Sometimes it can be difficult to find fulfilling things to do with your time. Maybe you’ve just finished Uni and are finding it difficult to find employment, or maybe you need to start filling your CV with that all important experience that employers looks for, well there’s a lot out there, but like everything else, you just need to get out there and find it.
It can be difficult at times to find the right role when you have a Visual Impairment, but it can certainly be done. There are plenty of VI people out there who volunteer regularly either full time or as something on the side of employment because they enjoy their volunteering role just that much. You may even find that you only need support with learning a route or getting hold of adapted equipment. Or you may not even need that if you’re lucky!
I myself have been fortunate to have volunteered for lots of different organisations – from sight loss charities to sport organisations, from performance centers to libraries and I’ve definitely found that, it’s helped to define what I want to do in the future. I have a love of sports and the arts so those sectors were great to help support. For the library, even though I was lucky to work with some especially lovely people in my role, I didn’t enjoy it at all and knew that I didn’t want to spend my future 24/7 stuck behind a computer, in an office. I want that full on ‘human’ aspect. So that volunteering was still a positive as it helped to shape and develop my future choices.
Take a second to think about what you enjoy, or what environments you prefer – though if you don’t know this yet, that’s fine! Don’t worry. Volunteering is a great way to fill time, help find what you like and don’t, without the pressures of your employment role/contract.
Have a look around where you live, or where you can get to realistically. There are so many things around: local clubs, organisations, community groups, RNIB activities/groups, LOOK mentoring opportunities, museums, sport center’s, volunteering within Guide Dogs or their MyGuide programme – or even go online, as one example: go to sites like volunteercardiff.co.uk (there are sites like this that cover regions all across wales), or sometimes they post volunteering roles via Indeed or CharityJobs.co.uk.
So if you haven’t anything to do or if you’re anything like me, and you just can’t sit still for more than 2 seconds, why not find something to brighten your day? But don’t forget, at the end of the day, it’s your time you’re giving up to help support others. So give the time and effort that you can, but ensure you’re not impacting yourself negatively. Ensure you’re not spending too much money on transport or you’re having to get up at silly o’clock. Perhaps have a conversation with your potential organisation and be realistic about what you can do and what you can’t do. AND GO HAVE FUN! Volunteering not only gives you a great feeling of accomplishment and the sense of helping others, but the fun you can have with other volunteers, who more than likely will have similar mind-sets as you, makes a great atmosphere.
You get to learn, develop and have fun. So why not?!
Get up, Get active, Get volunteering.
By Megan Price