Why should I Volunteer? 

People choose to volunteer for a variety of reasons.

For some it offers the chance to give something back to the community or make a difference to the people around them. For others it provides an opportunity to develop new skills or build on existing experience and knowledge. Volunteer work looks fantastic on your CV as it demonstrates to employers that you are proactive and engaged with your community or with a cause that you believe in. If you aspire to working for a charity then gaining relevant experience as a volunteer is essential. 

Regardless of your motivation for volunteering, what unites all volunteers is that they find the experience both challenging and rewarding.

What is the difference between volunteering and work experience?

Volunteering is about giving your time, skills and expertise for free for the benefit of others, typically through a charitable organisation. You might be asked to sign a 'volunteer agreement' but this is not a formal contract of employment and you are under no obligation to be paid. 

Work experience, which might also be unpaid, is mainly for your own benefit. Volunteering is a form of work experience but is mainly for the benefit of others. Short periods of work experience and job shadowing can be a great way of learning more about a profession that you are interested in to help you decide whether it is right for you. Work experience looks great on your CV as it demonstrates your interest in a particular profession or organisation.