WITH National Volunteers Week beginning on Saturday and running until today, Amy Rose Willis, who has been on work experience at The Standard this week, tells her own personal story of volunteering with the Prince’s Trust through the HOW College course.
AFTER a year of frustration, getting ill and leaving university, wondering if an opportunity would ever reach my grasp again, there was finally a light at the end of the tunnel – The Prince’s Trust.
The charity took me in under its wing, showing me it does not matter how long it takes to invest in yourself, as long as you progress, set goals and reach them.
My volunteering has taken me on an irreplaceable journey of self-discovery.
The Prince’s Trust operates community projects, where students fund-raise for and work on community projects.
It also offers team challenges where people can work on schemes in their local area, such as spending time with elderly people, baking cakes, taking people with special needs bowling and much more.
Recently my team raised funds for the Young Lives Vs Cancer charity and the Breme Residential Care Home by packing bags for people – not the most ground-breaking sounding of events but it gave people a helping hand and raised cash for two good causes.
We spent a week doing garden maintenance for Breme’s care home.
We had a fantastic time out in the sun and another warm glow when we saw the residents’ smiles and the appreciation from the staff.
In the past, Prince’s Trust students have performed work placements at HF, Just For Pets, Interserve, The Vale of Evesham Christian centre and many more.
The charity runs many different courses for people aged between 11 to 30, with some courses aimed at personal development, starting businesses and getting straight into work.
Last year it helped almost 6,000 people successfully find work using its ‘Get Into’ courses.
And other people who have undertaken the same course as me have had the same experiences.
Past student Ellis Spencer said with increased confidence and better skills, acquired through work experience, CV writing and other activities, he hoped to move on to an apprenticeship.
Alexandra Fry, who has been working for the Prince’s Trust for two years, said: “I just wanted to help younger people who haven’t had the opportunities that I had to get them on the right path.
“I graduated from uni and originally wanted to work with young offenders but actually quite liked the variety of different young people I encountered through the Prince’s Trust.”
Among them have been people facing mental health issues which can present their own barriers.
“This course is the stepping stone to help get past that.”
Visit www.princes-trust.org.uk/ for more information or call 0800 842 842 for any enquiries related to joining a programme.