The first thing that comes to our minds when we talk about volunteering, is work experience. However, over the years many volunteers have admitted that is not only about a career, but also a personal journey of learning. Greek philosopher Aristotle once said that the essence of life is “to serve others and do good”. Growing up, it becomes clearer to me what these words really mean. In this blog, I’m going to discuss my own experience as a volunteer for Say It with Your Chest but also, I will share what some of my colleagues think.
Why do people choose to volunteer?
There are many reasons why people volunteer. For example:
- It is easy
- Does not have to involve a long-term commitment
- Helps to reduce stress
- Provides a sense of purpose
- Can help with combatting depression
Volunteering is also a great opportunity to connect with those with similar interests and passions, who you might not normally connect with; people who are different religions, ages, etc. What is more, volunteering builds self-confidence and self-esteem. It can give you a sense of pride and identity, helping to boost your self-confidence further by taking you out of your comfort zone and environment. 
In addition, volunteering is good for physical and mental health. For example, people who give their time to others can benefit from lower blood pressure and improved mental health. 
Why should you volunteer for SIWYC?
Personally, I believe that people who decide to take the decision to volunteer benefit more, than the organization. At any age you decide to volunteer, it can help you to improve yourself. For instance, it’s a safe place to make ‘mistakes’, and to learn from them in a nice way. I have been with SWYC over three months, and even having a full-time job I still believe that I have gained more than I have expected.
SWYC has helped me a lot with my confidence, I feel more confident to show my work and to be proud of it. I have met new people, and I have felt so welcome.
When I asked some of my colleagues what they have learnt from SIWYC, they said:
Dipa: “Volunteering for SIWYC has allowed me to challenge myself to build upon skills like blog writing whilst, at the same time, really getting a bigger picture about the issues young people face, exclusion in schools and personal development in young people.”
Claudia: “A lot of experience about the not-for-profit sector and office-based skills. I have also seen the positive impact that can be achieved by small tasks being completed.”
Collete:” Knowledge of safeguarding and additional experience of working independently.”
Meghan: “Greater awareness for youth empowerment, met a group of like-minded volunteers and more experience with graphic design!”
Radhea: “I am fairly new to the UK (less than five months). I am also a new volunteer with Say It With Your Chest. I believe that children around the world face and share common problems in their lives such as the need for attention, difficulties with school, friendships, etc. I have learnt a new prospective about young people at UK schools. Most importantly, I learnt that we as adults can do something about it.”
Billie: “It’s early days for me in the organisation but so far, it’s been great to get to know Sabrina and the rest of the volunteer team. It’s really fulfilling to be around so many passionate and positive people. “
Tips for getting started
If you are reading this blog, and are considering volunteering ask yourself if there is something specific you want to do, improve or see:
For example, do I want to…
- meet people who are different to me
- try something new
- share something, with others that I’m good at
- learn a different prospective
- go out of my comfort zone
Once you have an answer then jump into it and apply to be a volunteer