Selina Wan, BSc Economics, has been volunteering as a Volunteer Adviser for Age UK Islington since October 2016, coming in once a week for appointments with clients at a community drop-in. After in-depth training, and shadowing other volunteer advisers, she now helps clients with a range of issues. As an adviser, she helps clients find their way around online information sources such as council websites. Sometimes she calls up organisations on their behalf or she signposts clients to other organisations to provide specialist help. We talked to her about what it was like to volunteer for Age UK Islington and what she achieved through her volunteering.

What did you achieve through volunteering?

Understanding more about the way people live

As someone new to the UK, I wanted to completely immerse myself into what it’s like living here, and to get an understanding of the type of issues that people face in the UK. For example, I had appointments with people that are keen to gain employment. As a result, I gained an appreciation of the difficulties they might face, for example in obtaining benefits. I’ve realised the importance of the work that Age UK Islington does by helping people with their daily struggles. I’ve therefore found volunteering as an adviser very rewarding.

Felt very much supported

I have felt very much supported in my volunteering role at Age UK Islington. The advisers were incredibly helpful when they trained me to become an adviser. The front desk staff and reception volunteers, as well as the Information and Advice Manager have also been painstaking in the support that they gave me.

Feeling part of the Age UK Islington team

Besides the support that I received from members of the Information and Advice team, I enjoyed the couple of occasions over the Christmas period when I met with lots of other people who volunteer in other areas of Age UK Islington. At one of these events, we helped serve Christmas dinner to clients at a community event and this was really fun.

Would you also like to volunteer?

If you also want to volunteer you can search LSE CareerHub for opportunities. If you need more guidance before you start volunteering, you can book a one-to-one with the Volunteer Centre, or send us an email at volunteer@lse.ac.uk.

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