Meet Johanna Ardern, vaccine hub volunteer

Johanna Ardern’s participation in the Parent Employment Wellbeing Project led to her volunteering at the central Reading vaccine hub. Here she reflects on what volunteering means to her.

I contacted Anna at RVA when I read an email offering help and advice to parents who wanted to return to work. She has been fantastic! She has supported me and given me invaluable advice including helping me find volunteer work, courses, making a CV (which she did with me during a Zoom call) and numerous links to resources for myself and my family.

Completing IT, Nutrition and Safeguarding courses has really boosted my confidence which was fairly low after spending 15 year out of paid unemployment. But the volunteer work has been the most rewarding part of the process so far. Meeting new people and learning new skills – but also realising how many skills I already had – has shown me that I have true potential to find a job which I will enjoy.

Being able to help my local community, especially during the current pandemic has been such a positive experience. Helping at a Covid-19 vaccine hub has opened my eyes to what people are doing every day to help others and also how each person can make a huge difference to so many others.

Volunteer work is certainly a good way to find out about different career sectors and an ideal tool to sample various roles to see whether they are for you.