Why Volunteering is a valuable asset
Volunteering is a great asset to have on any application for jobs, training contracts, vac schemes and CV’s. When applying for vacation schemes or training contracts it is always beneficial to have work experience. However, this does not have to be within the legal sector (although this would be great!).
You can gain valuable skills and experience through other sectors. For example, any part-time job you have had (even if not in the legal sector) will be a valuable asset on any application. In addition, volunteering is a great alternative and occasionally is a bit easier to come across and get involved with. Volunteering is a great way to gain valuable work experience and valuable transferrable skills.
I have just completed my first year at university and have been involved in multiple volunteering schemes. Throughout my first year at university I have been volunteering at Grimm and Co. It has given me valuable experience and skills and has also helped me to get a part-time job! Volunteering really can open many doors and I just have to share my experience of volunteering at Grimm and Co as it is a truly magical place.
My experience volunteering
I knew I wanted to get involved in some sort of volunteering work, but I had no idea what sort. Around Christmas the university I attend had a fair with all the societies (societies are a great way to get involved with volunteering as many are based around charities). Grimm and Co had a stand and I was instantly drawn to it, so I applied to volunteer with them!
Grimm and Co were set up to help under-resourced children and young people and inspire them to write. When you go to Grimm and Co you will enter another world; the world of magical beings.
The ‘Apothecary to the Magical’ downstairs is only the start of the magical experience. This is the shop where all magical beings go to get their supplies. Graham Grimm has kindly made it visible to all mortals. From Goblin Mucus to curses and charms like Eternal Ugliness and Glimmer of Confidence (great before exams or interviews!) you will find it here.
To access the writers pad upstairs there’s only two ways you can get there. The first is to find the magical hidden door in the shop which will take you to the imagination gym. This is an important room to get your imagination flowing! The second way is to go up via the magic portal. This shows you how tall magical beings (such as giants and unicorns) really are.
My role as a Volunteer Literacy Mentor
I am a Volunteer Literacy Mentor. This means I help with activities like story writing and comedy writing. We often get schools coming to visit and there are plenty of after school clubs and holiday activities available to attend. Even if you just want to write a letter to your favourite story character or magical being you can pop in and write one and you are guaranteed to get a reply!
Volunteering at Grimm and Co has given me many valuable skills including team work skills, communication skills, interpersonal skills, time management skills and many more! Not only does volunteering give you lots of valuable skills and experience, it is also really fun! I get to go to work in a magical world while helping others and it is a really rewarding experience.
How volunteering helps in other ways too!
Furthermore, as you all know, studying for a law degree can be very stressful and intense at times. Being able to escape to a magical place and help others for a few hours is wonderful. I found myself looking forward to the days I volunteered as it provided a break from the stress of studying law. I found it helped me mentally which is an added bonus! (See my post on how a Brain Dump can also help stress!).
Going into second year I hope to continue volunteering at Grimm and Co and I am also going to be involved with a volunteering scheme with university. I have volunteered to mentor first year students making the transition to university. This is a great opportunity to pass my knowledge on and will also enhance applications.
If you would like to help this amazing charity or just have a nosy at what magical potions you can buy, they have a support page on their website where you can donate or find out about other ways you can help. You can also find the shop and the story of Grimm and Co on their website as well.