How can a Volunteer Centre help you?

How can a Volunteer Centre help you?
  By Trupti Patel

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One of the best ways to gain work experience before you get a job is through volunteering. Sure, you probably already know that, but when it comes right down to it, you may not really know where you can find information about volunteering or how to find the kind of placement you want. That's when a Volunteer Centre can help!

They do the research for you.
One of the easiest ways to get complete and up to date information about volunteering is through a Volunteer Centre. These centres will match people who want to volunteer with places that need volunteers.

Volunteer centres can provide you with information regarding specific organisations you may be interested in volunteering for. This can include information on the types of duties that may be involved in some positions, hours of volunteer work requested and any kind of benefit or perk that volunteers are entitled to.

In fact, some organisations will only provide their contact information and office locations to a registered centre. In effect, the organisation uses the volunteer centre as a recruiting office and screening service to ensure they are getting the type of volunteers they need.

These centres then match the opportunities that are available within a company with your interests, skills and availability.

They provide access to great fringe benefits.
Many volunteer placements are beneficial to both you and the organisation. You may want to volunteer for personal satisfaction, appreciation or the chance to meet new people. Others will be motivated to volunteer because they want to improve the welfare of those that are less fortunate. Many citizens find that once they've had an opportunity to make a difference through volunteering, they become even more dedicated to the cause even though they have a job and other responsibilities.

Some benefits received by volunteers have included:
· Free admission to concerts, fairs, plays or special events.
· Free movie passes for opening night or sneak previews.
· Reduced fees on pay per view movies and Internet access.
· Free t-shirts, hats, towels, etc with the event logo.
· Free food while volunteering.
· Access to restricted areas and introduction to celebrities.
· Parking pass or access to a lot for the duration of the event.
· Greater perks and more responsibility for next year's event!

If you're looking for a job, a Volunteer Centre can be a great way to make new contacts. When you get placed with an organisation or company you'll meet a variety of people in different positions who will be able to assess what kind of employee you could be. Some of these people in your placement or contacts at the centre may even become your references for future employment.

Many Volunteer Centres provide resource materials to their volunteers that can be very helpful when being interviewed for a job, dealing with the public or learning how to manage your time.

Through your placement you will also gain transferable skills that will help when entering the work world. You may even develop a very marketable expertise in one specific area.

Volunteering
 

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