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Rubens’ Blog: Increasing Confidence Through Volunteering

Published on: 22 Jan, 2022
Updated on: 27 Feb, 2022

Rubens King works for Surrey Choices as an employment support specialist, helping people find work experience, volunteering and paid work. He also writes giving advice on mental health issues to tackle stigma and make conversations about mental health normal. Here, he gives examples how motivated we are to engage with certain behaviours.

Rubens says: “Stay hungry, Stay You, Stay Fruity.”

What is confidence? Confidence could be defined as the ability to believe in something, for example, yourself and your decisions.

Confidence links to trust. Trusting a course of action. One avenue to build confidence is volunteering. Volunteering can create self-discovery, meaningfulness, heightened purpose and of course, character building!

Writer for The Guildford Dragon NEWS David Rose, works for Voluntary Action South West Surrey. Part of his role is giving advice and supporting people who wish to volunteer during their spare time. Sharing just one of many benefits of volunteering, he says: “It’s giving something back to your community and enjoying it at the same time.”

To capture what volunteering offers it could be relevant to share my own experience of volunteering during my final year of study – human resource management with psychology (2019-2020). For example, I worked with the business school, PM Promotions, the Salvation Army and Autism Hampshire.

I collaborated with the business school’s placement office as a placement mentor from October to March. I supported second year students to stay motivated when independently applying for placement opportunities.

I enjoyed the creative freedom associated with the role. This is something I dipped in and out. For example, I met once a month with my mentees.

I benefitted from this role by supporting others in the university community.

Two second year LLB law students I supported secured a placement year opportunity and a third secured a summer internship. Therefore, volunteering built my confidence in supporting others and guided me into an employment specialist profession.

I volunteered with PM promotions from September to March. I was an events assistant for the Sunday comedy nights at the Dolphin pub in Old Portsmouth. This was something I thoroughly enjoyed attending. They say laughter is the best medicine!

My role involved supporting the venue managers and company directors by welcoming acts, providing comedians with the tools needed to perform, and contributing towards a positive environment.

This unlocked conversations with people I may not have met otherwise. In other words, volunteering allowed personal growth that built my confidence and public speaking skills.

I was a home ‘befriender’with the Salvation Army in Portsmouth from December to March. I sourced this through a referral from the volunteer co-ordination team at an organisation called The Hive, located by Portsmouth’s public library in its Guildhall.

Volunteering allowed me to give back to the community and improve my humbleness and gratitude.

Embrace difference. Your ideas, your perspective, and your energy makes you special.

With Autism Hampshire, I was a serendipity group co-ordinator and process efficiency consultant from November to March.

For example, I co-facilitated a serendipity group for (but not limited to) people with autism spectrum disorder in the local area and streamlined volunteer recruitment across Hampshire.

I sourced this through sharing my interest to volunteer with the serendipity group co-ordinator. Volunteering with Autism Hampshire aligned to my values, enhanced my emotional intelligence, fulfilment and inspired me to try support work professionally.

Reasons to volunteer are not simply to build the CV, but also to increase confidence, connect with like-minded individuals, understand what energises you and consolidate professional interests.

Carpe diem – seize the day. (No one will seize the day for you).

There are plenty of volunteering opportunities listed on Voluntary Action South West Surrey’s website. Click here for details.

You can also make enquiries about volunteering by sending an email to volunteer@vasws.org.uk

Voluntary Action, with its office in Castle Street, Guildford, is a registered charity and is what’s known as a council for voluntary service (CVS) for the boroughs of Guildford and Waverley.

In fact, it offers a lot more services than just volunteering. These include giving advice to organisations who need volunteers – such as guidance, procedures, funding, charity status if needed and the best ways of supporting those who volunteer for them.

Click on the Sector Support and Projects tabs on its website for more details.

Rubens King has his own blog site Stay Fruity.

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