The volunteer blogger
23 year-old Moira is a Youth Volunteer Coordinator for Barnardos. She is also a virtual volunteer, writing blogs about her volunteer work on the website do-it.org.uk. Find out what she gets out of virtual volunteering, and why she thinks other volunteers should blog about their experiences.
Becoming a blogger
I started virtual volunteering in May 2006 when the Barnardo's Regional Volunteer Manager thought I would be good at blogging on do-it.org.uk. I think it helped that I was volunteering in so many different ways as it makes for an interesting and inspiring read.
I got in touch with do-it.org.uk and it was easy getting started. At first it was strange learning to write about my volunteering in a way that would be interesting to others, but now I've got the hang of it and writing my blog is just one part of my week.
There are different groups of us who volunteer as bloggers: Overseas bloggers; Student bloggers; Sport and Fitness bloggers; and my group, the Campaigners. I try to do a blog every couple of weeks - sometimes I write more than this, sometimes less - it really depends on the volunteering I'm doing at the time.
Benefits of blogging
I really enjoy writing about the things I get up to and reading fellow bloggers' entries. It's easy to blog and it has also helped me develop my writing skills. I know everyone says this, but volunteering is a great thing to add to your CV.
I have a disability and find it hard to go out and socialise, so I find blogging is a good way to meet new people online.
It's good to know that my blogs are informing people about the ways they can volunteer. I have a lot of freedom to choose what I write about, which I appreciate. For a while I volunteered with a drama group and I was able to write about the experiences I had doing that, alongside my work at Barnardos.
Another benefit is that I've made good friends through blogging. I have a disability and find it hard to go out and socialise, so I find blogging is a good way to meet new people online.
All my volunteering has helped me gain confidence and skills by getting out of the house and meeting people. It's got me working with other people, developing leadership and creativity skills. I also started up a young volunteers group and became the Youth Volunteer Coordinator, which has given me the opportunity to learn more about volunteer management. I've gained my Millennium Volunteer Award and received the Marsh Trust Award for volunteer contribution at Barnardo's. My next goal is working towards my Platinum Youth Achievement Award and a Volunteer Management qualification.
Advice to would-be bloggers
If you're volunteering and are keen to blog about it, I'd advise you to get in touch with do-it.org.uk. Even if you think the volunteering you've done is insignificant, it's worth writing it down. You may think no one would be interested in reading it, but I guarantee someone will - it could even encourage someone else to volunteer.
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