Michael: a volunteer's story

Why do you volunteer?

I began volunteering as part of my Master-studies Sustainability and Management at Royal Holloway University of London. Within the programme I conduct a project in which students work with non-profit organisations in order to actively engage with an issue of sustainability in practice as well as better understand operation, logistical and strategic challenges.

What are your tasks?

I currently hold two roles. As Friday Club Assistant I engage with young people with Learning Difficulties and Disabilities (LDD) and Autism aged 11 to 16 twice a month and help to ensure that they have a good time at Reading Mencap. I get involved in different activities such as games, arts and crafts, help to set up the premises and prepare refreshments. As Information Office Assistant I provide general assistance and administration support to the Reading Mencap Information Officer. This includes the production of newsletters, posters and flyers, updating the website as well as marketing activities on Facebook and Twitter and much more.


What are your personal benefits of volunteering?

Working with people with LDD and Autism has enriched my personal profile and enhanced my capabilities. I have gained confidence and empathy and enjoy to be an active part of the community I live in. Volunteering offers an ideal opportunity to shape the society in a way I believe it should be like. Also, developing qualities in the interaction with different types of people will certainly contribute to my career perspectives as potential employers increasingly expect distinctive social skills. I have decided to carry on volunteering at Reading Mencap after completing the project work as I very much enjoy the work with the team and the youngsters.