I have been volunteering for Scope since January 2018.
I chose this charity because one of my best friends is disabled, and it was frustrating to see how many obstacles he was facing on a daily basis, especially the extra costs with transportation (he sometimes commutes to work by taxi because not all train stations have step free access).
I always wanted to do some charity work but, for one reason or the other, I never got to do it. After reading an ad, I immediately decided to apply, thinking that this could be a really good opportunity to work in the charity sector, meet new people and get out of my comfort zone. I have been working in a tattoo shop for many years, which is very different; the team there is small and you're interacting face to face with customers all day long. It is a very messy and noisy studio. Definitely two worlds apart!
Joining Team Scope
By joining Scope, I hoped to gain an insight into how a charity is run. To be honest, I had no idea how big the charity was, but I was already familiar with some of the Scope shops around London. I have enjoyed a few trips to the shop in Camden, and I used to visit the Liverpool one during my many adventures up north.
As for my first impressions of the office, I remember being met by super friendly people, who made me feel really at ease, especially as it was the first time I had set foot in an office! I have been volunteering with the retail team ever since, doing a variety of tasks, from mailing to data entry, scanning things, running surveys, post and packing, making phone calls. No day is the same and there is always something to keep you busy. Most of all, I have enjoyed meeting other volunteers, some of whom have become really good friends.
I was impressed by how many different teams work together to make Scope the efficient organisation it is. Through my volunteering experience, I have now learnt how to work as part of a bigger team, interacting with people from different backgrounds, which is always a bonus, especially because I’m a shy person! It has also given me the confidence to approach problems from different perspectives and to find solutions to different problems. I also value my colleagues’ feedback - I think it is important to listen to what other people say about your work as there is always room for improvement.
Looking to the future
After sixteen months as a volunteer, a position as Retail Operations Administrator came up so, encouraged by my managers, I decided to apply for it. It is with great joy that I can say I got the job, and the support from my colleagues has been amazing. I’m looking forward to starting this new chapter and the challenges it will bring.
Volunteering for Scope is definitely an experience I would recommend to anyone, as it’s rewarding, you get to work with lovely, talented and passionate people, and it’s a great addition to your CV. As for the future, this Autumn I am going to start my part-time BA in History of Art at Birkbeck, University of London.
It’s going to be a big challenge, especially because I’m going back to studying after 12 long years! I will be working during the day and studying in the evenings, so wish me luck.