Top reasons to volunteer

Work commitments are one of the biggest barriers to volunteering, suggests research by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS).

We understand that time is of essence within the businesses world, which is why we offer a variety of volunteering opportunities for our corporate partners. With many taking place at the company over the lunch time period, it couldn’t be easier for employees to get involved.

Funded by The Nomura Charitable Trust and Peter Cruddas Foundation, our Working in the City programme is one of our aspiration-raising programmes where volunteer engagement is crucial. Aimed at students in Years 10-13, the sessions provide insights into careers in financial and professional services,

Many of our programmes are designed to bring the world of work to life, with corporate volunteers playing a huge role in inspiring the next generation of talent.

Whilst volunteers support us with painting a picture of the professional world, there are many benefits volunteers can take from their experience too. Here are our top 3!

  1. Enhance key skills

In 2018 88% of volunteers across our programmes felt their volunteering experience with us was useful to their professional development. Here we take a look at the sort of skills they use throughout the session:

Communication
As volunteers speak to students during the workshop they might find themselves altering their vocabulary to avoid unnecessary business jargon. What better way to test and develop their communication skills?

Adaptability
Volunteering with young people specifically demonstrates the ability to adapt to unfamiliar situations. Although volunteers and students are fully briefed on the task in hand, we can’t guarantee what questions our young people will throw at our volunteers during the interview session! Often volunteers are required to think on their feet when answering the students’ questions.

Leadership
During the workshop, students are required to take part in a mock assessment style group task, which sees them working under pressure, making decisions and building confidence and communication skills. Though these tasks can get fairly competitive (for students and volunteers!) it provides the perfect opportunity for volunteers to take on a leadership role, guiding and supporting the students where necessary.  

  1. Build self-awareness

Our volunteering opportunities can be seen as a welcomed break for our busy volunteers, and a chance to reflect on their life within a corporate environment.

The speed networking section, which consist of students quizzing the volunteers about their career, background and experiences, provides a great way for the employees in the room to assess their own career aspirations. We find that many of our volunteers leave as inspired as the young people. It might just be the spark they need to set a new objective for the year.

  1. Career development

According to Deloitte’s 2016 Impact Survey: Building Leadership Skills through Volunteerism, 82% of recruiters said that they would be more likely to choose a candidate with volunteer experience on their CVs.

Volunteers who are involved in our workshops demonstrate a commitment to helping others and a willingness to give up their free time to do so. This might just be what sets them apart from another candidate in a future job application.

Speaking about their involvement in the programme, on behalf of the programme funder and workshop host, Katie Horn, Community Affairs Lead at Nomura, said:

Working in the City provides corporate volunteers with a great opportunity to share their own experiences and give first hand insight into the skills needed for particular roles in addition to sharing key insights on how to secure City roles. Workshops are easy for volunteers to turn up and contribute without preparation, and are also convenient short sessions, meaning volunteers don’t need to spend too much time away from their desks!”

A huge thanks to all volunteers who have provided their time to support our young people.

If you’re a London employer and would like to speak to us about volunteering opportunities, please contact Rosa Morgan-Baker, Head of Partnerships ([email protected]).