In 2011, I developed a real passion for volunteering. I had just finished school and had an incredibly long Summer to fill. I decided early on I wanted to do some charity work. Previously, I had helped out at church and school fetes, but I felt that I could do more to give back. I did fundraising and also began to volunteer in a local hospice’s shop in town. I really enjoyed it. I got a lot of satisfaction from using my time to do something which would help someone else, even if they were a complete stranger.
I’m aiming to start a new volunteering project in the New Year. My advice for anyone thinking about volunteering is to choose an organisation or charity which you believe in. You are likely to then naturally have more passion and motivation whilst performing whatever role you get given. I think it’s also key to make sure you are realistic about how much time you have available, you can always take on more hours and responsibility when you learn first hand what the role will be like.
I think that it is important to give back. Just simple acts of kindness are crucial in such a tough world. People often forget to show appreciation and gratitude, due to the overshadowing of busy lives and sometimes a little bit of selfishness.
You don’t necessarily have to volunteer or do charity work to give back. Even just a smile can go a long way.