My name is Raja. I applied for the voluntary role of a Volunteer Centre Support assistant at the Volunteer Centre Birmingham at BVSC through the Talent Match programme. I was called in for an interview with Donna regarding the voluntary role. I could not believe it when Donna contacted me afterwards to inform me that I had passed the interview and that I can start working at the Volunteer Centre Birmingham, pending suitable references. Once my references came through, I was really happy to start volunteering.
Many people think of volunteering as working for free but it really is so much more than that. Volunteering allows you to explore your options and figure out exactly what type of work you would be willing to do and how many hours a week can you reasonably give up for work. Volunteering can also help one to gain experience that may be essential for specific job roles. A lot of employers nowadays are asking for experience, hence this is why volunteering can be a great opportunity for people to be able to gain experience and learn new skills.
I often get asked by friends and family why I choose to do voluntary work instead of paid work. There are many ways I can explain this but the main way I like to explain it is by explaining what volunteering means to me specifically. For me volunteering is a risk-free way of understanding how I will cope in a work environment. It is about finding out whether I am suited to full time work or part time work. Volunteering helps me to build me on my confidence and develop my skills, as well as gaining new skills. It also helps me to gain experience of what it is like to work.
My main job as a volunteer is to cover reception. I answer telephone queries as efficiently as I can. I always make sure I am able to hear the person on the other end of the telephone properly so that I can note down their name and reason for calling. Sometimes I have to take telephone message if I am unable to transfer calls to the relevant staff members. On reception I also deal with clients face-to-face. I welcome them in to the volunteer centre and I ask them to sign in and out. I ask them to fill out a registration form if they are not already on our new database system.
In between dealing with clients over the phone and face-to-face, I also have to respond to applications on ‘Do-It’ by emailing the applicants with instructions and the organisation’s contact details so that they are aware of what to do next.
Doing voluntary work will look good on my CV because it will show that I have the experience necessary for the role I am applying for and employers will know that I am spending my time wisely, and it will also show my commitment to being able to work.
I can honestly say that currently I am enjoying volunteering at the Volunteer Centre Birmingham at BVSC because it has met my expectations. I have physical disability, which restricts movement in my legs and I use a K Walker to move around. I am able to move around the Volunteer Centre and the rest of BVSC without too much of a hassle, thanks to their disabled access and the Equal Opportunities Policy. So far I feel like I am making a positive contribution to the Volunteer Centre.
Outside of volunteering, I am a keen follower of current affairs and politics and I really enjoy using the internet to find out more information about the latest news stories. I enjoy being outdoors and walking when the weather is nice and I also like debating and having conversations about challenging, interesting subjects.