A wide range of volunteering opportunities come up across the year, including in our policy, housing services and advice teams. We support volunteers with a range of skills, experiences and backgrounds.
We get to know our volunteers before they start their placement with us, to help us work out - with them - what volunteering role might suit them best. Here's a brief insight into the journey of two of our volunteers.
Jacqui Johnston: online chat volunteer
After working in the catering industry for 14 years I decided it was time for a change.
With little or no experience in any other role I realised it wasn’t going to happen overnight, so I did quite a bit of research online and kept finding myself attracted to working for a charity.
I decided that volunteering was the best way to expand my knowledge and learn about individual organisations, so I approached Shelter Scotland and got signed up with the online chat team.
From the moment I started volunteering with Shelter I felt really welcomed and that my time appreciated. I was surprised at the extent of the training I was given and thoroughly enjoyed learning about housing law. I continued volunteering with Shelter Scotland alongside my full time job for over a year. At this time a Helpline Adviser position came up: I felt confident enough to apply and I got the job!
I've been in this position for five months now and I'm really enjoying it. I get so much job satisfaction from the part I play in helping clients keep their home, find a new home or improve the situation in their current home. Every day I expand my housing knowledge and I am certain this will continue throughout my time with Shelter Scotland.
Derek Millar: administration volunteer
I've been volunteering as an administration assistant with Foundations First in Paisley since May 2016.
I found out about the vacancy from the Volunteer Scotland website and applied for the post. After a short interview, I was accepted and started the Shelter online training which covered topics such as health and safety, data protection and Shelter procedures.
When I started in the office I shadowed Robert, the Service Manager, who showed me the procedures for new referrals coming in via email. I was then set the task of doing this myself which, to be honest, was terrifying but to my surprise I managed. As time went by I started doing more: taking minutes for team meetings, uploading client paper work to our database and using Excel to update the record of all clients and record Petty Cash data.
I really enjoy volunteering with the team at Foundations First, they are all very friendly and willing to help me and each other. My aim with volunteering is to get myself back into the workplace by using and improving the skills I have - and to get out the house and meet people.
I haven't worked for over 5 years and am often stuck at home alone. I also want to build up a reference for the time I'm ready to look for paid employment. By volunteering I feel that I'm supporting the team by taking on tasks from them, and allowing them to focus more on their clients.