How volunteering has led to employment in a school
1 September 2022
Shafia, 23, became a Home-Start Better Start volunteer in 2019. Thanks to the range of skills that Shafia gained as a volunteer, she found that these were transferable to other roles and they helped give her the confidence to apply for her new job as a Teaching Assistant in a local Primary School. Here we follow Shafia’s journey from volunteering to employment.
Shafia’s Home-Start Better Start Volunteer Journey…
I was doing a Working with Children and Young People and Families undergraduate degree at Bradford University and decided that I wanted to do some volunteer work that would match my passion for children and families. I did some research and found volunteering roles with Home-Start Better Start and applied for the role.
While the degree taught me the theory behind working with children and families, becoming a Home-Start Bradford volunteer meant I could put what I was learning into practice.
As a volunteer, I received so much support and guidance from the Home-Start Bradford team.
Not long after I had completed the Volunteer Preparation Course, we went into lockdown, which meant that we could only support our allocated family over the phone. While lockdown was challenging, I found it made me more driven and I adapted how I supported in my role as a volunteer (via telephone) so that I could offer meaningful support to the family that I was speaking to weekly.
As a volunteer, I received so much support and guidance from the Home-Start Bradford District team especially Julie and Jane. If I needed any advice in addition to our six-weekly meetings, I always knew they would get back to me with what I needed and would support me in perfecting my techniques and knowledge.
With all of the ‘hands-on’ learning I have gained during my volunteering role, I had the confidence to apply for a teaching job.
Thanks to my volunteering experience, I have developed many new skills including good communication, excellent listening techniques, hands on experience of supporting young children and families, team working, understanding values, learning to adapt to different circumstances and much more.
Now that my undergraduate course has come to an end and with all of the ‘hands-on’ learning I have gained during my volunteering role, I had the confidence to apply for a job as a Teaching Assistant in a local school. When completing the job application form, I had so many transferable skills that I could evidence, and these really stood out in my application and interview.
I would fully recommend volunteering to help give you some real-life experience.
I am thrilled to say that I got the job and I can’t wait to start – I am so excited. Thanks to volunteering with Home-Start Bradford District, I will be tackling my new role with an holistic approach when working with the children by supporting their families too, and sharing and transferring my skills and knowledge with them.
I would fully recommend volunteering to help give you some real-life experience and to help you develop different skills that can help you apply and hopefully get employment in the future.
Home-Start Bradford District Volunteering Course
The next Volunteer Preparation Course will start on Wednesday 14 September 2022. Find out more here.
About Home-Start Better Start
Home-Start Better Start is a Better Start Bradford project delivered by Home-Start Bradford District. The project provides peer support, friendship and practical help to families with children aged under four and during pregnancy.
Families are matched with a volunteer peer supporter who will come into the family home to offer understanding, reassurance, a listening ear and an extra pair of hands to help families cope with everyday situations.
If you are a parent with a child under four, and are finding things tough at the moment, you can ask for free help by contacting the Home-Start Better Start team. Contact details can be found on our projects page.
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