Volunteering to Vocation: James’ Story 

There has always been a connection between volunteering and paid work and never has that been clearer than when considering individual volunteer stories. As the Royal Voluntary Services asserts, More than a third (34%) of volunteers in the study aged 16-19, 22% in their twenties and 10% in their thirties report that volunteering helped them get their first job. In this way, volunteering acts as a bridge to paid employment, not only providing support to charitable organisations but also enabling individuals to empower themselves to push on in their careers. Here at CVS, we have been lucky enough to witness this first-hand: this is James’s story.  

Since November 2023, James has provided invaluable support as a volunteer for our organisation. From desk research to data management to assisting the comms teams, he has shown incredible dedication and strength. With a wonderful sense of humour and a dynamic approach to his role, he has been an amazing volunteer; it is no wonder he has secured paid employment. Often, the view on volunteering is rather reductive. Either it is a one-off stint – litter-picking or fundraising - or an activity associated with retirees. Yet, volunteering is so much more and James is testament to that.  

Through supporting numerous colleagues and building his skills, James moved from being a fledging volunteer to supporting other volunteers. He also sought to increase his hours, gaining confidence to such a degree that he feels volunteering has played a huge role in preparing him for paid work. “The whole team were extremely welcoming, friendly and supportive,” says James.  

He continues, “the volunteering has helped me to pick up my confidence and find my voice again.” To know that James has such a positive experience is wonderful to hear. Like us, he would recommend volunteering to anyone who is looking to enhance their skills and meet new people. After all, you never know what you might discover about yourself.  

Now more than ever, it is crucial that the voluntary sector is regarded as a platform to help individuals as well as communities, boosting their confidence and helping them thrive. 

If you’d like to start your volunteering journey, you can visit the CVS Volunteering Hub here

Disclaimer: CVS Cheshire East cannot make any guarantees about news, events and training that have been submitted from external sources