At Bethany, volunteering takes a different approach, giving more responsibility to those involved and ensuring that volunteers are given a positive and hands-on experience. Recently, we sat down with intern Nicole Anderson to talk about her time here at Bethany.

Why did you choose to volunteer with Bethany?           

I chose Bethany for a number of reasons. Firstly, I know a lot of people who have volunteered for or have worked for Bethany before and I had heard of nothing but positive experiences. My parents have volunteered with the Care Van for years and have both enjoyed their experience with Bethany. Second, I really wanted to gain experience in PR (I’m currently studying it at university) but I wanted to do so in an environment where I would feel comfortable and that would help me build confidence.

What aspects of your volunteering experience with us did you enjoy and why?

Honestly, I enjoyed all of it. I gained confidence through writing articles and press releases. I also really enjoyed going on a photo call with Rachel Moreland, Bethany’s PR Officer, where we met someone who was helped by Bethany and interviewed and photographed them for a news story. I also liked being able to be creative through making content plans for social media – it definitely made me become more organised!

How do you feel your time with Bethany was beneficial and what did you learn?

My time at Bethany has been very beneficial. I have learned what skills I can improve upon to be successful as well as having gained confidence in myself.

What is the most significant thing you are taking away with you from your internship?

The most significant thing I am taking away from this is how much confidence I have gained. Studying at university is definitely not the same as real life work; and although I’ve learnt a lot whilst at Bethany, this experience has shown me that I could push myself and do things that I didn’t have the confidence to do before. Uni is a lot of theory so putting being able to put that knowledge into practice was challenging! This experience has also taught me valuable skills when it comes to doing in-house communications and PR.

What would you change about your volunteering experience with us? Any suggestions for improvement?

Personally, I don’t think I would want to change anything! I think some people might benefit from having more structure but I enjoyed having a bit more autonomy as it allowed me to become more independent. I really liked working with Lynne Armstrong, the Volunteers Business Partner at Bethany, and Rachel Moreland and I didn’t feel silly asking questions or suggesting ideas. It was a really great experience!