Flexible, inclusive volunteer roles are on the rise. Many charities and organisations run regulated schemes (some of which can be found here), encouraging volunteers to take on training and placements to gain experience whilst supporting their work. If no existing schemes spark your interest, approaching new contacts and offering your time and skills can be incredibly valuable for both parties. Tips and ideas for finding and establishing your own opportunities can also be found in this post.
Think about your employment goals, and how volunteering might tie in with them. If you hope to pursue digital marketing, consider whether there are any PR agencies who could use an intern. If you’re training to be an accountant, reach out to local practices and see if they run any outreach schemes. If you’re interested in advocacy or social change, approach campaigns and enquire if they’re looking for people to help champion their cause. Think about your ideal scenario, securing volunteering that will benefit you and enhance your employability, and then take some time reflecting on what you could offer them in return. When you’re ready, simply send them an outreach email expressing your interest, and outlining your skills and any necessary requirements, such as maximum time commitment or working remotely. And then we cross our fingers for a positive response!
Most importantly, never forget your worth: chronic illness or no chronic illness, every person has so much to offer. Giving your time and skills to a deserving cause not only enhances your own employability: it can be an incredibly fulfilling experience too. Think about what you as a person could offer to an initiative that resonates with you, and enjoy the knowledge that you’re genuinely making a difference along the way. Never forget that you are capable of incredible things.
(Article by Astriid, the charity looking to help people dealing with chronic illness find meaningful employment)