There was a point in my life when I needed some help. I had left education and didn’t know what came next for me – become a teacher? Study a PhD? Travel? I thought about what I wanted to do and who I wanted to be so often that it left me feeling anxious and sad.
I tried a different way of thinking. I looked for charities and organisations that needed writers on a volunteer basis. This did a few things; it meant my work was genuinely needed and was going to help, plus I could work for causes that I really respect and support. It also gave me experience writing at a professional level (and some pretty great references for my CV) while allowing me to “try on” different roles to see which ones fit.
I write blog posts and book reviews for Book Clubs in Schools and I love it. BCIS is run by a team of very inspiring people and their simple approach to getting kids reading and building character through peer-led book clubs is something I wholeheartedly get behind. Their feedback and support have filled me with new confidence, opening the door to more opportunities. I now volunteer once a week creating online content for Autism Initiatives, write blog posts for Wanderlust Theatre Company and have begun to apply for paid writing jobs.
Volunteering, and specifically volunteering for BCIS, has allowed me to take small steps into the big (and sometimes) scary world of work. I have gone from feeling unsure of my abilities and passions, to knowing exactly where I want to be.
A big THANK YOU to Sarah Coffey, a volunteer copywriter for Book Clubs in Schools, for your contributions and writing this special blog!