THIS Volunteers’ Week (1-7 June), Creative Writing graduate Lucy Vigar is encouraging others to give volunteering a go as she shares her experience of volunteering at the national learning disability charity Hft.
Lucy has just come to the end of her two-month placement at Hft, where she has been volunteering in the communications department, supporting staff with both internal and external communications.
“I have learnt so much in a short time, and have felt lucky to be a part of a fantastic team of people.
“Since graduating from the University of Warwick last summer, with a degree in English Literature and Creative Writing, I have been on the lookout for jobs that are relevant to my interests. I became interested in the idea of working in communications, especially for an organisation that I think is doing something good in the world, so when I discovered the possibility of getting work experience with Hft, it seemed like the perfect opportunity for me.
“I had heard good things about Hft and, after doing some more research into the work it does, including the range of services it offers and its focus on the individual needs of the people it supports, I was even keener to sign up to volunteer. Its Bristol base also appealed to me as I live close by!”
When Lucy signed up, she had been working as a receptionist and wanted an opportunity that was flexible around her job. She decided Hft would be a good fit as she could dedicate two days of her week to the charity.
“I really got the sense that the people at Hft wanted the best for me and this continued throughout my placement.
“On starting, I was given a warm welcome from the whole communications team and received some useful guidance and resources.
“I have loved completing a range of tasks as part of my placement. Being able to share good news stories about the people Hft supports was a real highlight, as was being able to write about the parliamentary roundtable following the release of the Sector Pulse Check report.
“I have learnt so much through the placement – how meetings are efficiently organised, how to upload articles, some key writing skills, how social media posts are presented and scheduled, and the difference in styles between external and internal communications, to name just a few.
“One of the main things I have taken away from the experience is that everything you do adds up to something, and no matter what your role is you are a part of a chain of people making a positive difference.”
When asked whether she would recommend volunteering, Lucy said:
“I would definitely recommend volunteering with Hft! My experience was incredibly rewarding and I know the skills I have learnt will be invaluable in the future. The communications team couldn’t have been more welcoming and made me feel at home from the start. I felt comfortable asking questions whenever I needed to and was continually made to feel supported.
“I’m looking forward to keeping in touch and up-to-date with Hft’s progress in the future!”
To find out more about volunteering at Hft, visit their website or email National Volunteer Manager Liz Knott (email@example.com).