In our final Sector Spotlight on the Third Sector, we hear from Samantha Stringer, a Volunteer Development Worker at Voluntary Action Orkney.
Samantha has undertaken various jobs throughout her career, including working as a Primary School Teacher, a Student Recruitment Officer and as a Countryside Ranger. Each job has taught her new skills and led her working with different teams, all of which has helped her as she progresses.
Can you describe a typical day in your role as a Volunteer Development Worker?
I started my job in April 2021 and I am yet to find a typical day. I give information and support to anyone in Orkney wanting to volunteer and to any Orkney organisations who want to recruit volunteers. I do this by email, phone and by meeting people or organisations face to face when possible.
How did you end up in this role?
A secondary school careers advisor once told me there are two types of people, those who know what they want to do for a job from the very start of their career and those (like me) who have had lots of different jobs. My different jobs have included being a Primary School Teacher in Edinburgh, a Student Recruitment Officer in Dundee and working as a Countryside Ranger in East Lothian. Each different job has given me new skills, new teams to work with and lots of variety. If you don’t know what you want to ‘be’ or ‘do’, don’t worry, just get started and who knows where it will lead you.
What is the best thing about your job?
People, I am a real people person and I love chatting, so this is the perfect job for me.
What is the worst thing about your job?
Sometimes working from home can be a challenge as I haven’t met everyone at VAO yet or been able to get out and about meeting volunteers and organisations as much as I would like to. Hopefully as restrictions lift this will change.
What skills do you need to undertake your role?
Being a good communicator, having the people skills and confidence to talk to lots of different people from different backgrounds, being organised and IT skills are also important.
What qualifications do you have?
Would you recommend this job to young people, if so why?
Yes, the work I do is so worthwhile, helping people to make a difference in our community and improving the lives of others by volunteering. Volunteering is great to do for you too. It can help you learn new skills and meet new friends. It gives you different experiences to help you apply for courses, paid work or a new job. It can help protect your physical and mental health, increase your sense of wellbeing and most or all it is fun.
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