Just over a year ago, having recently embarked on freelance working which gave me more flexibility than in the past, I decided the moment had come to fulfil the long-held ambition of taking on some voluntary work.
I did a search on the excellent do-it.org.uk website and an ad for West London Action for Children leapt off the page. So I sent an email indicating my interest, met for a chat the following week – and two weeks later we had agreed that I would come in one morning a week to help in the office. As easy as that!
In those early days, I did whatever jobs were needed in the office – photocopying, typing up information into spreadsheets, addressing envelopes and filing. Little by little, Heather started roping me in to work more closely with her on fund-raising efforts and now I regularly research new sources of funding and fill in applications for grants. I’m looking forward so much to that moment when I hear for the first time that an application I have written has been successful and the cheque lands on the desk!
As well as the satisfaction of helping in this way, I really enjoy and look forward to my weekly visits. The staff here are so welcoming and the great work they do day in, day out is really inspiring; they quickly made me feel part of the West London Action for Children family. They are also very flexible and keen that it doesn’t become a burden in any way – some weeks I can’t come at my usual time, but it’s often possible to swap hours or do a bit of work from home instead.
Taking up the voluntary work at West London Action for Children was one of my best decisions last year, and I look forward to a long and hopefully fruitful relationship going forward.
There’s always room for more, in a variety of roles – to anyone reading this whose interest is piqued, I’d definitely say “go for it!”