Paul, PET Fundraising Volunteer | 05 December 2018
In this blog, PET volunteer Paul reflects on his time volunteering with the charity’s fundraising team, helping the organisation support more people who want to study in prison.
After taking a break from employment to think about my next steps, I was keen to keep myself busy and thought volunteering would be both fulfilling and a valuable experience to add to my CV.
Despite having little prior knowledge of the criminal justice sector, I felt my experience and skill set matched PET’s volunteer brief well. Within a week of submitting my application I came in to the office for an informal chat, and the following week my placement began.
If you’re a little unsure of yourself or lack confidence with certain skills, I think PET’s focus on volunteer development will help a lot.
Throughout my three month placement I was assisting Hannah, PET’s Trusts Fundraising Manager. From day one I was made to feel very welcome by the team. It’s a fun, supportive environment and the passion for providing access to education for prisoners really shines through. And that passion is contagious! Even though I don’t have a background in the sector, being around people who really care about a cause makes it so much easier to engage with.
Hannah was fantastic in explaining how the work I did each week fits into the bigger picture of the charity’s mission. There was no ‘busy work’ or manufactured tasks: everything had a clear intention and purpose. A wide range of skills – from report writing to data analysis – were put to use, and guidance was always on hand when required.
I soon found myself much more confident and concise in my writing.
I was initially having a little bit of trouble adapting my writing style to the reports and case studies that PET produce. Hannah’s support and willingness to talk through language and style considerations was really helpful and I soon found myself much more confident and concise in my writing. If you’re a little unsure of yourself or lack confidence with certain skills, I think the charity’s focus on volunteer development will help a lot.
My time volunteering at PET’s Cardiff office was immensely enjoyable and enlightening. Whatever your reasons are for considering volunteering, PET is a fantastic organisation that is all about giving people an opportunity to learn and develop. It allowed me to help a great cause, develop my skills and gain experience in a field I have an interest in contributing to.
© Prisoners' Education Trust 2021