Volunteer Spotlight: Ben

Posted: 01 June 2023, in Blog

This week we’re celebrating Volunteer’s Week and are sharing stories of the incredible contribution volunteers make to social enterprises and communities across Scotland.

To kick things off, we sat down with Ben who has been volunteering with us over the past year to hear more about his motivations, experience and advice for those thinking about volunteering.

Tell us your first name, age (not essential) and your volunteer role

My name is Ben, I’m 25, and I am a Communications & Policy Volunteer.

How long have you been volunteering with Social Enterprise Scotland?

Coming up on a year now!

Why did you decide to begin volunteering?

I originally looked into volunteering as a way to gain experience outside of retail and customer service-centred work.

What have you enjoyed most about your time volunteering?

Learning more about the membership of Social Enterprise Scotland and the social enterprise movement in general has been eye-opening. It’s an incredibly inspiring community, with a wide variety of green businesses and missions, contributing to greater community wealth and local development. Keeping up to date with our members’ news for the weekly bulletin and highlighting everyone’s achievements is really special.

What benefits have you experienced personally?

Practical experience of CMS, email content, campaigns research, excel support, etc. Being able to support the team and get an inside look at how everything operates from a comms angle has been invaluable.

Do you have any stories you could share about your time volunteering?

Visiting the Scottish Parliament Building for the Social Enterprise Awards Scotland ceremony was quite surreal – going through security and getting a wee ID tag made me feel like Forrest Gump in the White House.

Would you recommend volunteering to others?

Absolutely, and especially so if you’re a recent graduate of a less commercial discipline. The experience that volunteering offers is hugely beneficial – not just from a CV-building aspect but from practical experience and a way to demystify certain areas of work. The team at Social Enterprise Scotland are a lovely bunch and I’ve been fortunate to gain experience through a number of avenues. While I was originally tasked with updating member news and funding opportunities, I had the opportunity to support the Buy Social campaign last November, which ranged from updating directory listings to more recently providing research for blog posts.

What would you say to anyone who is thinking about volunteering?

Whatever your age or background, it can help provide you with a good sense of structure and value. A little goes a long way, and you likely have more time than you think!

Anything else you’d like to add?

Check out the Buy Social Scotland directory! I bought a heap of Christmas presents through there, even though I added a bunch of the listings myself!