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My Personal Experience of Volunteering and It's Impact on My Life

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Words: 937 |

Pages: 2|

5 min read

Published: Apr 8, 2022

Words: 937|Pages: 2|5 min read

Published: Apr 8, 2022

Before volunteering, I had little experience of working with children or even managing large groups of people. However, as a volunteer, I managed a group of 15 challenging children for two hours with another first time volunteer. As time goes the children were well behaved, safe and actually enjoyed themselves, and at no point did I find myself panicking or worrying. Later on in the day, the senior leader praised at this activity build my confidence for future situations. Although these individuals were children, my confidence in leading larger groups of adults has definitely improved and this has made a noticeable difference in clinical practice, for example, when managing a bay of patients in a ward where I worked as a Healthcare Assistant. This experience showed a different side of me which is determined and goal-oriented. These provide very important developing motivators and attribution skills as well as enjoy working with children.

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A potential weakness that I discovered during the volunteering that I had not previously identified was my hesitance when trying to find the words to set and enforce interpersonal boundaries with the children and young adults. As the week progressed I began to see the consequences of not doing so, I therefore realized that I needed to take some advice from our senior leader, who encouraged a certain amount of careful risk taking. This gave me the confidence to gradually experiment by trying different approaches within the interaction in doing so I eventually over-rode my fears of causing offence or humiliating myself. I found that upholding boundaries did not alter the relationship that I had with the child, nor reduce their respect for my position as it was mostly accepted and often helped to harmonize power structures in the group. Reflecting on this process has helped me in my subsequent part-time healthcare assistant job, for example, at timely moments I am more confident when offering health promotion advice, such as advice to reduce smoking, drinking or other harmful activities that I anticipated, would be perceived in an authoritarian or negative light.

One of the most significant experiences that occurred to me during this was dealing with a disobedient child and their parents. A particular child had consistently demonstrated aggressive behaviour towards others in the early days of the volunteering. No Bullying is the policy and so it became my responsibility to liaise with the parent about the child’s behaviour and return them to home ahead of schedule. The parents were understandably upset and concerned when I contacted them and I myself felt awkward resulting in did not want to exacerbate the situation further.

I tried to remain calm, be professional and listened attentively to the parents where eventually we came to a mutual agreement. The way in which I dealt with this situation and the service as a whole, reinforced my own ‘self-efficacy’, this is the belief in one’s own capabilities to produce a desired effect by one’s own actions which is one of the competencies for entry to Psychological Society Ireland register as a psychologist. I feel that working with children that may be distressed or upset has improved my communication skills, insight and confidence in clinical areas where I might encounter and treat children on a regular basis. Having not previously worked with children, I found being able to interact and to make appropriate interventions, a valuable leap for me which in turn forms a valuable part of a child’s development.

Although quite personal, my experience and subsequent reflections have helped me to surface, confront and alter some unconscious attitudes, raising my self-awareness in the process. The demographics of children were incredibly diverse as were their range of ethnicities and socio-economic backgrounds. This was in contrast to my own quite stable upbringing and I felt a little under confident in my abilities to engage and relate to them. At first I found the encounters quite difficult, I just was not consciously judging the children and young people, just uncertain, as whether they would accept me and how the interactions would go. However, after I had spent some time with the children I realized that most of my pre-conceived fears were in fact unfounded, and by the end of the voluntary, I sensed that my confidence had changed. In many situations, volunteering has help to boost my self-esteem and confidence. I get a sense of accomplishment and achievement as various projects are completed. Thus, with such confidence, it becomes easy to face difficult situations in life and further achieve their goals.

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Volunteering itself provides many challenges for me physically and mentally. Subjected to verbal abuses and outburst of anger during volunteering, takes a troll by harming my self - concept and produce negative emotions that are mentally draining resulting in longer time spent to bounce back. Time management proves to be a difficulty when I have to manage hours of college, work and volunteering as consistent commitment is required equally within them. It is exhausting as well, which increases burn out rate when I had to remain fit to be constantly on the move with the children and my daily routine. Furthermore, difficulty in monetary concerns arises when I had to travel long distances frequently during college, work and volunteering. As a student with limited funds to support myself, I faced the hard reality when my expense exceeds my income and I had to cut down my food in order saving up to pay college fees, house rents as well as other bills. Despite the above, personal satisfaction and lovely smile on someone’s face kept my spirits high so that no one will have the same predicament as me. 

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This essay was reviewed by
Dr. Oliver Johnson

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My Personal Experience of Volunteering and It’s Impact on My Life. (2022, April 08). GradesFixer. Retrieved May 28, 2024, from https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/my-personal-experience-of-volunteering-and-its-impact-on-my-life/
“My Personal Experience of Volunteering and It’s Impact on My Life.” GradesFixer, 08 Apr. 2022, gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/my-personal-experience-of-volunteering-and-its-impact-on-my-life/
My Personal Experience of Volunteering and It’s Impact on My Life. [online]. Available at: <https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/my-personal-experience-of-volunteering-and-its-impact-on-my-life/> [Accessed 28 May 2024].
My Personal Experience of Volunteering and It’s Impact on My Life [Internet]. GradesFixer. 2022 Apr 08 [cited 2024 May 28]. Available from: https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/my-personal-experience-of-volunteering-and-its-impact-on-my-life/
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