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The Volunteer Gathering, and Me.

Ellie Kidd
Written by Ellie Kidd

Ellie Kidd is an Events Volunteer in Shelter Scotland, and was involved in helping organise our ‘Volunteer Gathering’, which was held on Saturday 30th March 2019. Here she gives her account of planning and what it was like to attend this event.

Planning the Event

When I first started volunteering with Shelter Scotland, I had no idea what to expect. I was thrilled when they asked me to help organise their annual Volunteer Gathering. I knew this was going to help me develop skills which will help me in my future career.

I didn’t realise so much was needed behind the scenes to make the event run as smoothly as possible. From the inital proposal to writing briefs for the speakers, I loved getting stuck in and helping out. I was involved in developing surveys for the attendees, as well as creating name badges for the day.

The Day of the Event

I attended as a guest and it was great seeing it unfold through the eyes of other volunteers. The event encouraged us to interact with one another, and with that, learn about other people’s stories and why they decided to volunteer with Shelter Scotland too.

We started off with a game of Cluedo, but not as you’d expect. The ‘killer’ was replaced with 4 different families and we needed to figure out which was going to become homelesss first. We soon learnt there was no correct answer; they all had the same chance of becoming homeless.

I particularly enjoyed the Volunteer Storytelling portion of the day. A small group of volunteers spoke of their experiences and reasons for volunteering with Shelter Scotland. One lady, in particular, told us of her experience being homeless. Her strength and determination to help others who are in a similar situation is a shining example of how charities like Shelter Scotland can help people in their time of need.

Each volunteer was asked to describe their experience with Shelter Scotland with one word. These are the 3 words the volunteer speakers chose to describe their volunteering experience:

Eye-opening

Empowering

Therapeutic

Various people from teams across Shelter Scotland talked us through topics from campaigns to the Private Tenants Forum. The level of information and time that went into the preparation of these presentations shows us how valued we all are as volunteers.

We finished off the day with a themed discussion about 5 topics: ‘Volunteer Wellbeing’, ‘Learning and Development’, ‘Community Engagement’, ‘Utilising Skills’ and ‘Communication and Collaboration’. I contributed to these with how valuable I feel volunteering is as experience to working towards my future career goals.

After The Event

This whole process has been a massive eye opener into what it takes to organise an event, from the initial ideas, to the little finishing touches. The Volunteer Gathering was the first event I have ever had hands on experience organising. I enjoyed every minute of my experience.

Overall, the Volunteer Gathering turned out amazing. I thoroughly enjoyed meeting other volunteers and learning all about their experiences. Thank you so much Shelter Scotland for involving me as your first Events Volunteer. I now feel even more a part of the Shelter Scotland team than ever before.

Are you interested in becoming a Shelter Scotland volunteer too? Visit our website to find out more.