You might ask yourself: why would I want to volunteer in Edinburgh? Well, apart from pure altruism, you might want to give your time for selfish reasons.
The hardest part is to find a volunteering position that interests us. There are two main ways to go about it to find the perfect position. You can meet with someone at Volunteer Edinburgh and explain to them what you’re looking for. You can otherwise explore organisations you might want to work for in a volunteering or internship position. Either way, once you commit to a position, it’s best to give it your all.
Here’s why you should volunteer in Edinburgh
To meet new people & practise your English
As an overseas visitor or expat in Scotland, you might feel the need to meet more people, to practise your English or simply to have something to do.
Volunteering puts you in a stress-free environment where you can meet locals and immerse yourself in the local community. Charity shops offer wonderful volunteering positions to meet new people, but there are plenty of other roles too suited to your skills and interests.
To learn new skills & develop your CV
Another reason why you might want to volunteer is to develop your CV by expanding your skills and experiences.
Degrees and training courses can be pricey and time consuming, and some jobs require some sort of relevant experience. You can acquire expertise by volunteering, which would help you develop your CV.
Many companies offer volunteering positions or internships. Choose the type of work you want to do and with which company and approach them directly to see what they have to offer.
For people from overseas, it can also mean that you can participate to life in Scotland without a visa as you can ‘work for nothing’ on a tourist or student visa.
To simply be part of something new
With Edinburgh being one of the Festival capitals of the world, there’s always something going on in town and it’s always great to take part in it. You can volunteer for the Beltane Festival, the Film Festival, the Fringe, Hogmanay, etc. You can also join recurrent events like Surfers Against Sewage that organises days where volunteers clean up beaches in your area.
How to volunteer in Edinburgh
Visit the Volunteer Edinburgh offices on Leith Walk and they will help you find the perfect opportunity for you. Or you can simply visit their website and look at the offers.
Most companies would be happy to have volunteers or interns to work with them. Contact the organisations that interest you directly and offer your services along with your CV and see what comes of it. Go to the source and browse the company’s website to see if they’re advertising.
Written by Judith Bellemare, Venture English