In the third part of this series, we spoke to former media and communications volunteer Jack Douglas on his experiences volunteering and how it helped him land a full-time role at Horton Housing.
“I graduated from university in the middle of the pandemic,” he explained. “I was struggling to find work and felt like I wanted to expand my skills and experience.”
Starting in August, Jack began volunteering with the media and communications team, helping to create website and social media content, as well as producing monthly volunteer newsletters and designing infographics.
“After a brief break, it was nice to get back into the flow of having a daily routine. It was good doing what I enjoyed doing; producing Facebook and Twitter posts, writing articles and being creative editing video content for the YouTube channel.”
READ MORE: How Volunteering Helped Me: Ryan Roebuck
Since Jack started, our social media engagements and amount of blog content across the website has increased, with new graphic designs accompanying the majority of our posts. Gaining more experience with a housing association that supports people helped him settle in quickly and propose new creative ideas.
“Being involved at an organisation that makes a positive difference in the community was really rewarding for me. Especially during the pandemic, where times have been tough for everybody, hearing and telling people’s stories has been very important.”
Now as a full-time member of staff, he believes that his time spent volunteering with the organisation meant that he was more than happy to take up a position.
“When the opportunity came up, I knew it was something that I wanted to go for straight away. Having essentially done the role for a few months beforehand, I felt comfortable with the work and liked Horton and what it stood for,” he commented.
In what has been a very challenging year, the most rewarding aspect of volunteering is seeing the benefits that come from the work you do, according to Jack.
“I’d certainly recommend volunteering, here definitely but just in general as well,” he commented. “It’s great to see how your time and effort can make a difference. I expanded my skillset and knowledge of the area I want to specialise in long term, as well as developing personally and seeing things from new perspectives.”
Sarah Linley, Communications Manager, said: “Jack came to us as a volunteer in the summer of 2020 and quickly became an invaluable member of the team. Using his skills and experience, he came up with great ideas for our digital platforms to make our content more engaging. His work on fundraising and donations led to an impressive increase in the number of items and money donated which will make a huge difference, particularly during the pandemic.”
READ MORE: How Volunteering Helped Me: Sam Worsley
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