I didn’t have a clue what to do after I got my GCSE results. Sixteen, shy, spotty and with a terrible haircut – what was I going to do with my life? Three A-levels and a degree later, I still didn’t know. So how did I find out what career was going to be right for me? I became a volunteer. Two days a week with a local residential home for people with learning disabilities and complex needs. Something I was interested in and thought I’d be good at. It worked. It gave me a grounding in social care and uncovered a passion for human rights, social justice and community involvement. It also, eventually, got me a paid job in a related area.
Many years later, as a Volunteer Service Manager for Centra, most of the people that I meet are, like my young self (but with better hair), looking for a safe, supported way to discover what they are interested in and think they might be good at. Volunteering provides this opportunity along with some great training and the chance to meet some truly inspiring people. Approach your local Volunteer Centre to discover opportunities that match your interests or visit www.do-it.org.uk. We may even have something to offer you ourselves – check out the Circle Opportunities noticeboard for postings relating to your area.