The benefits of volunteering
At the age of 16, young people may or may not have an idea about what they want to do as a career. But with the job market becoming more competitive, the more you enhance your CV, the better.
Volunteering is an excellent way to do this and improve your skills while learning about what areas of work you enjoy.
If you are studying at sixth form or college and are thinking about volunteer work, you will need to consider how much time you can give and ensure that it doesn't affect your studies and other responsibilities.
You can volunteer part-time at weekends, evenings and even at night, depending on the organisation. The summer holidays are also a great time to volunteer.
Some of the ways you can volunteer are caring for animals and wildlife, mentoring a young person, working to improve the environment, working on local community projects, working with children in schools, working on sports projects, helping charities and much more.
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Volunteering helps you make new friends, increases your confidence and lets you play a part in your community. It can also give you a better chance of getting paid work, improve your career prospects or your chance of getting a place at university.
It shows employers you can keep regular hours and handle commitment as well as giving you things to talk about in a job interview and get references. It can also give you the skills and experience needed for your dream career.
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A spokesman from leading youth volunteering charity, vInspired, said: "There are loads of benefits to doing something for a good cause. You learn new skills, meet new people, and help your career - and at the same time you're doing some good in the world.
"If you're into music, you could volunteer at a music festival and get a free ticket in return. If you love sport, there's loads of local sports clubs looking for enthusiastic volunteers to help out. If you want to travel, volunteering abroad could expand your horizons. Wherever you want to go in life, volunteering can help you get there."
If you're looking for volunteering ideas in your local area, here are some useful links: