Today I’m writing about something a little different on the blog, but I hope you will all find it interesting and perhaps inspiring.
The UK volunteering and learning charity CSV are currently celebrating the work of volunteers past and present across the UK to help inspire a new generation of people to volunteer in communities around the UK.
The campaign is called ‘Volunteer Champions’ and will see CSV reveal archive photo footage from the past 50 years, highlighting the continued importance of volunteers throughout a period which has seen huge political, social and cultural change in society.
Look how jolly these volunteers are! But there are many more volunteers who every day quietly go about changing the world for the better.
The campaign asks people to share their experiences of volunteering in order to inspire others.
I have had two experiences in volunteering, each very rewarding and I believe the work I did help shaped who I am today and had some impact on my community.
A few year’s back I worked as a volunteer in the ‘Cat Flap’ as it is known locally, which is the Cambridge Cats Protection Charity Shop. Although I did not have direct contact working with the furry felines, I helped to raise money via the shop and various events.
The most important thing I learnt from this volunteering experience was how to interact with people from all walks of life and that donating even a small item you no longer need can help to feed animals, maintain their care or assist with re-homing.
The shop is currently recruiting for a volunteer manager, so if animals are your passion and you are close to Cambridge do take a look.
My kitty Tammy
My second experience of volunteering was at Cambridge Art Salon as marketing assistant. The salon’s policy of inclusion reaches out to both marginalised groups and individuals in the community with a passion for the arts and creativity. Knowing that I had contributed to a community in some small way was very rewarding and seeing marginalised groups enjoying their creative sides was well worth it.
I chose to volunteer at places that fitted my passions and I would not hesitate to volunteer again for causes I feel strongly about. Even if I could only spare an hour a week, I know it would be worthwhile.
I love that each of the images shared throughout the campaign have such meaning behind them and I find myself wondering what impact those volunteers had on society or an individual’s life.
As part of the campaign, CSV are also running the ‘Young people can do great things’competition.
They have teamed up with Catherine Flood of the V&A to run a poster design competition celebrating the potential of young people. You can find out more here.
If you’re 25 or under get arty and champion the potential of young people to achieve great things!
Perhaps my volunteering experiences are not as heroic as some, but I am pleased to have had the opportunity to volunteer in my community in a small way and I hope some of you will feel inspired to do so too!
I would love to hear about your volunteering experiences in the comments below and if you want to engage in the conversation on Twitter, use the hashtag #VolunteerChampions.