“Volunteering is an enriching way of giving back to the community. We can make things better for people and places by sharing our time, abilities and life experiences.
Volunteering is rewarding in so many ways. Helping people gives a sense of achievement that is immeasurable. Being around new people from different cultures and background is a shortcut to meeting the world. You can make new friends. You can challenge yourself to grow and develop confidence with new people and situations. You can learn about the world of work and develop skills to help you at work. You can learn about new careers. When you put a little bit of your spare time to volunteering, it can take you so far.
I am very proud of my volunteering work with BAES because it’s a privilege to be able to help people to make positive changes in their life. I volunteer with BAES because I enjoy helping people to learn. I am challenging myself to develop new skills whilst gaining insight into education work. The learners, volunteers and staff are great role models: I’m always inspired by their resilience, perseverance and spirit.”
"Having lost my job due to health challenges I knew this was in fact an opportunity for me to utilise my time and do something I had wanted to get into for years - volunteering.
I started off with community-based volunteering such as local events, football coaching and the Birmingham Half Marathon. I moved on from those and have recently got into voluntary work with BAES and at a local homeless shelter.
I volunteer because I think too many of us put our power in other people’s hands expecting them to do something, such as politicians when in fact we can start to make change immediately without having to put the responsibility on anyone else. I love meeting new people and the challenges every voluntary position offers is fun and exciting too.
To me volunteering is the lifeblood of any successful community as people giving their time for the greater good and not wishing for anything in return is something we should be encouraging far more than we currently do."
"Since volunteering with BAES I have met many really lovely people - staff and students alike. In my experience the teachers really care about their students and in return the students are committed and eager to learn.
During the last year whilst volunteering in 2 ESOL classes I have met learners from all parts of the globe; for example, from Yemen, Sudan, Eritrea, Syria, Brazil, Thailand, India, Pakistan ...the list goes on!
I think it's wonderful that people from so many different countries and cultures can enjoy working together and learning from each other. Also, their dedication to learning English, with all that entails, (a new alphabet probably, the formation of the letters, learning difficult English spellings and pronunciations etc…) fills me with admiration.
Sometimes people bring in food to share, or talk about their families and show photos, which can make the classes quite a sociable event. I find that as a volunteer you have a lot to learn from the students, at the same time as you are helping them with their learning. In fact, it's a two-way street and a great one to travel down!"