For the past four weeks, Diversity House has been delivering volunteering training. People from different ethnicities and backgrounds were part of it including myself.
Over the past four sessions, the participants gained confidence to share past voluntary roles personal experiences, what made them to enrol onto the training and what they hoped to achieve at the end of it.
In the first session we discussed what volunteering is, the cultural challenges, barriers to volunteering and how to overcome them. I learnt that people with health issues can volunteer in the comfort of their homes and people with a language barrier can be paired up with a buddy to aid their understanding of a new language.
The second session explored the topic of communication and we carried out an exercise on using our emotions to help us communicate better. Also, we looked at many ways of finding out about volunteering such as museums, your local library, newspapers, charity shops, etc.
The third session was all about confidence building, personal standards, dress code and behaving appropriately in the workplace. As a starter we explored who we are as individuals through a worksheet, our rights as humans and self-image. We also spoke on assertiveness which is the balance between being aggressive and passive (when you want your needs and wants to be known).
In the fourth session, we discussed what health and safety comprises of and how it is two-way; the responsibilities fall on the employer as well as the volunteer. Next, we touched on the aims of policies which include focusing on strategies, projecting a good image of the company/organisation, warning guidelines and more. Finally, we listed down the nine protected characteristics of discrimination which contain sexuality, disability, race, gender, marital status, religion, age, gender reassignment and pregnancy. Then we finished up with looking at different examples of direct, indirect and no discrimination scenarios.
All in all, I have found this training interesting and engaging. As an 18-year-old living in Sittingbourne, I would encourage young BAME to volunteer as it is an avenue to give back to their community. You can benefit so much through volunteering. Here are some reasons: Gaining confidence, learning new skills, meeting new people and taking on a challenge.
What the attendees had to say:
I learned a lot from this training; how to be a volunteer, the guidelines and regulations you have to follow and our rights as human beings. I also got to know all about the opportunities you can gain through volunteering and the position of a volunteer in a company/organisation
It’s been really good and helpful. I never knew that health and safety entailed so many things; but now I know.
It was good!
It was good; I found it very informative.