Written by Connor Dunbar, Full time Volunteer

When I first noticed the advertisement on Aston University’s placement website to be a Full Time Volunteer with Volunteering Matters, I knew instantly that this could be something for me and couldn’t wait to apply.

Thanks to the application process and interview,  I felt confident that I would be matched with a project that would suit my aspirations and personality. After the interview and filling in documents and providing information for a DBS check, I was matched with an individual who has cerebral palsy whose mother has dementia.  I felt welcome as soon as I entered their door.

I was naturally drawn to this type of placement – I’m a Psychology student, and have an interest in patient care and mental illness. A lot of Psychology careers are centred on patient care and full-time volunteering with Volunteering Matters has helped me develop my communication skills, essential if you want to provide an outstanding service.

I mainly decided to become a full time volunteer because I wanted to develop personal skills such as confidence when meeting new people, but also appreciate that it is a great addition to my CV. It has been especially useful if planning a career in social care as training is provided depending on the type of volunteering e.g. manual handling, which could be useful for future jobs, and you gain an insight into the daily life of a carer.

I think a lot of people would be uncertain about whether they are suited to full-time volunteering but once you have settled in and had training, it is very enjoyable and rewarding. You are given a weekly subsistence and free accommodation and I have not spent any of my own money. On top of that I’ve received outstanding support and advice from the staff supporting my placement – nothing has been too much hassle for them and they have always been happy to listen. As I come to the end of my volunteering, I can’t believe how quickly it’s gone and feel fulfilled and humbled knowing I have assisted in someone’s independence.

 

If you want to learn more about full-time volunteering and how you can get involved, click here.