Rachael Clapham, social media assistant for Citizens Advice North Herts, talks about her volunteering role.

I was initially inspired to volunteer with Citizens Advice North Herts because it aligned with my interests, so could help me figure out future career possibilities while studying at university.

The opportunity differed from other work experience and volunteering opportunities, as it is long-term and year-round, which also helps keep me focused during the holidays!

I felt I was a good fit for the social media assistant role, as I had experience of promoting university events online, and could offer a younger perspective.

I also liked how the role was largely remote, due to the uncertainty surrounding Covid, meaning I was frequently moving between home and university.

I don’t have any set working hours, so I can decide when I do things for my role. This works well around other commitments.

It has also been super helpful to have flexibility of working more or less hours around when I’m busiest, such as during exam periods.

My role involves creating social media content, surrounding, for example, client feedback, energy/pensions updates, public awareness campaigns, local/national news, and fundraising events.

I enjoy the variation between recurring tasks and one-off posts.

As this is very different from studying, incorporating my role into my routine has been a nice way to structure my days in a less monotonous way.

It also keeps me occupied and productive. I’ve really enjoyed experimenting with different content and being creative!

It is also satisfying to see tangible progress, through engagement statistics and follower growth.

My role provides workplace experience to develop skills for my future. For example, getting to grips with IT systems, responding to feedback, and organising my workload.

I love the opportunity to learn about current affairs issues from a broader perspective, such as energy prices and Universal Credit.

The ongoing training ensures I always feel well-prepared and develop my knowledge of topics such as diversity and GDPR.

I would encourage everyone to consider volunteering. CANH is a great place to volunteer because everyone is very supportive.

My colleagues are approachable and always happy to talk to me about their roles and answer my questions.

The work CANH does is so broad, covering many issues, and making a valuable and direct improvement to the lives of local people.

I’ve personally found it interesting to gain awareness of things like pensions, which I otherwise wouldn’t be exposed to, so it’s a great way to learn alongside helping your community!