The benefits of volunteering: Volunteer Week 2020
The following is a blog written by a volunteer at Victim First about their experience with us.
Like any kind of job, we all feel nervous to begin the new journey we challenge ourselves to start. Before my first day of volunteering at Victim First, so many thoughts raced through my mind “What will it be like? What if I say the wrong things?”. I can honestly say volunteering has been lifechanging, working alongside highly skilled professionals who are there to give support through every step of the way.
One of the benefits of volunteering at Victim First is the numerous opportunities there are to get involved, to expand your knowledge. As a criminology student, I always find great joy in receiving invites to a choice of training courses. Not only does this equip me with greater knowledge about my role as a volunteer, but I am able to challenge myself through the interactive sessions that continuously boost my confidence in so several ways. I have had the chance to learn about the diverse partnerships that work in unison with Victim First to help provide the best service for victims, and how different policies affect various service users.
I remember looking around the room in one of the training courses, seeing different colleagues from several departments laugh and chat amongst themselves. This was an eye-opening moment, making me realise how Victim First is one family that works together to provide the best for those in need. Although I am just a volunteer, I have never felt less than anyone else. I am constantly amazed by how the team is willing to help me achieve my absolute best in my volunteering work, but also considering my best interests at heart. Being so eager to start my volunteering I recall myself asking if I could shadow some of the colleagues during their working hours, I did not know what to expect having to shadow some of the team members. But as soon as I got ready to observe, I was greeted by all the staff in the office, all offering themselves for me to shadow. Shadowing helped me to not only know more about Victim First but has also taught me that asking questions really does not do any harm at all.
With having the opportunity to constantly exercise my communication skills, I have benefited by realising the importance of how I deliver and portray myself through the use of my tone and language. I have been able to integrate my learned skills into my daily life, allowing me to not only communicate clearly but to also maintain a level of professionalism. My time management and organisation skills have been stretched, let’s just say, my weekly diary has now become my new best friend. I am the type of person that usually relies on keeping note of everything in my mind (probably not always the best to do), but it was not until my first weeks of volunteering did I find myself using my weekly diary.
Overall, volunteering has also helped me to boost my confidence and challenge myself for greater things.