Leaving full-time education can be quite daunting and as a recent graduate moving to a new city, I was keen to be involved in the charity sector and learn more about the work that development charities do both abroad and in the UK. This is when I came across PHASE Worldwide and became a volunteer once a week in their Bristol head office. What most excited me about becoming a volunteer for PHASE was the fact that it was small and focused specifically on three key areas of development in remote areas of Nepal. My reason for this being that I could clearly see the personal and trusting relationship that PHASE had with the Nepali people over larger charities and in turn, how this had a positive impact on its projects which were always based around community need (especially after the earthquake).
Over my 6 months of being a volunteer I have had the chance to learn about all aspects of the organisation in the UK from campaigns to general admin. My favourite part of the experience has been understanding the importance of fundraising and campaigns. I was lucky enough to be involved in several fundraising events over the Christmas period including a Christmas market, a film screening and the run-up to a large-scale photography exhibition in London. I particularly loved working at these events as I could speak to people about PHASE’s work and raise awareness of issues that exist in these communities.
As well as working at the events themselves, it was interesting to be part of the prior organisation and all the different stages they entail, from creating promotion materials to finding sponsors. It made me realise how much work goes into fundraising and how hard it can be, especially when dealing with the public. It was great to be part of such a motivated team who are so committed to the cause and who gave me so many opportunities to take independent control of certain tasks and activities. I was also trained by director, Sarah Galvin on how to do grants research online and record information for a later application. I really valued this training as it was useful to learn a practical, transferrable skill and what to look out for when applying for grants.
I am leaving PHASE feeling truly inspired and excited for the future! I have loved being part of such a buzzing office with so many interesting people and projects and will really miss it! I want to thank Sarah, Jon, Evie and Tom for mentoring me over the past months, I am so grateful and feel like I have learnt so much.
PHASE Worldwide Volunteer