Volunteering with Cancer Focus Northern Ireland turned out to be a fantastic catalyst to kick start my career, all the while building the essential skills needed for employment.
The team at Cancer Focus provide a great support system for volunteers and always make you feel welcome. Specifically, I volunteered within a Cancer Focus shop in Bangor. I found that volunteering is extremely flexible as the shop managers endeavour to fully accommodate volunteers, allowing me to plan shifts around classes.
Through volunteering, I was able to develop communication skills by dealing directly with customers and through operating the till. I also worked within in a team of volunteers to sort and prepare donations, all while being part of raising funds for a fantastic cause! As well as this, I was able to learn more about the work Cancer Focus is involved in and how the retail department is organised. Cancer Focus Northern Ireland raises funds for essential cancer research, informs the public of prevention methods to reduce the risk of developing cancer and provides much needed support to those who are diagnosed with cancer, and their friends and family. The issue of cancer is extremely relevant in our society, as we are all affected by the disease in some way. Therefore, I found volunteering for the charity an extremely rewarding endeavour.
After volunteering for a year, I progressed into a job with Cancer Focus Northern Ireland as a Bank Manager; providing cover for existing shop managers when needed. Overall, the experience has been exceptionally enriching as I have been able to help the charity while gaining valuable career experience for the future.