Adam Selcon recently became the latest person to complete an RVA Youth project. Taking on his placement here at RVA, Adam completed a number of tasks to help promote volunteering in Reading. As part of the project Adam wrote a blog entry about his experience.
When I arrived in the RVA office for my first day I was very excited about the week ahead. Whilst I was there to learn more about working life, I was keen to gain an insight into the world of charity and volunteering – which I was definitely able to do. I was also determined to contribute to RVA, and Steve Hendry, who organised and oversaw the week for me, gave me plenty of opportunity to do this.
On my first day with RVA I was fortunate enough to attend a 103re birthday party (along with Steve), provided by an Age UK Reading lunch club. It was great to be part of such a lovely celebration, and I thoroughly enjoyed the chance to talk to some of the older people there. We were there on business, however, and we conducted a volunteer interview of Gabriele, a volunteer at the Age UK lunch club, to find out what he does and why he loves volunteering.
On Tuesday I finished off the write-up from Monday’s interview, and helped Steve prepare for a briefing in the evening. This involved tasks like making a guest list and creating handouts for the briefing, and it is worth noting that I displayed some fine guillotining skills. I then helped out with the briefing, checking who had arrived, and then I sat in on it, and this showed me some of the work that RVA do to not only find volunteering opportunities, but also to mobilise and co-ordinate the volunteers.
Wednesday provided the chance to meet with Sam Ward of PACT, to go through the volunteering opportunities that RVA promote for PACT and to see if any changes needed to be made. I was then tasked with finding out more about the Alana House service that PACT provides, and writing an article to promote their work.
On Thursday I began by writing up some more volunteering stories, to provide an insight into many different types of volunteering, found on the Volunteering Stories page. Steve and I then met with Christina Dearlove from My Umbrella, a Reading-based LGBT charity, to discuss the services that RVA could provide for them. This made me realise that the services provided by RVA go well beyond volunteering – RVA offer support, networking and training (amongst other services) for local charities.
Dee Road Fire Station was my home for Friday, where RVA’s summer Interns Iram and Nikki (check out their blog here) and I attended a community event in order to encourage more people to volunteer through RVA. It was great to be able to talk to such a diverse group of people and hopefully we were able to persuade a few to check out RVA! We then attended a local youth group in order to complete some surveys with the young people there, where I got drawn into a few games of table tennis!
Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed my week with RVA. It definitely improved my journalism skills, and it was great to see the way that Steve and his fellow staff work with local charities and volunteers. They are a very welcoming bunch, and I would encourage every young person out there to take a look at what RVA has to offer. You will gain skills, have great experiences and you will get to change the world – even if it’s just in a small way.
Inspired? Take a look at www.rvayouth.org.uk and take a look at how you can get involvoed!