I wasn’t your usual starter at PECT. In fact, before joining I already knew the team, I had been visiting the office on a weekly basis and I even found myself attending the PECT staff day out last year! I’m assuming the title has already revealed my cover, but if you hadn’t already gathered, I started at PECT as a volunteer last year and now I am working here full time as an apprentice!
From the summer of last year, I started my volunteering placement with PECT in the marketing department. Having some previous experience in marketing for another organisation, I had an idea of the sort of thing to expect. However I knew nothing about PECT other than the fact that it is an environmental charity in Peterborough, so the experience would be new to me.
Beforehand, I was hoping that even as a volunteer, I would be given some responsibility, as I wanted to build on the skills I had already and develop my knowledge within marketing. In fact, I set my hopes quite high after seeing an article in ESP magazine about the volunteering opportunities that PECT has on offer, including anything from tree planting to becoming an events helper.
In particular, what appealed to me the most was the variety of projects that PECT delivers, as I thought this would mean there would be plenty of exciting opportunities to get involved in. However, the question was: were these preconceptions fulfilled or was I wholeheartedly disappointed?
I can confidently say neither was the case for me. From my first experience of meeting the team in the office, to the engaging work that I was given from day one, my expectations were soon exceeded. And what I thought was going to be a two week volunteering opportunity, turned into a year of voluntary work, followed now, by a year long apprenticeship!
Volunteering, particularly with a charity like PECT, is one of the best things you can do with your spare time. Particularly for me (I was a student on my summer break) thinking most days about what to do with all the free time I had, I wanted to utilise my time wisely - I’m so glad I did.
I found that PECT was very accommodating with my needs, which meant I was able to stay on as a volunteer when I began my A2s and just come in on a Wednesday afternoon. I found that volunteering has equipped me with many of the skills required within the workplace.
So, whether you’re a student like I was, or just looking for something to do in your spare time, PECT has an opportunity out there to suit you. Here’s a chance for you to make a real difference in your community, by contributing your time and talents to the work of PECT. In return for your work, think of how much you will be able to get out of it. You could take on a new challenge, develop skills to enhance your future and build connections with people and your community.
There are a whole host of volunteering opportunities at PECT, from admin based work through to tree planting, to events volunteering. But if you’re not sure what to choose, then why not give something a go? You may discover where your true talents lie.
To find out more information about volunteering with PECT, visit the volunteering page at www.pect.org.uk/volunteer.
Michaela Anthony is the Digital Marketing Apprentice at Peterborough Environment City Trust (PECT).