Tuesday, 23 June 2015

Volunteering

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Volunteering


I'm an all or nothing kind of girl. I always want to give 110%, or if I can't, I feel like I haven't achieved anything. This is something which I've really struggled with at the moment. My health hasn't been that great, so all these 'big' plans I'd made for fundraising, or just generally opportunities, have had to be put to one side. I felt for awhile that I wasn't achieving anything with my voluntary work, as I can't do any of my big + crazy ideas. But, then I realised, that a little difference can go a long way. In fact, it doesn't matter how smaller task you do, you are making a difference. And, even if you haven't managed to do it, its the fact you tried to make a difference that counts. Whether you're skydiving for charity, or simply stopping to chat to someone about mental health, know that the smallest thing can make the biggest difference. I always strive for perfection, but I've come to realise that even if one day I simply talk to my volunteers about Project Parent, that has made a difference. And if everyone does something small, together, we can make something big.

Something wonderful is ending next month. Vinspired's 'Team V' programme. I know it's very cliche, but it honestly has changed my life. I started it 2 years ago as a shy, practically friendless leader. I was 'the girl in the wheelchair' and had little self-esteem. But I knew I wanted to make a difference. Throughout the year, I grew in confidence. I sang in front of people I didn't know, I made lifelong friendships and delivered campaigns which I felt strongly about. I enjoyed it so much that I applied to mentor for the next year, which I thankfully got. Unfortunately, this year I haven't managed to support my leaders as much as I wanted, due to health reasons, but the one residential I made it too I had the most amazing time. These guys are family. We all gathered to make a difference, and each doing our own campaigns meant that together we made a huge difference to different causes. Graduation this year is going to be a sad one, as I've grown so much through the programme. But, I know the friends I've met will be there for me for the rest of my life, so I'm hoping the Team V legacy will continue. A huge thanks to everyone from Team V, you guys are amazing.

Finally, I want to talk about how many opportunities I got through volunteering. Not only did I get to meet new people, campaign for what I believe in, making a difference, I also (somehow!) got a scholarship through my hard work. Through this I got funded to do my dance teaching qualification (which has been one of the best things I've ever done!), lessons + books, pottery classes and more. I never did any of this to expect for things back in return, but this was one of the nicest surprises.

So basically, go volunteer ;) Whether its an hour a month or 40 hours a week, it's the fact you are doing something to make a difference which counts. If you're struggling for opportunities, check out the vinspired website where you can gain certificates for volunteering. You can volunteer from your bed, like I did for much of my campaigns, or get out and work with the public. I've even managed to set up my own community interest group through my voluntary work, so the possibilities are endless.

Perfectionism isn't everything. Making a difference is.

Kate x

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