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How volunteering could help you change career

Wanting to change career?  Not wanting to retrain?  Have you considered volunteering? A special event in Ealing could be the perfect place to start your journey, as local people Amarpreet and Toby can testify.

The Ealing Volunteers Fair will take place on Thursday, 8 June – the same day as the general election, at Ealing Central Library. There will be a wide range of charities, and placements, there. Read on for more details.

‘I wanted to help people’
Amarpreet wants to change career
Amarpreet wants to change career

Amarpreet Dokal, 35, is currently volunteering at Ealing Volunteer Centre and hoping to change career.  After 10 years of working in retail, Amarpreet decided she needed to find a job she enjoyed and knew working in the voluntary sector was where she wanted to be.  Amarpreet has a degree in business studies and began working in retail when she left university.

She said: “Working in retail was fun to begin with, but I really wanted to find something where I’m helping people with more important issues.  I’ve been volunteering at the Lido Centre, where Ealing Volunteer Centre is based, for four months now and I’m really enjoying it.  My role is a mixture of reception and administration and I’ve given myself a window of six months to gain as much experience as possible, then I’m hoping I’ll be able to secure a paid position at a local charity.”

Finding happiness in a new role through volunteering

Toby Cray now has an interesting and rewarding job he loves, but it has not always been that way. In fact, he spent more than 15 years working in a job that made him unhappy because he found it to be unfulfilling and unrewarding.

But, with financial commitments and not knowing exactly what else he could do, he just carried on.

Toby found a more rewarding career through volunteering
Toby found a more rewarding career through volunteering

Toby, 44 at the time, was feeling so disillusioned that, one day, he just decided he could not face it any longer and quit.

Toby then decided to approach Ealing Volunteer Centre and soon began volunteering as an assistant to Samantha Stotland, the manager of Ealing Volunteer Centre, and co-ordinated a number of different projects.

He found the work incredibly interesting and found that he had a great deal of valuable knowledge he could share with other people who visited the volunteer centre.  And, after six months of volunteering, Toby was offered a paid role at the centre.

Toby said: “I hadn’t been happy working in marketing for many years and I thought that perhaps I could transfer across into marketing for charities, but I found this route in to be impossible.  To be honest, though, I don’t think it would have really given me the satisfaction of working directly with people that I get now.”

Want to find out more?

If you are looking to change career, like Amarpreet and Toby, or would like to gain some valuable experience in a particular role, go along to the Ealing Volunteers Fair on Thursday, 8 June 2017. It is going to be held at The Green Room, Ealing Central Library, 1st Floor, Ealing Broadway Shopping Centre, between 11am-2pm.

Available volunteering placements will include roles in: Administration, reception, befriending, gardening, retail in charity shops, IT teaching, crafts teaching and advising.

It is your chance to meet a wide range of local charities and ask as many questions as you like.
Organisations involved will include:  Victim Support, Ealing Half Marathon, Beanstalk, Volunteer Link, Health Watch and Mind and many more.

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