Allie Sheehan volunteers with Young Community Leaders – a programme which enables young people to develop practical skills for personal, work or student life. At 22 years old, she tells us how she developed a love of volunteering from a young age.
I have always loved helping out, and from helping out I found my love for volunteering. I have been volunteering from a young age. The love started from when I was in transition year in school, we had to complete a week of community action as part of our work experience. I volunteered with St. Michaels House, a day centre in my community; this is when I found that I loved being part of my community. I then started a program called Young Community Leaders, which allowed me to develop the skills I needed to be an extraordinary leader. The program provided me with amazing volunteer opportunities like SpotsVStripes campaign for the 2012 London Olympics, which meant not only was I involved with my local community but also in the country’s community. I got to travel around the country and be involved in the organisation of family fun days. The course helped me make a lot of friends and it created a lot of opportunities for me, volunteering at the family events helped me to decide to go on to study Event Management in DIT.
I feel that volunteering is an amazing way to give back to the community, but it can also be used to better yourself. It is perfectly fine to volunteer for something for personal gain, whether it’s to improve skills or make contacts for the future. Volunteering is a way for people to gain experience in many different areas and getting to know a lot of different people.
I also think volunteering is amazing for a person’s mental health, especially for me. Volunteering within my community and completing the Young Community Leaders course has helped me gain so much confidence. I have developed a positive mind-set since completing the course and I have used that to set and achieve more goals.
I believe that volunteering is beneficial to everyone, as it helps people develop themselves as well as giving something back to the community. We are all constantly learning and improving and volunteering helps us to do this, we can also gain experience in lots of different areas, which not only makes us feel great, but looks amazing on a C.V.
I still volunteer with the Young Community Leaders and I am still learning new skills and knowledge all the time. It is amazing to pass on what I’ve learned to other people who participated in the Young Community Leaders programme, and that is satisfaction in itself.