YOU are the barrier!

Learning about the ways charities work and how influential approaches are when it comes to volunteer recruitment, I’ve come to realise the true barrier in volunteering is…

THE VOLUNTEER!

When you think about volunteer recruitment and the way charities try to engage prospective volunteers to their opportunities, when it’s not successful, we point the finger at the charity, but actually the volunteer has control of their journey.

A volunteer doesn’t need to agree to volunteer with a charity, just because they clicked ‘apply’ or they heard there was an opportunity from either a friend, a career group or the job centre. It doesn’t matter where they look or where they’ve heard about it, as the important part is a volunteer KNOWING what they want!

Since launching JRTV100 in January, 10 charities have come on board (once I leave my current roles, expect a few blog posts about my experiences) and yet, I’ve turned down 50 others potential opportunities.

I’ve turned them down, as despite my project being focused on raising awareness and being the middle person for charities and prospective volunteers, I still want to be happy in the role. I still want to learn, even if the outcome is a blog post.

The barrier in what I’m doing is my WANTS AND NEEDS. The BARRIER is WHAT I WANT TO GET OUT OF THE EXPERIENCE!

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I don’t need to sing from the hymn books, as I know what I want. I know what I want the end goal to be, but some people don’t. I can try to motivate more people to get involved in volunteering, but if they don’t want to, there’s no point. If they do want to get involved however, what’s stopping them?

  • Time?
  • A lack of understanding for what they want?
  • Unsure of the passions they have and how to use them?
  • Maybe just like my family, someone told them volunteering is a waste of time?

The only barrier in volunteering is ourselves and we’re just making excuses to why we can’t do what we want to do. Life is not about what we can’t do, it’s about how do we do it. How do we get involved in volunteering? How do we free the time to do what we want to do?

Volunteering with so many charities, and obviously promoting them through John’s Road to Volunteering, the only barrier I’ve faced in volunteering and in blogging is myself. I never realised this until I actually volunteered.

When you meet a charity, if you know they’re not for you, that’s fine, but nothing is stopping you from applying for another one, but yourself! Nothing is stopping you from asking for flexibility in the role, and maybe something will happen? Maybe something will happen when we break down the barriers, and see the light? The light that’s shining on our futures, and the futures we so desire. The desire to want to volunteer is enough to create a life-changing experience, but without putting yourself forward, clicking apply, and even meeting the charities for an informal chat, how do you know what’s right and not right for you?

I’m delivering a talk on my own personal journey on Tuesday 6th June at the Ronald McDonald House Charity in Southampton, and if you’re in the area or know someone who is and you want to listen to someone who has been there and done it, and isn’t afraid to hide from the truth, come along.

More details about my talk can be found via this link.

Expect a lot more volunteering related posts over the next few weeks and the ways I figure out if a volunteering role is for me.

 

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