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Volunteering - Kathryn Crawt

"Volunteering gives me a chance to do something with my time off but still have more control over my time than if I did additional paid work."

When I’m home I like to be busy. I trained as a teacher but decided in November I didn’t want to do that and am looking for what I can do next.

Working on the cruise ship, I’m away for two months and back for two months, and when I’m on the ship I work seven days a week. Volunteering gives me a chance to do something with my time off but still have more control over my time than if I did additional paid work.

I’m interested in speech therapy and although I have experience working with children, I know I need adult experience.

In January, Lincolnshire Community and Voluntary Service put me in contact with a number of different organisations, including the Friday Friendship Group at the Ivo Day Centre in Spalding, which is for people with learning disabilities. I’ve been going along on Fridays to help with its arts and craft sessions, and to play games and do jigsaws with the members.

Then I got in touch with the Alzheimer’s Society and Stroke Association.

Through the Stroke Association I am now working with patients who are having speech therapy on the exercises set by their speech therapist.

As a result I got a day in Pilgrim Hospital shadowing a speech therapist – experience that is really difficult to come by. I’d tried to get a placement on my own previously and hadn’t been successful, which just goes to show that as well as helping other people, you can also help yourself through volunteering – by doing what you’re interested in, finding out what you’re interested in and getting some really good experiences for your CV or university application.

"Volunteering is quite a nice way to try out a few different areas to see what area I might like to pursue a career in further down the line. And through volunteering I feel like I’m getting closer to knowing what I want to do."