Are you considering getting involved in volunteering?

After attending the virtual Volunteering and Community Champions Awards last night and winning the Creative Volunteering Award I thought I would share why I think you should get into volunteering, maybe even with Winchester Hub!

My Volunteering Journey

In early 2020 I started volunteering at the Winchester Discovery Centre helping to shelf check their books. This volunteering experience was short lived due to the pandemic but was a great experience as I am a keen bookworm and loved helping to support my local library in my university city.

Next in my volunteering journey, I applied to be part of the Winchester Hub committee as a Communications Officer from September 2020 until I finish my third year at university soon.

Most recently I joined community radio station Voice FM in Southampton as a volunteer radio presenter, I was passionate about joining community radio as it allowed me to expand my radio skills that I had started to establish by participating in my university student radio station Sound Radio. Also, very recently I have been accepted to do more volunteering with Voice FM as part of their social media team, this is something I wanted to get involved with as from my university course and my work with Winchester Hub I have realised that social media is a career pathway I potentially want to go into after university.

Photoshoot for my show on Voice FM
My favourite aspect of my volunteering journey is that I have been able to do what I love whilst supporting organisations local to me. [Kate Mardon]

What has volunteering done for me?

  • Volunteering has increased my confidence. I have always been quite a shy person and getting involved with community radio and Winchester Hub has allowed me to come out of my shell and do things I would have never done before.
  • Improved my communication skills. I am now more likely to reach out to people and question them if I need support.
  • Improved my social media and marketing skills. If I am given an outline of what I need to create I am happy to work on it myself.
  • I have been able to make my volunteering roles anything I have wanted them to be. I chose to apply for roles that surrounded my interests for example radio and communications officer for Winchester Hub from my existing interest in radio and social media.
  • Improved my problem solving skills. My work with Winchester Hub has improved these skills because if I am working on a piece I have become more confident to analyse it and see where I need to improve it myself rather than asking for help from the rest of my communications team.
  • Volunteering as an extra - curricular. Volunteering has also been great to do alongside my university studies as a bit of a different focus, but also relevant to my future potential career pathways.

What can volunteering do for you?

  • Enhance your CV
  • Be anything you want it to!
  • Be a fun experience
  • You can gain many lifelong skills and lifelong friendships!

My work with Winchester Hub

From September 2020 I have been supporting Winchester Hub by working on their social media platforms, creating their e-newsletter and, for the past month, creating blog posts.  

One of my favourite aspects of volunteering with Winchester Hub has been getting to know the rest of the committee I have been working alongside through our committee meetings and hearing about the projects that committee members are working on (Even if everything has been virtual for the past year I have still felt part of a larger team and that I have been able to get to know other people and progress my own skills).

Another one of my favourite aspects about volunteering with Winchester Hub has been getting involved with their committee fundraisers each semester to make sure the great work of Winchester Hub can continue to be funded by your donations. I have loved taking part in the committee fundraisers as I am quite an active person (as described in my ‘How 30 active days has affected me’ blog) and have loved the community feel that these fundraisers bring as me and the other committee members participating are doing it for Winchester Hub. I have also loved the sense of achievement that these fundraisers have brought to me as I successfully completed the sponsored walk (which was an achievement as I was told to self isolate for ten days right at the beginning of November) and have completed every day of the 30 active days fundraiser so far this month. If you would like to donate to our 30 active days fundraiser, you still can the month of March is not over yet, our committee members are still finishing their 30 active days pledges.

Donate to our 30 active days fundraiser here.

Pictures of me participating in committee fundraisers for Winchester Hub

There are so many volunteering opportunities out there and for such a variety of organisations. Be sure to check out how you can get involved and support your community! I advise if you are a University of Winchester student you check out Career Connect as that is where I heard that Winchester Hub was asking for applications for 2020 committee members. If you want to get involved with your own local volunteering projects check organisations websites or social media platforms as this is where they are most likely to post about volunteering opportunities.

Want to get involved with Winchester Hub and the range of volunteering opportunities we have on offer. The opportunity is coming up soon to elect our 2021 - 22 committee members found out more about us here and join us as a volunteer for our projects.