Okay, so it’s charity work: don’t expect great hourly rates – or any payment at all – but these opportunities are guaranteed to give your CV that boost you need to get into the job market. And, if you’re not planning on going to uni or college, these positions are perfect for you to meet others just like you.
Sounds good? Then grab your bucket and get ready to give, give, give and hopefully get some experience in return. Eilidh Akilade investigates…
#1 Street Fundraising
We’ve all seen them: young people milling about Buchanan Street drowning in their oversized, charity logo raincoats with their too bright smiles, considering the ten times they’ve been ignored in the last minute.
Right, it doesn’t seem ideal but being a street fundraiser for a charity – Oxfam, Marie Curie, Barnardos, you name it – can be a genuinely rewarding experience, promoting a cause you genuinely care for, meeting new people, encouraging others to give.
Usually, street fundraisers work in a team allowing you to really get to know your colleagues-soon-to-be-friends. Yes, it may be miserable being snubbed by busy shoppers but just think of it as…character building.
And, most charities offer payment for this kind of role!
Don’t expect to be rolling in the cash anytime soon but, with flexible working hours and well above minimum wage hourly payments, this is a perfect opportunity to save some money and gain experience and skills in many different fields.
#2 Glasgow Women’s Library Internships and Volunteering
Fancy yourself a bit of a feminist? Or a book worm? Or both? If so, the Glasgow Women’s Library is calling your name. The library is dedicated to spreading awareness and educating others on issues concerning women and gender equality. Internships – usually lasting between one to six months over a minimum of two days a week, although mainly offered to students and graduates – allow you to fully immerse yourself in the community of the library.
You gain a range of skills such as helping to host events, working front of house, organising and cataloguing books – the list goes on! Volunteers are also at the heart of the daily running of the library with many giving a few hours of their week to contribute their skills.
Both the volunteer and internship programme are, although usually unpaid, perfect to gain experience in areas you may have a real passion for – something Glasgow Women’s Library greatly values. So join a community of cool, progressive women, all there to better the world and read some good books.
Sounds like my cup of tea.
#3 Local Support Charities
It’s likely that in your area there’s a least one local charity which supports children and adults with additional support needs.
For example, where I live in East Renfrewshire there’s Cosgrove Care, an outstanding charity which has been working hard to support those with additional support needs for many years. These charities usually have a real sense of community, with staff, volunteers and those they assist all working together to create a safe, loving environment helping many, who could not otherwise, to live independent lives.
Sounds lovely, right? Well, there are many ways you can get involved: either as a volunteer – working in their shops or with people with additional support needs – or for paid employment, such as a support worker.
Being a support worker allows you to work one to one with both adults and children to better their lives. These charities tend to really value those who can work to be a part of a family, and the charity’s wider community, to change someone’s life. Working in such a role is a highly rewarding experience as it allows you to see the difference you’re making first-hand. Push yourself outside your comfort zone, widen your view of society and learn that there’s more joy to life than you thought.
#4 Animal Care worker
Okay so it wouldn’t be for me – I’m only really a cat person, my cat being the love of my life – but I know animal care is a dream job of many.
Dogs Trust, Cats Protection, okay maybe I’ll rethink this one, and other animal shelters across the country are always looking for care workers.
Usually these positions don’t require qualifications, merely experience – you can volunteer with any of these charities – and with decent starting salaries, you have the opportunity to work your way up if desired.
If you’re not so much of a people person, this kind of work is perfect – just imagine those gorgeous little fluffy faces smiling up at you each day.
It’s a bonus if you’re an animal lover as you’re getting paid to work with your favourite furry friends and make their lives that bit better.
So if you can stomach the less fluffy aspects of the job then grab your dog treats and start looking for a role that suits you.
#5 Oxfam Internships
They’ve had some bad press recently but let’s not tar the charity with the work of a few when there’s such amazing work by the many.
Oxfam offers internships ranging from three to 12 months for a few days a week and is the perfect opportunity to gain experience with an organistaion. Interns can work in departments such as human resources, IT and media, allowing your time there to be perfectly suited to your chosen career path. It’s an incredible charity helping so many across the globe. With so many passionate, driven people working for such a great cause, Oxfam really offers its interns an opportunity to grow and hone their skills in a creative environment.
Of course, it’s an internship so it’s not paid. But, remember, with it being only a few days a week, you can easily work part time elsewhere while gaining this vital experience.
If this sounds perfect for you then hop on to their website and change your life while helping to change the lives of so many others.