OPP OF THE DAY – Trustee Vacancy, Trailblazers Mentoring Ltd.

We are looking to move the work of Trailblazers further forward by expanding. In order to achieveTrailblazers this growth, we are seeking two or three new volunteer trustees to join our dynamic board. We are particularly interested to hear from current or retired business leaders with financial, HR or communications backgrounds. Knowledge of the Criminal Justice System required.

Skills:
Knowledge of Criminal Justice System
Financial, HR or media experience.

FOR MORE INFO OR TO APPLY please contact:

Sarah Brampton
Administrator
Tel: 01296 444105
Email: sarah.brampton@trailblazersmentoring.org.uk (please send a cover letter and CV)
Website: www.trailblazersmentoring.org.uk

The Perks of Volunteering. Part 7

Hello all. I’ve had a bit of a break as once again the pressures of society and their rules have prompted a ‘glitch in the matrix’. It’s the second meltdown I’ve had of late, and the second time I’ve sat and cried this year. I am mainly here to tell you how fabulous volunteering is, and I’m hoping that you’ve picked up on my love for it through my posts. As you know I’m writing about my experiences from doing volunteer work and what there is to gain out of it, I’ve told you about a bad experience I’ve had doing one volunteer role, but what I haven’t really touched upon are the feelings and doubts that you get when you are job seeking and fail to get employers to recognise your abundance of skills, as volunteering brings no qualifications or certificates to impress employers.

I was going to continue on my volunteer journey, but I feel that I have to say what’s in my head and heart about this subject. My post today is not to detract from the benefits of volunteering, but to highlight what other people may have experienced, or are going through. These are simply my thoughts, and I’m hoping that somebody somewhere can relate to them, and if they do, that’s great, it’s not always a smooth road in life, and I’m trying to be patient and figure out what I’m meant to be doing, and this is where I am struggling.

I’ve learnt numerous skills since last July, many of which I’ve not touched upon yet. I’ve gone full circle from having no confidence to having a lot, but I now find I’m back at the start and thinking the same things that I did last year.

I am an unemployed jobseeker and I have been for over 18 months, my youngest is 7 and so I turned to volunteering not only for the skills that I could gain, and for what I could give to the community, but also for the flexibility of it all, I can chose my hours to fit in with me and my family. I have no brothers or sisters and both my parents are retired and have always said that they’d not look after my children whilst I was at work, a harsh statement to some, but a matter of responsibility for me. They are my children to look after, I chose to have them all, so it’s my duty to make sure they are looked after. Being single also adds to the problem, so the world of volunteering has proved very beneficial to me for many reasons. My CV has also been enhanced, I have no gaps to justify, I am using my time wisely, and although I cannot record all my volunteering achievements, I’ve learnt to ‘bullet point’ the best ones. Recently I have started doing different tasks in my volunteer work, and it’s been really interesting, I’m now helping to start promote people and will be setting up a Twitter page for one charity to help promote them further, and I’m also helping to recruit new volunteers, I guess I could add ‘social media wizz’ to my CV also. It’s really rewarding to learn new things, and to have people tell you that you are good at certain tasks, but with this boost also comes a reality check.

I’M STILL NOT QUALIFIED ON PAPER

My work provider bought this home to me this week when she said ‘But your volunteer work isn’t getting you anywhere is it!’

It was kick in the teeth for me, I already feel fragile enough when I enter the building, a statistic to them, a number in the system. Trouble is, half of me allows me to believe it, and the other half still waits patiently for the world to do it’s work and for me to meet that right person, at the right time, at the right place, but will I ? My confidence on finding a job is dwindling fast, my self esteem is fading, and to be honest I’m struggling on many levels with it. I will admit that I’ve not applied for enough jobs because I know that I’m not qualified, I don’t have those pieces of paper and certificates to prove that I am capable, all I have is my knowledge and personality and enthusiasm, that’s all very well in the world of volunteering, but it means nothing when attempting to fill in a job application.

I find myself stuck and back to where I was originally, an unemployed single mother with no qualifications to do the jobs that I’d most like to do. It’s a hard hitting sentence isn’t it, a sentence I’ve tried to ignore for a while now, but it keeps nudging me more and more, a sign perhaps that I should stop aiming so high at what I want to do and use my skills where I know that I’d find a job easier……. but isn’t that just giving in… isn’t that just letting the government and system control me…. isn’t that totally against everything I believe in..YES IT IS,  so what do I do.?

I’ve applied to become a volunteer for Public Health.

