Monday, 15 April 2013

Your Skills Go A Long Way

So why would anyone volunteer? I was never really sure about that until I started; and then I realised how much you can get out of it yourself. That doesn’t sound very philanthropic does it? But I’m not talking about CV building or preparing yourself for the world of work (As the CEO of the Students’ Union, I’m already there!); I’m talking about that slightly cheesy happy feeling of simply doing something that is both good and useful to somebody else. For me, that has been enough, going out and sharing something that I am comfortable with (in my case, using a computer) to people less confident (service users at Age Concern Kingston). So, basically, spending an hour a week of one to one time helping people get online or sharing photos or understanding e-mail so they can talk to their friends and families doesn’t make me Bill Gates, but it can make a world of difference to someone who might be scared of a computer.    

Bradbury Centre - Age Concern Kingston
I am nowhere near a computer expert, I can just about work my way round a pc for work, but the point is; you don’t have to be the worlds’ best at something to help someone with less skills than you; you just have to be enthusiastic and friendly. For an hour a week I am given a chance to meet someone new, share some of their life experiences, have a chat and do something helpful without it feeling a big deal. And it’s always nice to share with people and for that time you spend with someone to be worthwhile and be appreciated.

So, if you think volunteering is a) hard work or b) not something you can do because you don’t have a skill or c) you think you don’t have the time, then I’d say think again. It’s easy to get involved, either on a regular basis or as a one-off and not only is it good on your CV but its’ good for you too in a much more important way – it makes you feel good in yourself, and who doesn’t need that?

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