I can’t be a volunteer, I don’t have time’
As a young person there may be many reasons that you feel you can’t volunteer. We take a look at some of the main reasons people feel they can’t and try and break down the barriers that are blocking the way.
Perhaps you think that you’re not allowed because you’re too young, or there may be other things going on in your life that’s stopping you. We take a look at 5 reasons why someone might not want to volunteer and ways to overcome these barriers.
I don’t have enough time to volunteer
You’re in charge of how much time you can give to volunteering. Being a volunteer doesn’t mean you have to volunteer full time. You can choose to give an hour, a month, a day a week, a full fortnight or a summer. It’s totally up to you. You are more likely to stick to volunteering if you’re realistic about the time that you can give.
Remember to think about any other commitments that you have. School work, paid jobs, caring for family etc. Fit the volunteering around your life.
I don’t have any skills to offer, I’m too young
The great thing about volunteering is that it’s a fantastic way to gain skills to put on your CV. The fact that you don’t have any qualifications yet shouldn’t put you off volunteering; you can give them your time, which is very valuable.
There are lots of different volunteering opportunities, so you don’t have to be an expert at something to volunteer. It can be outdoors, in an office, in school, something sporty or offering friendship or help. The choice is limitless.
I won’t get anything out of it
Just because you won’t be getting paid for volunteering, doesn’t mean that you won’t get anything from it. The truth is that you will actually gain a lot from it. As well as gaining new skills and possible qualifications, you will get a sense of achievement, wellbeing and feel like you’re contributing to your community.
It might help you decide what you want to do in your life, and gain skills that are relevant to this. It can give you great experiences to put on your CV that may help with University or Job applications. You’ll be able to get references that will be extremely useful to you too.
By helping out in your community, you may be able to count your time towards the Community Challenge aspect of the Welsh Baccalaureate. Talk to your school or college to see if it counts.
Lots of people benefit from personal development by volunteering too. You can build up your confidence and self-esteem, make new friends, learn skills that you can use elsewhere, gain new experiences, and a sense of pride in helping other people.
There aren’t any volunteering opportunities around here
There are plenty of varied volunteering experiences out there; you just need to know where to look. The Volunteering Wales website is a great place to search opportunities in your local area.
If you’re not sure what you want to do and what’s out there, or if you want to choose something specific that will help you in your chosen career, then there are Youth Volunteering Advisers that can help you. They will help you choose a suitable volunteer role for you. Check out who your advisor is by getting in touch with your local volunteer centre here
I’ll lose money volunteering
This is not true. You can often claim back any reasonable expenses that you have. Volunteering should not leave you out of pocket.
Volunteering shouldn’t affect your benefits either, as long as you’re volunteering for a not-for-profit organisation and only claim expenses. If you’re claiming Jobseekers Allowance then you’ll still need to be actively looking for work, and be available for interviews at 48 hours notice. And if you’re claiming Carers Allowance then you can volunteer if you are still providing care for at least 35 hours a week.
You may not be getting a wage, but there’s so much more to be gained from volunteering.