportunities available out there from sporting events to helping out with your local scout group, so depending on what you choose to go for you will end up doing different things. This summer I volunteered at the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games as part of the protocol team. This meant that I was working in the VIP lounge looking after delegates from all over the world as well being responsible for medal presenters.

What do you gain?

I thoroughly enjoyed my two weeks of volunteering and have been left with lots of stories to tell about my experience as well as gaining an invaluable about of transferable skills development. Not only do you develop skills that are valuable to employers but I have gained great friends and memories too. Depending on the area that you want to work in after university experience within that industry could be a great help when applying for jobs in the future even if it is volunteering work.

How do I find a volunteering opportunities?

You can find a variety of local and national volunteering opportunities by going to the University CareerLinc website and filtering the opportunities by volunteering. Also, the do it website has a catalogue of volunteering opportunities available in the UK that can be sorted by outcome, interests, activities and skills required.

I found out about volunteering at the commonwealth games because I knew that the games were coming back to the UK and I did research into volunteering, so if there is a particular event you would like to do then keep an eye out for information as there are often volunteer newsletters for these events that will keep you updated from waiting for applications to open, right up to the event itself. Be sure to look early for big sporting events as there is usually an interview process.

How can I get my volunteering recognised?

Volunteering can be little and often (one shift a week at a charity shop), or a lot for a short period of time ( everyday for a 2 week sporting event). Either way you want to get as much as possible out of what you have done. I would recommend writing a post on LinkedIn about your experience. If you don’t yet have a LinkedIn account check out my post about why every student should have one.

Also you could put your volunteering hours towards your Lincoln Award! If you are under 30 you can register your volunteering hours on Vinspired to gain v10, v20, v50 and v100 awards. Vinspired awards are free certificates that will be posted to you to recognise your hours of volunteering.

Would I recommend summer volunteering?

One of my favourite memories from the games – The rugby 7s final (before I was scrambling around to sort out medal ceremonies)

I think the answer to this is somewhat obvious but of course, I would recommend summer volunteering. I thoroughly enjoyed every second of my time volunteering at the commonwealth games. I think one of the best things about volunteering is not only the skills that you gain but the life experience you get from the different people that you meet.

I had the opportunity to engage with fellow volunteers from around the country as well as delegates and athletes from across 72 participating nations. Volunteering can be scary at first as you often do not know what you have truly let yourself in for until the first day on the job but as long as you go in with an open mind, are willing to learn and do your best then I am sure you will have a blast and be a part of a long-lasting legacy.

As always thank you for taking the time to read this post I hope it has inspired you to find some summer volunteering opportunities for next year. It is never too early to start looking for the next year. Let us know what volunteering you get

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