When Kelly graduated university, she began volunteering within our Research Team as a Project Support Volunteer. After five months of hard work and getting stuck into community projects, Kelly was able to become a paid member of the team.

What made you decide to volunteer for the CAWS?

I decided to volunteer with Citizens Advice in West Sussex as I was keen to develop my skills and be a part of the important projects happening within the organisation. I had recently graduated and wanted to take the opportunity to contribute to real-life projects within a supportive team.

Tell us about your volunteering role at the charity?

I spent the first three months assisting with the ‘Exploring the disparity of Covid-19 with the Crawley BAME Community’ project. For this role, I was responsible for sourcing an array of secondary data to evidence in the report and analysing the semi-structured interviews to find themes.

What did you enjoy the most about your role?

I enjoyed being able to use my skills, work in my area of interest, and contributing to real projects that were making a difference to policy and community action.

What was the most valuable part of your volunteering experience?

For me, the most valuable part was seeing real positive social change for the local community that was informed by this work.

How did your volunteering role help you in becoming a member of staff? Did you learn any specific skills?

As a Project Support Volunteer, I was able to grow my confidence through team and project work. This was really useful to take over to my paid role, as I felt much more confident to share my ideas and communicate with the local community on what really matters to them.

What would you say to someone considering volunteering for CAWS?

I would say to anyone considering volunteering for CAWS to go for it. There are so many opportunities to make a real difference and be a real driving force for positive social change. The team at CAWS are really supportive and are keen for volunteers to use their strengths and interests within their work. It is a great feeling and really rewarding to be involved in important work that makes a difference and contributes to social change.

If you’re interested in volunteering, click here

Kelly, Universal Best Practice and Engagement Officer