A decision made out of being inspired by one of their courses, a last ditch attempt at proving that volunteering can lead to employment, and having the chance to help even more people on a wider scale, and because I’m becoming more and more worried about being rejected for jobs again. I love my volunteer work, I like the various things that I do, it’s a mixture of everything that I’d like to do in a paid job, but it’s time to face the reality that it isn’t a paid job, and am I just hiding behind it all, have I gone that much full circle and are using volunteering as my safety net. My spiritual hippy side of me says ‘keep volunteering, keep giving, keep sharing the love’. But my other side says, ‘you’re not getting any results, you are unemployed, you have to find work, stop being so picky and take any job’.

Truth is, I don’t know anymore apart from the fact that I’m not qualified on paper to apply for the jobs that I really want to do, and that I’m being pressured and made to feel useless by the system..

Maybe I’ve reached the point were I have to say Volunteering VS Reality.

Thank you for your time, and I hope that this post made sense to you all.

Kind regards.

OPPS of the day – Fundraising for Midlands Air Ambulance

Do you live in Solihull, Birmingham or Lichfield and want to support a Midlands Charity which saves lives? If so, we are delighted to promote some fundraising events which need YOUR help!  Please visit our What’s On calendar to check what’s happening and where.

Why not give a day of your time and help support a life-saving charity locally?

OPP OF THE DAY: Gardening Volunteers, Wordsley Housing Society

Do you enjoy gardening? If so we would love to hear from you as we are keen to recruit someWordsley Housing Society volunteers to help our residents enjoy gardening. You would be helping them grow vegetables and we also have a conservatory area, where plants could be cultivated.

COMMITMENT:
Ideally we would like volunteers to be able to come along on a regular basis, perhaps once a week.

EX-OFFENDERS:
Each volunteer would be considered on their individual merits.

SKILLS:
– A person of integrity is required
– Skilled in working as part of a team
– -Listens well and speaks briefly whilst being able to speak his/her mind
– Makes a commitment of his/her time
– Communicates effectively

FOR MORE INFO OR TO APPLY please contact:

Karen Barr
Manager
Tel: 01384 480770
Email: karenbarr@wordsleyhousing.co.uk
Website: www.wordsleyhousing.co.uk

OPP OF THE DAY: Social Inclusion/Befriending Volunteers, Wordsley Housing Society

Are you sociable and friendly? Do you enjoy chatting to people? If so, we would love to hear from Wordsley Housing Societyyou as we are looking for volunteers to befriend our residents.

Initially we would suggest you pop in once a week for a chat so you can get to know your resident. Once the relationship has developed you could take the client out for a few hours to try something new. This could be a visit to the pub for a drink and a chat, going swimming or for a walk up the canal, or maybe popping to Merry Hill for a look round the shops together.

If you are a car driver, perhaps you could take your new friend out for a drive to a nearby garden centre for a look around, or some other place of interest.

If you think you could commit to a regular visit once a week, please get in touch.

COMMITMENT:
Ideally we would like volunteers to be able to come along on a regular basis, perhaps once a week.

EX-OFFENDERS:
Each volunteer would be considered on their individual merits.

SKILLS:
– A person of integrity is required
– Skilled in working as part of a team
– -Listens well and speaks briefly whilst being able to speak his/her mind
– Makes a commitment of his/her time
– Communicates effectively

FOR MORE INFO OR TO APPLY please contact:

Karen Barr
Manager
Tel: 01384 480770
Email: karenbarr@wordsleyhousing.co.uk
Website: www.wordsleyhousing.co.uk

Dieting, Models and Volunteering?

Eileen:

I think I need to post a picture of me too Meridien! Great blog post as always :)

Originally posted on volunteerplaintalk:

happyI’ve dieted. And sure, I’ve sat there, chocolate cupcake in hand watching a commercial where the svelte people tout how much weight they’ve lost on the low carb or cabbage soup or just buy this little pink pill diet. Heck, I’ve admired the ones who look so freakishly happy because they finally got the weight off. Wow, look at them. That could be me.
So. why wasn’t it me? What insidious reason came between me and my easily obtainable goal of looking like Tyra Banks strutting down the runway in a Paris trunk show? (I won’t mention that a. I’m ridiculously too old, b. I’m seriously too short and c. I inherited my mother’s plough pulling non-dainty build.)
Why don’t I want to be one of the twirling, hair tossing, always smiling model thin people? Because I’m not them. That’s not me. Sure, I want to be healthy and I’m…

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