What it's Like to Volunteer for Charity for a Year


I've mentioned my placement a few times, but I've always been quite vague about it. I've finished my full year now, and I thought it was time to tell you about it, why I enjoyed it so much, and why everyone should have a go at volunteering for a charity...

I'd never thought about working for a charity before, as I didn't have a lot of money and not a lot of time to dedicate to something for free - and, let's be honest, if you can get paid for work you would. So, while struggling to find a placement that I was happy with, I found a choice of three. Two were paid, but didn't offer a lot of different event experiences, they were mainly weddings and Christmas events. And the third was with Dorset Blind Association, unpaid, but with a lot of events in the job description. 

I applied for the job, not expecting to get a response because of the experience I thought you'd need, but heard back, had an interview, and a tour of the office. I left knowing that it was wear I wanted to spend my placement year. 

The main reason I'd wanted to stay in Bournemouth for my placement year, rather than go home, was so that I could stick with my rowing, but I also loved the town (and still do!). Dorset Blind Association was a fifteen minute drive from where I was living, and a five minute drive to Bournemouth. 

When I started I met a great bunch of people, who I'd be working with for the next year. I was also working with two other interns, working on the marketing, which was nice. I also met lot's of lovely volunteers coming in and out of the office during the week, who are great. 

The events were fab, especially for an events management student looking for event experience. I found with companies and businesses, the events they were offering were so samey and not really what I was interested in, but with charity they offered lot's of different events, and I was even given the chance to come up with my own event ideas. How many people can say that happened on their placements, I wonder! 

I met a lot of the Dorset Blind Association members, who are blind or visually impaired, and they were all great. Losing my eyesit is literally the worst thing I can think of... imagine not being able to see pretty things, like the stars, or a beach, or your pet pooch! Even things like flicking through Instagram, things which don't seem like the end of the world, but I do constantly.  

The most rewarding part of my charity placement was the feeling after I'd completed my year. I raised a lot of money for charity (I won't be braggy and say how much), and was worked out at enough help support over 30 of our members for a whole year, which is the best feeling ever! This meant so much more than the experience I'd gained (which was also amazing!), especially after meeting the members I could be helping, and made all the unpaid, hard work so worth it!

I really recommend doing something for charity this Summer, even if it's something little. There's tons of chances around, and it really gives you a warm feeling in your tummy afterwards. And a lot of them are not just money based, a lot of them appreciate your time or something you can do for them. 

This post was just a little bit of a indulge for me, and to sum up my placement year. I thought I'd mentioned it a few times, but hadn't really spoken about it in detail, and something that's taken up so much of my time deserves a spot on the blog! 

Here's to the next adventure,

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