Admin Support at Volunteer Centre Croydon
Finding the right volunteering role is sometimes a matter of trial and error. Genuine interest and passion for what you choose to do can make a volunteering opportunity the best way to become active in your community.
Phillip Davis, volunteering in our office as admin support since Sept. 2016, knows exactly how this feels. Three years ago, he started his volunteering experience by signing up for the Summer Reading Challenge and helping children make the most of their reading. “Initially started volunteering to update my skills, as I was and still am looking for work” says Phillip. The library is one of the places he frequently goes to, as he loves reading: “I always liked reading and I’m quite passionate about it” he says, so when he learned about the reading challenge he was more than happy to volunteer for it and help organising the project. “Interacting with children is always funny, they are honest and straight forward. I do enjoy being there with them, they put a smile on your face”.
He initially started looking for volunteering opportunities to improve his skills and get back into paid work. Training courses and workshops did help him update those skills but without the opportunity to put them in practice, these alone did not help him find the confidence to use them. “I did training courses before, plenty, but they are not very useful by themselves as I didn’t get to actually use those skills. For instance, the only IT skill I use more often is my email. I don’t need to use Excel or other software just for me.” Thus, it became clear he needed to volunteer in the field he wanted to find a job, so that he could increase his chances of finding a paid role by acquiring hands on experience in admin. “I started volunteering a few years ago with Croydon libraries, but had no information about the CVA until told by my job-seeking advisor.” He applied for the Admin Support role with the office in Centrale Shopping Centre and was accepted for the role shortly after. “Volunteering in the office [at Volunteer Centre Croydon] made me feel more comfortable with my computer skills, using the PC. I am now using different layouts and bits of software I wouldn’t have had the chance to use [otherwise]. Volunteering […] gave me the chance to practice what I already knew or learn new skills.”
After a year of giving his time for free to help at our Volunteer Centre office, Phillip “enjoys every bit of it”, continuing to assist the staff in keeping the database up to date, ensuring the brokerage service is completed as well as facilitating communication with our clients. “I know I must be making a difference to the organisation as well, but I guess it is hard to quantify it when referring to one person alone…” Phillip says. “I am aware that without a team of volunteers to help, all these tasks would have had to be completed by members of staff, so we do play an important part.”
Phillip has recently been awarded the “More than 100 hours volunteering” certificate for his 300 hours volunteering, together with the Value You discount card.
He currently volunteering for both Summer Reading Challenge and Volunteer Centre Croydon ever since: “With the CVA, re-learning office skills started primarily as a job-seeking endeavour but has become more enjoyable as time progressed. With the Summer Reading Challenge, interacting with the children is both enjoyable and constructive.”