My first experience with volunteering at Medway Youth Trust first started towards the end of the NCS Summer 2013 course (around August), with Steve Hutson dropping by to talk to each of the teams individually about volunteering and social projects post NCS. That same week I attended the monthly Youth Forum; on the promise of pizza, cola, making new friends and opportunities for volunteering within the local community. Initially I was nervous being surrounded by so many new faces although once I had settled in I realized that everyone was friendly and like-minded to myself in the respect that we were all looking to help our local community (and have some pizza and cola!).
I threw myself in at the deep end, offering myself at every volunteering opportunity I could and taking parts in the debates and discussions as to how MYT could overcome certain issues and have a greater outreach with the community, and these were just in the first few forum meetings!
It is now June 2014 and I find myself being close to having actively volunteered with MYT and its networks for nearly a year, having received qualifications in different areas related to volunteering such as being trained to sit on a recruitment panel (as well as receiving safeguarding training, being trained in how to avoid discriminating against others and much more!). Furthermore I've also attended volunteering opportunities relating to the local NHS and the Mental Health and Wellbeing Panel, even being given the opportunity to grill Councillor Mike O'Brien on the local council policies regarding the needs of young people in the local community, often throwing out controversial points to catch him off guard. This, as well as being fun, allowed me to improve upon my debating skills and learn more about the Medway Council and the approach it is taking to dealing with issues frequent in the community.
To conclude, it's been a lot of fun to help out at MYT as I've made many friends here and also had the opportunity to contribute to my local community for events and charities I wouldn't have otherwise had thought of, nor shown an interest in. Having enjoyed the experience so much I leapt at the chance to do some work experience here, gaining an insight to the work that's needed (on a company level) to benefit so many people in the local community.