VOLUNTEER BLOG: Nothing ventured is nothing gained

19/05/2021

I was made redundant during the late summer of 2020. Before I finished my role, I spoke with the Executive Comms director at the company and mentioned that I have worked in communications and would love to gain further experience; would they have any advice? They simply said write, write, write! They also added that I would gain valuable experience and exposure through volunteering. I began to research various volunteering roles and came across the Communication Assistant role at C&C.

Has volunteering helped? Yes! I have gained additional skills and experience. It has given me a skillset I will take with me forever. My confidence and writing skills have improved and was giving the opportunity to use my creative muscle.  My manager has been great in allowing me to use various tools, apply different ways of doing tasks and providing feedback.

When I started at C&C, I interviewed residents to gauge their views on loneliness and isolation. From this, C&C produced a report packed full of practical solutions for managing these emotions. Conducting the surveys also helped us see if there were residents that need more support and help and how best we could do this.

Assisting the survey, in the mist of lockdown(s) and trying to find full time employment, I found solace in volunteering. I felt like I wasn’t just gaining experience but also contributing to society too. I think as a volunteer you need be able to have compassion and have a macro view or see the bigger picture as to why we are really important, not just for the association but for wider society.

Many opportunities for residents

Volunteering as a resident can be incredibly impactful too. You can add value for yourself and others, as you can help be our ‘eyes and ears’ for anything we could improve on at your scheme. In addition, you can make more friends and connections within the scheme and the wider C&C family.

Having gained skills as a volunteer at C&C, I have secured a new role in which I am responsible for planning, implementing and encouraging use of news tools and ways of communicating internally on a major international project. This also will assist teams across the board to collaborate and work more effectively too.

I am glad I took on volunteering and this venture, as they say, ‘nothing ventured is nothing gained.’

Kirsten Cannon, Communication Assistant Volunteer, C&C

Volunteering is a great way to both support residents in a variety of different ways and expand your own skills. C&C runs a successful volunteering programme, attracting both residents and those seeking to improve their skills and experience in other ways. Currently we are seeking service inspection volunteers, IT volunteers, gardeners, flower arrangers and librarians among many other roles. Please visit ccht.org.uk/for-residents/volunteering/ if you’d like to be involved.

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