“My placement gave me opportunities that no young person would normally get…

Posted on November 21, 2019

My name is Lucy Irons. I started volunteering with ProjectScotland, aged 18.

I am a 2018 school leaver. I chose to do a volunteering placement through ProjectScotland because I wasn’t ready to go straight to University after school. I wanted to get some more experience, to make me more employable and expand my skill set.

My expectations of volunteering for a charity were quite low. I was expecting to go into an office environment and just do some very basic office administration such as photocopying. But I couldn’t have been more wrong.

When I first got in touch with ProjectScotland I was introduced to a Volunteer Engagement Manager called Emma. Emma was very easy to talk to and very open and welcoming. She did such a great job of keeping in contact with me, keeping me updated about my placement and because she was so nice, it was easy to do the same in return.

This was my first time volunteering and it was fantastic!

I was placed with the Children and Young People’s Commissioner Scotland. I began by getting to know everyone and their roles. I then got a project to work on throughout my placement. I was tasked with choosing and designing the office’s new merchandise. It’s a small office and because of that, I got to know everyone really quickly. The office environment was very relaxed and comfortable. If I needed help then there was always someone to help and they also welcomed my ideas. An altogether one in a million opportunity.

My placement gave me opportunities that no young person would normally get. They gave me a lot of responsibility and all my work is actually being put to use, almost like me leaving some kind of legacy in the office. My favourite part was that not only did they teach me things but I got to offer ideas in the office that were put in place.

On completion of my volunteering placement, I was lucky enough to be given an opportunity at ProjectScotland to complement a graduate apprenticeship in business at Queen Margaret University, which I started in September. I think it’s fair to say, through volunteering I am closer to realising what I would like to do as a career and have overcome barriers to enjoy the role I work in currently and support the course I’m studying.