As part of my gap, I searched for some voluntary work alongside my work with Birmingham PHAB Camps.
I searched on websites to see if there were any suitable volunteering opportunities available in my preferred interests of creative writing or media.
Not as easy as it sounds…
After not succeeding in finding suitable volunteering opportunities on any job websites, I turned my attention to Linked-In. I had already got a Linked-In profile; I updated my CV and my profile with my newest experience and achievements to help my prospects.
I then conducted a new search using my new CV and new Linked-In profile in the hope I would be contacted.
The majority of the creative writing or media volunteering opportunities I searched for that were suitable and eye catching – were based in London and they needed the successful candidate to commute every day, which is difficult for me as I have limited access to transport.
This was irritating, as I would get very excited only to realise they were in London. Accepting these weren’t going to be a possibility, I narrowed my search to Birmingham.
My search was further complicated as the creative writing or media vacancies were requesting candidates with completed honors degrees which I couldn’t fulfill.
It took some considerable time, but eventually things finally started to work out. I spotted two volunteering opportunities advertised through the job website Do It, a Social Media Assistant and a Marketing Assistant.
After reading thoroughly into each role and what is required of the successful candidate I applied for both roles.
Shortly after applying to these positions I received an email from Sporting Recovery regarding Social Media Assistant position.
Sporting Recovery is an organisation, which is rehabilitating those with mental health issues, substance misuse and ex-offenders, back into their communities through diet, exercise and fitness.
The aim is motivational, adapting the exercise, diet and fitness to their individual needs to try and encourage people to make positive changes in their lives.
Viewing the website, I felt that I understood their concept and their aims as my disability can be a challenge in regards to diet and exercise, I felt I could have empathy with what they were aiming to do.
I began corresponding in emails; I was given an outline of the position and what was expected of me.
The organisation currently has an active twitter and Facebook page and they needed someone to update it regularly with tips and various other materials promoting the business.
The organisation set up an interview with me over the phone, recapping our discussions so far. They explained how they would send me resources on a regular basis and I was to post them on the website.
I reassured them that I’m very punctual, efficient and prompt in posting material online. I was told with my extent of experience, shown on my CV I would find the role easy to do. The organisation detailed the type of people they work with and some of their needs.
They were passionate about what the organisation represented. I reassured them that I understood their philosophy and that I had some understanding of those with mental health issues.
Towards the end of the interview, I explained that I live in Birmingham and wouldn’t be able to travel to their London base every day without great difficulty, they reassured me that this wouldn’t be a problem and I could work from home.
After further discussion they sent a contract to that I read and confirmed. I now have rights to their word press as well as their social media accounts, which I now update regularly with various tips and I hope to continue this when I go to university in September.