We're highlighting the wonderful contributions that SPƵվ volunteer award winner Kelly has made to the SPƵվ and to her community. We chatted to Kelly's co-workers and nominators who praise Kelly's positive outlook, willingness to help and enthusiasm with new learners.

We have also shared some information about key skills that organisations are looking for in a volunteer and how you can start your volunteering journey with us.

 "Kelly has been a SPƵվ student for 10 years whilst raising her three children. Two of them have SEND. She has attended lots of SPƵվ courses to build up her own skills, confidence and attributes. Kelly has since progressed in her learning to successfully complete her advanced studies Level 3 qualifications in Beauty and Holistic therapies. All the while, Kelly has been the most proactive, practical and enthusiastic SPƵվ learning role model to so many SPƵվ groups of new students."

She confidently and tirelessly helps to raise the SPƵվ’s profile and what we have on offer

"She happily and eagerly offers to volunteer wherever the need is greatest across the city - within SPƵվ classrooms, at events, marketplace promotional meetings. She confidently and tirelessly helps to raise the SPƵվ’s profile and what we have on offer to potential new students, volunteers and new partners. Because Kelly has valuable life experience of supporting adults, families and her own children with SEND, Kelly has been a total asset at partnership events and discussions we’ve had within the community. Especially around best supporting adults who are deaf - Kelly can sign using BSL and Makaton. 

As a sole Education Coordinator covering a large city single handedly I rely on the help and support I receive, all offered by Kelly. She is often our eyes and ears; looking for opportunities for us to widen participation within various areas on the outskirts of the city center that are increasingly becoming more economically and financially deprived.  

Kelly has actively supported and helped SPƵվ to ensure all carers who attend our city centre drop-in sessions can have an opportunity to engage in tailor-made bespoke learning activities with their peers." 

Thank you Kelly!

Key skills for volunteering

Are you interested in helping out in your community? The role of a volunteer is rewarding and often extremely varied depending on which organisation or group you choose. It can range from having face-to-face conversations to office-based planning or even helping out at events. Whatever area you're interested in, we've found the 5 most desirable skills of a volunteer. 

Teamwork and leadership 

Having strong teamwork and management skills will make you a valuable asset to your organisation! It's great to be adaptable to different situations and be able to take on whatever position needs filling at the time. Plus, it's a skill that will benefit you in both work and life. If you want to grow your skills in this area, we can help. See our courses here.

Problem-solving

Being able to come up with solutions on the spot can be tricky, let alone in a high pressure situation. But, with time and a little practice, this is a skill that you can develop and one which will make you a stronger volunteer as a result. 

Perhaps a mindfulness class would help you to stay level-headed in stressful moments. Or maybe a problem-solving workshop would help. If that's the case, there are lots of online video sites and websites that you can explore.   

Organisation 

This volunteering skill will help you in all areas of your life! Being organised may not come naturally to you, but with a little work, it's a skill that can be learnt. It will also benefit you as a volunteer. For instance, you might be asked to arrange a delivery for an event, collate certain information or organise an upcoming event. When projects like this come up, it certainly helps to have strong organisation skills. 

Communication

There's good reason that many of us know the saying "communication is key". That's because it's true! Whether you're customer-facing or working with you team, its important to have clear communication channels.  This will ensure that nothing gets lost or misunderstood.

Time management

Yes, you've probably heard it before, but time management is a key skill. It's also one that will make you a vital member of any volunteering team. It's not just about showing up on time. It also involves getting tasks done promptly and being aware of how long a certain job might take you, meaning you don't take on more tasks than you can manage.

Are you interested in becoming a SPƵվ volunteer?

If you would like to volunteer with us, firstly, thank you! We have many volunteering opportunities suited for all skills and interests. For more information, click the button below for more details about volunteering roles near you and to join our network of volunteers today.

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About the author

Kay Field

Digital Marketing Officer

Kay is the Digital Marketing Officer at the SPƵվ.