‘What do you want to do when you grow up?’ is a question I remember being asked all the time whilst growing up. When I went to visit a school in Slovakia whilst on the Grundtvig project this was something that got asked a lot and received varied answers. One girl wanted to be a cowgirl, another older girl wanted to be a nurse and another wanted to be an astronaut. The list is endless and often heart-warming.
A little bit like the reasons we heard for people volunteering their time to an organisation. Some people wanted to do something different, others wanted to make new friends, others had been asked to volunteer as part of work experience or other commitments. All of the people had one thing in common: to one degree or another they believed in the importance of their work.
Perhaps the key to getting more people to volunteer their time lies here. This very afternoon I was in Footsteps Café and I caught sight of the words on the back of our menu ‘we help people to make a difference.’
Ultimately that is the one thing that everybody wants; the kids I met wanted to make a difference in the same way as their own role models (real and fictional), and the adults we all heard about had been inspired to make a difference through hearing about their chosen organisation. Those words on the back of the menu of Footsteps Café are ultimately what our best practice guide is about: helping to improve the experiences of volunteers and helping them to make a difference. So why not drop in sometime and meet some of the people who are making a difference in our own community? And of course, try some cake