How can your grandma supercharge your career through volunteering?
In June 2021, 22-year-old Beth returned home to Worthing after completing a degree in sociology and criminology. She was looking for something to keep her occupied as she figured out her next steps. Her lovely Grandma Jan saw an advertisement seeking volunteers for Turning Tides in a local newspaper and passed this on to Beth.
Turning Tides is the biggest provider of services for single homeless people in West Sussex and were looking for volunteer befrienders. Beth thought the charity would be a good match for her skills, personality and experience.
Beth described the process to sign up as really straightforward and that Turning Tides put a lot of thought into the match. Soon enough, Beth was matched with a young man of a similar age who was looking to build his confidence and get out more.
Since she started volunteering in September 2021, Beth and her client have built a solid relationship. Beth has been able to share her love of walking with him, and the two go weekly along the seafront. Having this regular support has helped build his confidence and connections. Now housed in his own accommodation, her client has a partner, and regularly travels around the local area, even following in Beth’s footsteps by taking up more walking which is a testament to Beth’s ability to inspire others through her volunteering.
Beth described her volunteering experience by saying “I just kept going back and seeing the progress from where he started to where he is now, that’s the beauty of a volunteering friendship”.
A regular user of the Volunteero app, Beth told us “Volunteero is great, it has spurred me on to volunteer, I like that it reminds me of my tasks”.
Speaking of how volunteering has benefitted her, Beth told us she is a firm believer that everything happens for a reason. She shared that her experience of volunteering with Turning Tides helped her gain her current employment as a teaching assistant. This in turn has inspired her to rethink her career ambitions. “I really enjoy it, but it’s also helped me. Volunteering was one of the main factors that got me my current job, but also helped me realise I want to be a primary school teacher”.
From September 2022, Beth will start her PGCE teacher training degree at a local university, and she intends to continue her volunteering with Turning Tides alongside her studies.
Wishing you the best of luck in your career Beth, and of course, we’ve got to shout out to Grandma Jan for finding her Turning Tides!
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