Giving and gaining: a Sea Cadet's perspective
He, along with 9 other young volunteers, are helping to install a new toilet, shower and changing room block for the unit, whilst at the same time earning his way to a City & Guilds Entry Level 3 Introductory Award, with a focus on plumbing.
In his own words Bhavik shares with us his experience of working on this project:
I’ve been volunteering in the sea cadet core for about three years now, I was inspired to volunteer because you can pick up many different skills that are valuable in life. For instance my volunteering experience has really added to my CV, and helped me a lot with my UCAS application. I’m hoping to study Film & Television at Royal Holloway and I’m sure volunteering really helped me secure the offer I wanted.
Through being part of this unit for several years I have gained a lot of new skills and experiences, so I really wanted to give back to it through the VIY project. This project in particular is exciting because it’s more hands on than a lot of others that are run at the unit, I’ve particularly enjoyed being taught how to properly use hand tools by the mentors, Imran and Dean, who have been fantastic. Learning how to use a drill and a hacksaw, for instance, is something I’ve never done before.
This project has also given me the opportunity to improve my leadership and teamwork skills.
As one of the older members of the unit this project has allowed me to adopt a more supervisory role, helping to support the mentors but at the same time learning a lot from them. I’ve also learned how to keep the other volunteers motivated and engaged throughout the project, and it’s shown me how to adapt my leadership style depending on the people I’m working with.
Finding time to volunteer for me is manageable, particularly at the moment as it’s the summer holidays. But during term time I make sure I attend a couple of sessions after school a week. It’s great for keeping in touch with friends outside of the classroom but also building new relationships with people.
I can definitely see the difference this project has had on individuals, one cadet in particular can sometimes have a short attention span when we are doing the more classroom based work. However on this project he’s really come alive. Seeing his enthusiasm for the project and how he has engaged over the past few days has been wonderful to watch. On a community level, it’s great to see companies such as Wickes getting involved and supporting this project, by doing so they become part of the community and part of the unit.
For anybody who is thinking about volunteering on a VIY project I would say just do it! Some of my friends also volunteer on this project so I would say they agree. It’s an excellent opportunity if you have an interest in painting, carpentry, design or just want to learn new skills and meet some cool people.
Photo Credit: VIY Project