“I was visiting the One Manchester Housing Office when I mentioned to a member of staff that I was interested in volunteering. They recommended that I visit the East Hub Job Club, so I went straight away. Despite it being a day where the Job Club was closed, I was lucky that I was able to meet Katie, the Volunteer Coordinator. I explained that I was studying administration, which fit perfectly with a role that was available at the Job Club with an immediate start. By the next week, I was attending an induction and starting my new role as an Admin and Reception Volunteer.”
In the competitive world of employment, Sherica wanted to gain as much work experience as possible to stand out to potential employers;
“I didn’t want to graduate without any work experience, to prove to future employers that I had put my skills and knowledge into practice. I enjoyed working with the team and the customers at the East Hub, supporting them and getting to know the local people from the community I live in. I also used the One Future template to build my own CV and have since been commended on it as being one of the best that my manager has seen. I have now helped friends to write their CV’s too.
Being at the East Hub also allowed me to gain access to other organisations, which has now led me to part-time paid work. Farah, an employment adviser, encouraged me to go for a role offered at The Hideaway and I was taken on as a part-time Administration Assistant.
Not only is this providing me with an income while I study, but I have gained a huge breadth of experience, from managing the HR side, to being in charge of the website development.
Sherica believes that part-time and voluntary work can be the perfect option for people like her with other commitments;
“The flexibility fits around my study and means I am available for my children too. I am so grateful for being given the opportunity because I’ve gained confidence, experience and support and it has opened so many doors for me. Some friends questioned why I would give up my time to volunteer unpaid, but this just shows how it can make a difference and help you to progress. It is tough combining studying, being a full-time mum to three children, volunteering and now working part-time and it takes a lot of organisation.
In the long-term I intend to graduate university whilst working at The Hideaway and to start a Masters. My advice to anyone considering volunteering is it is definitely worth it but it is up to you to make the opportunity the best it can be. That means working hard, working well with others and having a can-do attitude. In return, the organisation becomes invested in helping you to progress. I always tell my kids – ‘don’t give up on a dream’. Things don’t come to you without hard work and discipline but if you keep working hard it will pay off. I want to ensure a secure future for my children and always set a good example to them, so they can follow in my footsteps.”
For more information on volunteering, please contact Katie McGill on 0161 227 1313 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
“The flexibility fits around my study and means I am available for my children too"