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Young Volunteer Hopes for Charity Career

October 6, 2015

A TEENAGE volunteer who has spent time with our Communications Department this summer has her sights set on a career in the Third Sector, once she graduates from university.

Melissa MacDougall, 19, from Grimsby came to us in July to volunteer at events and support our marketing and communications function.

She aims to return to Grimsby to carry on volunteering for YMCA during her breaks from university in Northumbria, where she is studying International Business Management.

Melissa said: “I have been volunteering at YMCA Humber over the summer helping out with communications and at events.

“Prior to that I had been studying my first year at Northumbria University, where I am taking International Business Management.”

Her role with YMCA was not Melissa’s first experience of volunteering with charity, having taken on roles up in Newcastle during term time and in South Africa during the summer with Volunteer Eco Students Abroad (VESA).

She explained: “Alongside my studies, I secured a place volunteering for Oxfam in their head offices in Newcastle.

“This was in the Finance department and it has given me a good insight into how a charity works at that level.

“Then, during the early part of the summer, I volunteered with VESA in South Africa, where I got to help out at an orphanage, a school, a cat rehabilitation centre and a crocodile centre.

Even with experiencing all those different opportunities, Melissa has relished the differing roles at YMCA.

She said: “There is always something different happening at YMCA and I have really enjoyed that aspect.

“Not only does the marketing and communications I am taking part in help me with my degree but I know that the events we take part in are directly going to help young people’s lives too.

“There is a lot of trust and responsibility for volunteers at YMCA and I think that it is a good thing.

“They do not just support the young people they work with either, they also support their volunteers and look out for their needs and try to help them with areas of work that will benefit them.”

And that is just one of the things that Melissa believes should lead more young people to volunteering with us.

She continued: “I would recommend young people coming to volunteer at YMCA because it is a really good addition to your CV and it allows you lots of different experiences that you wouldn’t get elsewhere.”

Melissa’s experience has led to her looking at a career in the Third Sector in the future, once she has graduated from university.

“Now I have experienced life with a charity, it is definitely something I would want to do as a career after I graduate from university.

“It is a really fulfilling experience, you pick up so much knowledge and get to work with some inspiring people.”

READ | Melissa’s South Africa Diary.

LISTEN | Melissa’s Hopes for a Career in the Third Sector.