Work experience with TimeBank has inspired me, challenged me and introduced me to some fantastic people

Julia Shipston Julia Shipston

For the past week I’ve had the privilege to have done work experience with TimeBank and have learnt so much about all the amazing work it does for communities across the UK.

I’ve been lucky to have met so many fantastic members of the team by doing 1:1 sessions every day to talk about their roles at TimeBank, ranging from helping people to connect to their communities, to teaching English to women across the UK who speak little or no English. Also, partnering volunteers with refugees who seek help with finding work as well as adapting to a new culture.

My favourite part of my small role at TimeBank was visiting Lumpy Hill Adventure Playground with Cara-Jan who is the employee volunteering project co-ordinator but also has been my wonderful mentor throughout the week. During the day I helped sand down and repaint one of Lumpy Hill’s climbing frames alongside staff from The Telegraph who volunteered that day. It felt so rewarding helping out and being part of something so special as well as seeing the volunteers come to life when they realised the difference they had made. Overall, it was fun day and together we all left feeling positive and connected as a team having made a real difference and I couldn’t wait to tell all my friends and family about what we achieved.

In the past week I have also managed to send emails out to foodbanks, schools, community centres and playgroups which might benefit from an employee volunteering team and managed to be successful and get a few replies! Cara-Jan and I then went on a site visit in East Acton to one of the community centres I had contacted which I was really proud of. It made me realise that even with a small team, the massive impact they have on helping other people is phenomenal.

I also went to a Knowledge Quarter Centre with Mark who is the fundraising and business development coordinator to meet a range of companies and charities to see if we could get them involved in our employee volunteering days. It was my first time networking and it was quite scary being the youngest person there but it was a great chance to tell people about what TimeBank does and the support it provides to thousands of people across the UK.

It has been such an enjoyable experience. I have learnt so much in such a small space of time and seen for myself the good that TimeBank does for local communities. It has motivated me even more to get involved in volunteering in the near future. I’d say being part of TimeBank has inspired me, challenged me, and introduced me to some really fantastic people I’d otherwise never have met. As a student and as somebody relatively new to volunteering it provided a brilliant opportunity for me to understand the importance of helping people in need and it’s been a pleasure being a part of it all!

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