First up is Bob, an individual who has been volunteering with us for many years and whose hard work has made him a very worthy winner of a SPƵվ volunteers award! We've spoken to a number of his co-workers to understand the difference Bob makes and the skills and experience he’s brought to help our learners too.

Plus, we're also sharing some insights on how you can begin your volunteering journey and the desirable skills of a volunteer that individuals and organisations look for. 

"Bob has been volunteering with us for many years now. As a retired teacher he is offering his years of experience, knowledge and skills to support hundreds of SPƵվ learners. He has supported in ESOL classes, and Level 2 support work in schools and colleges, helping countless learners in 1:1 support and whole class activities.   

He has shown exceptional punctuality, professionalism and enthusiasm. He is kind and encouraging with all the learners he has supported, building their self-esteem and confidence.  He is enthusiastic about designing interesting and creative activities. All of this enriches the experience of learning English significantly for those with whom he works and makes their learning fun and enjoyable. 

Often our learners have trouble getting to class because of transport issues, but Bob supported learners many times to access free transport to class. He has a kind, fun, warm and encouraging personality."

He is very understanding towards students' needs and learning styles, adapting their approach accordingly. 

"He consistently shows empathy and understanding towards students' needs and learning styles, putting into practice his long-standing experience as a teacher. His passion for reaching disadvantaged communities, and for providing high-quality education to all, really comes through in his whole approach to volunteering. He goes above and beyond to elevate the whole learning experience.  

His commitment is outstanding and his positive, kind attitude is uplifting. He is not one to seek attention or praise but shows up week-in-week out to do the work that he feels is necessary. We are very lucky to have him and appreciate his hard work and commitment to the learners!"

Thank you Bob!

Are you interested in volunteering for a charity?

If you're interested in volunteering for a charity, it couldn't be easier. We have a whole range of volunteering opportunities near you, suited for all skills and interests. For more information, click the button below for more details and to join our network of volunteers today. 

Desired skills for volunteering

Volunteering roles come in all shapes and sizes. Some involve face-to-face conversations with people in your community, others are more involved in office-based organisation and planning. We've had a search and found that there are a whole range of desired skill- take a look below .  

Teamwork and leadership 

Being a great member of a team and being able to take on certain management processes will make you a valuable volunteer! Being adaptable to different situations and needs is helpful to all organisations and will benefit you in both work and life. If you’re interested in growing your skills in this area, explore our courses here. 

Problem-solving

Thinking on the spot can be tricky, especially in a stressful situation. However, with practice and time, it's a skill that you can develop and one which will make you a stronger volunteer as a result.  

Maybe you would benefit from a few minutes of mindfulness to help you remain level-headed in high pressure situations. Or perhaps an online class in problem-solving will help. There are many online video sites and websites worth exploring for this.    

Organisation 

Strong organisation and planning skills will benefit you in all areas of your life. It will also be beneficial for you in your volunteering role. You may be asked to help plan an upcoming event, gather information from individuals or sort out orders for a certain location. In all these instances, it pays to be on top of things.  

Communication

There's a reason that "communication is key" has become such a well-known saying. It's true! Having strong communication skills will assist you lots of roles, especially where you might be customer-facing It is just as important for there to be clear and open communication channels within your team too. 

Time management

It may be an obvious one, but having strong time management will make you a key member of any volunteering team. What does time management involve? It's so much more than showing up on time. It's getting things done promptly and having awareness of how long certain tasks take that you can then communicate back to your colleagues. It also means you don't take on more tasks than you can manage. 

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About the author

Kay Field

Digital Marketing Officer

Kay is the Digital Marketing Officer at the SPƵվ.