Laura’s Story

19 March 2015

My Mum Googled Volunteer Essex

Laura I applied for University in 2011 and got turned down, they stated that I needed to do more voluntary work with children and then I could try and apply next year. My mum was looking for a voluntary service that could help me with volunteering, while I was working at the same time. My mum looked on Google, typed in the search the bar ‘volunteering in Essex’. The first website that came up was Southend Association of Voluntary Services (SAVS) so I looked on the website and looked at the volunteering options and found a role volunteering with children. I then called up SAVS to speak to them about voluntary work available.

I arranged a meeting with a lady called Emily, at the Volunteer Centre at SAVS. I was nervous because I thought it might be like being in a job interview, but as soon as I was speaking to Emily and was telling her my strengths and skills, I felt more relaxed and did not feel nervous anymore. It was nice to talk to someone who could help me increase my experience in a professional but comfortable and relaxed way. Emily was so nice and helped me find something that could help me get into university and gain the experience I needed.

I started volunteering in August 2012 with a youth club for ages 5-12. I went there for the first time and clicked with all the children really well. I also got on well with the other members of staff and it helped me with my confidence. Volunteering helped me feel that with my help I can put a smile on other people’s faces and this made me gain more and more confidence. Not only was I helping at a youth club every Monday evenings, I also started volunteering at a contact centre every other Saturday afternoon. This increased my experience and also helped with my communication skills as I was speaking to variety of different people. I would recommend volunteering to anyone, as a great way of learning new skills and gaining the experience you need to go on to higher education or paid employment like I did, I now work as Team Leader for Turning Tides at SAVS!