Karol’s Volunteer Story
Karol volunteers with Kirklees Libraries and tells us his experience of volunteering leading to an employment opportunity.
How did you find out about volunteering?
I had taken early retirement from a career position that I had been in for my whole working life, but then after a while, I realised that it was time for me to get out and explore what options were available to me. I popped into the Community Plus office on the Piazza in Huddersfield and mentioned that I might be interested in volunteering. The Community Plus Co-ordinator that I spoke to, introduced me to TSL Kirklees Volunteering Service. After contacting Becky at the Volunteering Service, we arranged to meet at Huddersfield Library to chat about volunteering and discuss what type of volunteer role might suit my skills and interests. We chatted about a few options, and I decided that library volunteering was the role I was most interested in. Becky introduced me to the Library Manager who supervised volunteers, and I was given an application form and invited in for an informal chat. It wasn’t long before I started volunteering at Huddersfield Library two mornings a week.
What type of activities do you usually do as a volunteer?
My volunteer role in the library is very varied, and we tend to carry out one particular role in the library and then rotate. The types of activities I carry out include:
● putting the books back out on the shelves
● ringing up customers who have reserved a book to let them know they are ready for collection
● helping customers with the self-issue or on the front desk
● providing one to one support in the IT room for people who need extra help with the computers.
What do you like about your volunteer role?
I enjoy the contact with both the library staff and the public. The library staff have been very friendly and welcomed me with open arms. I also enjoy the variety of tasks that I undertake and the opportunity to help members of the public. I am not an IT expert, but I have been able to help lots of customers, for example, explaining how to set up and send emails.
How has volunteering made a difference to you?
Volunteering has been an opportunity for me to try out a new work environment without a lot of pressure and has made me realise that I really enjoy working in the library. In fact, it has led to me applying for a part-time paid role with Kirklees Libraries and I have been offered a job. During the job interview, I was able to call upon experiences from my volunteering as examples to answer some of the interview questions. I’m extremely grateful for the opportunity volunteering has provided me with – after a gap in my work history, it has led to a new job in a career I wouldn’t have considered before.
Find a volunteering role
Search for your perfect volunteering role here https://tslkirklees.org.uk/volunteering-roles.