Meet Jacqueline, our fantastic North office student volunteer
In support of Student Volunteering Week (20-26th Feb), Jacqueline, our North office student volunteer reflects on what drives her to volunteer and gives some insight into how she has been helping to support Bloodwise.
How long have you been volunteering for Bloodwise?
I have been volunteering since October 2016 for one day each week.
What inspired you to start volunteering for Bloodwise?
I felt that I wanted to do something worthwhile and to help other people and getting involved with a charity is a great way to do this. I have always been interested in health and medicine and have studied health sciences at University. I hoped that volunteering for Bloodwise would give me a strong sense of how cancer impacts on society and grant me the opportunity to apply my knowledge to the bigger picture. As well as this, I had been looking for a volunteering post that would allow me to learn skills and build my confidence of working with new people.
Can you tell us a little bit about what you have been working on?
On the whole, I have been helping to organise fundraising events and researching new fundraising opportunities. For example, at Christmas we held several Gift Wrap days at intuMetrocentre, Gateshead. They kindly agreed to host our stall for free and I contacted local and national gift wrap suppliers asking if they would be able to donate supplies that volunteers could use to wrap shopper's Christmas gifts in return for a donation to the charity. Lately I have been helping put together the York Balloon Walk event. Researching new fundraising opportunities is challenging yet rewarding when positive responses are returned and lead to new ventures or events, that's when I feel that I'm really contributing something.
What is your favourite thing about being a Bloodwise volunteer?
I like when I've read stories about supporters; how they've overcome their illness, speak so positively and passionately about life and raising funds for research. It's inspiring to hear about such motivated people.
What advice would you give to anyone wishing to start volunteering at their local charity office?
I would say don't be afraid to ask and just get stuck in. It's less about being the office hand than being part of a team of people all working together towards the same goal. You'll get opportunities to get involved with activities outside the office and meet supporters, other volunteers and charity staff. It's a rewarding way learn new skills too.