Julie tells all about volunteering at Commonweal
Can you tell me a little about your role as Volunteer?
I get involved in a variety of things, from office administration, filing and answering phone calls to liaising with councils about our properties e.g. to sort out things like service charges.
How did you first hear about and start with us?
I was referred by another charity and started in
early December. First I came for an interview, so I
had to be prepared just as for a proper job, I read and learnt a lot about Commonweal in preparation. I started here the week after.
What do you like about working here?
I like that it feels like a small community, everyone is very professional and friendly. Commonweal isn’t like other organisations using volunteers, as I have found they help me to gain the experience I need for future work. Amy has been especially great, if I tell her what I would like to learn more about she will give me the opportunity to learn. She is like a mentor to me.
What are the challenges?
The biggest challenge is my own personal commitment to high standards. I want to make sure I do work to the best standard possible, so always check and double check to make sure I have achieved a good quality outcome. Initially I was worried about the expectations of me, but I soon relaxed as I was allowed to do things in a way that suited my working style.
You are moving on to exciting new things soon, can you tell me a little about this?
I’ll be starting a new job in a couple of weeks as an Administrative Officer for the NHS. I can take and use the administration skills I have developed at Commonweal. Working for the NHS will be a big transition, from a small team of 4 people to a much larger organisation where my direct team will be of 30 people; but I am excited about it and looking forward to starting too.
Do you have any advice for anyone considering giving their time as a volunteer?
Be yourself and grab every opportunity you can to learn something. Take every bit of advice you are given as it’s from people trying to help you. I found volunteering to be a reciprocated
relationship, where I give my time and in return – I gained the skills I needed, learnt how to adapt to different environments, and had the chance to grow professionally,
intellectually and socially.
(Top blog image © jillyspoon)