Volunteering brings with it a wide-range of benefits such as increased self-confidence, the learning and development of skills, and the opportunity to meet new people. It can open up a whole host of opportunities as our previous volunteer Vicky found. Now employed with SASH, Vicky has kindly agreed to share her experience of volunteering with us and how it helped her to gain employment.
What was your volunteering role and what is your current job in the NHS?
So I used to help Joy (SASH volunteering manager) out in the volunteers department so filing and sorting out new volunteers, trying to work out who was still volunteering, that sort of thing. I’m now an administrator, assisting the surgical governance team which includes helping with reports, complaints, etc.
Do you enjoy it?
Yes, yes. It never seems to be the same thing twice or the same thing each week.
So what made you initially decide to volunteer with SASH?
I’d done a lot of volunteering and I don’t live too far from the hospital so it was a good fit. I also wanted to give back to the NHS.
So tell me a little more about the process of transferring from a volunteering role to an employment role?
So I decided to go onto bank for temporary work staff and because I’d done the volunteering here it helped because people knew me here and then I could get a reference to get onto the bank staff. I had been volunteering in the department that I work at now which really helped me get this role.
So did the volunteering team help you apply/give you advice?
Yes, Joy got forms for me and I was able to get a reference from her so it all really helped towards it.
So how did your volunteer work prepare you for your current role?
It helped me get to know the system and because I had been volunteering in the same department with the same sort of admin roles, volunteering led really nicely into my job and allowed me to build on top of the skills I had learnt.
How has your overall experience been with SASH?
It’s been very positive, everyone’s really friendly here it’s a lovely team. Yes, it’s been a very positive experience.
And finally, what advice would you give to anyone thinking about volunteering? Particularly those who are looking to get into work?
Especially for those trying to get into work I know that trying to build references to get towards a job is important and volunteering can help you with that. So if you start volunteering, it firstly helps you get to know whether you like it here or not. That always helps. Then if you volunteer you can get to know all the different places you could work in the hospital.