I’ve always wanted to do a job that gives back and that was the driving force behind my decision to work in the third-sector. I’ve seen how much of a positive impact every person who contributes their time can have and I wanted to be a part of that. I’ve had experience working for a number of causes including homelessness, substance misuse and social work, and I’m now in youth work.
I work at NCS (National Citizen Service) where I engage young people aged 15-17 in programmes which enable them to build new skills & meet new people. During these programmes the young people are given the opportunity to tackle social issues and create a social action project that will have a positive impact in their local community. I originally worked directly with the young people on the programme & now raise awareness about the scheme, making sure young people are aware of the opportunity.
Through my role I have seen the importance of staff dedication and really value the sense of community within the organisation. We are all able to present our ideas, run our own projects and have constant communication with the senior leadership team. Everyone knows everyone and nobody within the organisation is deemed more important than anyone else. I think this helps with team morale but also ensures our programmes run effectively and everyone maintains a positive attitude.
My advice to someone looking to get into the charity sector would be to remember you’re not the expert and no one expects you to be, you don’t have to know all the answers just have a willingness to find them out! Make sure you take time for yourself, it can be an incredibly demanding sector to work in and you want to be on top of your game and do the best job you can. Working in the third sector can be extremely humbling but remember to take a minute and give yourself some credit, read the success stories and don’t ever lose touch with why you started! Be organised – lack of funding/resources often makes the job a little bit harder so keep on top of your own workload.