Thinking about volunteering?

Although I am officially on maternity leave I am still continuing with my role as a volunteer mentor for male offenders, who have served relatively short sentences, upon release from HMP. Luckily as a volunteer I can be rather flexible with when I finish and start back up again after baby’s arrival. Of course working with, often very vulnerable, individuals I wouldn’t just go missing in action for a while when they needed support the most so I am working alongside another mentor who will take over whilst I am away.

I am actually busy all day today with a prison visit and then the organisation of a group get together but whilst having breakfast I have been reflecting on how much I will miss being a volunteer while I have a break for my baby. Of course this is by no means the end of me volunteering and as soon as I feel happy to do so I will be back.

[“Volunteers do not necessarily have the time; they just have the heart.”] – Elizabeth Andrew

Throughout the course of my degree I have been involved in a range of voluntary positions, all of which I have loved! I know that they have all been of huge benefit to me and I have loved being able to get stuck in to something I am really passionate about. Of course I love studying, reading books and learning but nothing beats getting to do something I hope to spend the rest of my life involved in. I know at some point it will come but up until now, over the four years of volunteering I have done I haven’t had a single day where I had arranged to go in and didn’t want to, or couldn’t wait for the day to be over. If anything I would love to do even more but I am aware that it’s important to not let my degree slip as I am hoping the combination of my degree along with the practical experience I have gained will stand me in good stead to progress in my career.

[“Volunteering is the ultimate exercise in democracy. You vote in elections once a year, but when you volunteer, you vote everyday about the kind of community you want to live in.”] – Anonymous

I just wanted to share my thoughts on what it is like to be a volunteer and I honestly couldn’t recommended it enough – for so many reasons! I would love to hear from other people who are volunteers or who are thinking about gaining some voluntary experience!

[“A moment of self – compassion can change your entire day. A string of such moments can change the course of your life”] – Christopher Germer


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