Volunteering at Unity
A young volunteer from North Hull Estate, who helped out at Unity in Community to gain work experience and improve career prospects, has been rewarded for her efforts, with a place on the Kickstart scheme at The Standguide Group in Hull.
Mellisa Butler, 22 is a people person but she struggled to find the work she really wanted.
Straight from school, Mellisa completed Childcare Studies as well as Business Administration which took 3 years in total to complete. Then unable to find employment, she approached Unity about volunteering. Mellisa explains:
Lack of work experience
“Without any proper work experience I didn’t know what type of job would really suit me so I approached the team at Unity to see if they could help.
“I had always been aware of the charity as a local community organisation but I hadn’t engaged with them until December 2019.
“Robert Cary at Unity invited me to look at the different options and explained I could gain work experience by volunteering for them. I jumped at the chance as it would give me experience working in a completely new environment and I started working as their Employment Support Volunteer.
“From the first day I knew I was going to love it. I was helping to write and amend CVs, helped people with job searches and job applications, registering with job sites, uploading CVs and generally supporting centre users to find what they were looking for.
“During my time at Unity, I gained so many different interpersonal skills, customer services, digital skills, confidence and so much more.
“I hope my experience will encourage other young people in a similar situation to explore volunteering opportunities, to help get a firm foot on the career ladder.
Helping and talking to people
“I really enjoyed talking to and helping the people that use the services at Unity. Meeting people of all different ages and from a variety backgrounds, which meant no two days were ever the same.
“Helping people in this way gave me enormous satisfaction as well.
“The opportunity through Kickstart has led me to Standguide, a local employer, based in Hull City Centre. This type of customer-facing role is right up my street.
“I would absolutely recommend other people get involved with Unity as there are so many opportunities but until you ask, you won’t know what they are.
“Volunteering has had a hugely positive impact on my life and helped me to decide on the type of career I want to pursue.
“Hopefully, if I make a good impression in this new role I will be offered a job within the business. Either way I’ll have the experience and it will be so worth it.”
During the pandemic, volunteers worked at Unity from January to March and then again in September until December. Robert Carey explains:
“After starting as a volunteer, Mellisa kept in touch with us throughout the lockdown period as well. She had been such a breath of fresh air, all of our service users really enjoyed her support and bubbly personality. This type of advisory role suited her right down to the ground.
“Kickstart is a 6 month programme to support young people who are currently unemployed and not in education or training. It helps people of all ages to gain relevant paid work experience which either leads to a job with that particular employer, or improves prospects with others.”