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Volunteering Pathways

East Suffolk Volunteering Pathways

Kickstart your career. Be a Volunteer.

East Suffolk Volunteering Pathways is an exciting new project funded by the East Suffolk Community Partnership. It will develop routes from unemployment to learning or paid work through volunteering.  Community Action Suffolk supports participants to gain new skills and experience to move towards paid employment through a volunteering pathway. In this way, Community Action Suffolk provides specialist information and guidance to volunteer-involving organisations.

The project works with individuals in East Suffolk, who are over 18 and are either not currently employed or are in education that isn’t working out. Through informal training and volunteering placements, it improves participants’ well being, increases skills and builds confidence to move towards and into paid employment.

Training builds confidence and skills

Training offers participants an overview of how to get into volunteering with an organisation. It includes training in equality, diversity and inclusion, health and safety, keeping safe and confidentiality. It doesn’t take long either, as the whole course is delivered in just one day.

Participants are supported to find a volunteering placement, in an area of interest for their future career and aims to offer a wide range of volunteering placements; not just those seen as traditional volunteering roles. Participants have the opportunity to try more than one voluntary role, if they are unsure of the direction that they would like to follow.

For information on all the training on offer from the Volunteering Team click here

Regular reviews monitor progress

The project offers participants support throughout with progress and achievements regularly reviewed. Support is also made available to community organisations to encourage them to take a more diverse range of volunteers than they might traditionally have recruited.

Feedback from Volunteers

“I came to the UK in 2014 from Poland. At that stage my English language wasn’t at the highest level, but I knew that I would like to learn more. Quickly, I connected to a Coffee Break group which was conversation for women run by volunteers.  In my head I started to grow the idea of being a volunteer but, of course, I didn’t know how and where. Luckily my children’s Primary School offered some courses for parents, and I become Class Parent Helper. It was an amazing experience which gave me this first feeling of the non-financial benefits of volunteering with the satisfaction of giving something to others, improving my language and boosting my confidence.

After a few months I’ve joined another English class in ICM and when my language improved, it lead me to become ICM Community Champion, someone who supports people with a lack of language and also a lack of understanding of new systems and reality. It helped me to grow as a person and it was constantly proof that the answer is always “yes you can”. I had an opportunity to take part in many projects and courses which helped me improve my knowledge, gain new skills, and identify my existing skills and strengths.

I was awarded by Suffolk Adults Learning Award in the health and wellbeing category. In the hard time of the pandemic BBC Suffolk Radio awarded me with a certificate “Make a difference” and next year came my High Sheriff’s Award. My volunteering never was done for any award, but it is great that my work is visible, and it is appreciated, and they are showing that volunteering is something really valuable, and it makes life more interesting full of new challenges and opportunities. 

All my volunteering experience helped me to make another step in my life to apply for a job. I was successful and I could share my knowledge about diversity and inclusion with others. I know that without my volunteering, I couldn’t reach that point because of lack of confidence. Coming from Poland, I know it is more than difficult to start a new life in another country when everything is new and different, but volunteering gave me the chance to meet new people, to build new friendships and to meet the right people at the right time. My volunteering journey never stopped, and volunteering is part not only of my life but of me”.

– Monika

“I was an undergraduate student and looking for my first paid job. However, to build some experience, volunteering seemed the best way to get started. I found a lovely group to volunteer at in the middle of town, a group that was offering English lessons to adults. This seemed like the ideal opportunity as I was an English student.

I was able to contribute to lessons and conversational English interactions with people from all over the world who were trying to improve their English communication skills. I was able to appreciate and expand my outlook as well, by interacting with people of various nationalities.

It was a wonderful and rewarding experience and later that summer I was able to get my first paid role as a communications intern.

If you haven’t tried volunteering and are thinking about it, do give it a go as many unexpected and wonderful things may come out of that, along with benefitting the community”.

-Jess

Find out how to kickstart your career.

Anyone who is eligible and interested can self-refer or be referred by another agency to take part in the project.

We would love to hear from you if you are interested or would like more information.

Contact Kate Dawson

Kate.dawson@communityactionsuffolk.org.uk

For general information on Volunteering click here

For the latest roles in volunteering go to Volunteer Suffolk

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