The Value of Volunteering 

Article by:  
Rose Adderley  
Marketing & Communications Assistant | ACH Bristol 
We know the value of volunteering, not only for the benefit to our business, but also for the experience and knowledge gained by the individuals. We try to incorporate volunteering into as many parts of our business as possible. 
 
We are always on the lookout for enthusiastic volunteers to help with all areas of Ashley Community Housing. Our Job Club in Bristol is in need of more volunteers due to its high demand within the community. Job Club runs every Tuesday from 2pm in our training centre on Ashley Road and is aimed at helping the local community with their job searches.  
 
It is well attended and therefore we need more helping hands so we can get more people into jobs. If you are interested please contact matilda.kay@ashleyhousing.com for more information. 
 
There have also been many cases within our business where volunteers have progressed into full time paid roles within ACH. Volunteering provides opportunity for the individual to get to know the company and the type of work, whilst also allowing the company to assess the work ethics of the volunteer, which for us has normally resulted in wanting to hire them!  
 
Asma, who is the Branch Manager for our Wolverhampton office, started out as a volunteer: 
 
‘The volunteering with ACH has helped me to find my real roots. I was looking for a career change but wasn’t able to identify where to begin. The volunteering vacancy was available online and luckily they offered me a volunteer position. I was flexible and positive to take any opportunity available. I had received a full support from Board, SMT and staff across ACH. I was confident to apply for the Support and Housing Officer vacancy at their new Branch in Wolverhampton 2 years ago and now I manage a team of 6.’ 
 
Recently, we have also taken on a social media volunteer. His name is Mohamed and he is a refugee from Sudan who has a great passion and talent for photography. Through his volunteering, Mohamed has not only been taking photographs and learning about social media but has been improving his English skills, understanding of UK life and social interactions. This is as valuable as the work experience itself. 
We have also recently run a 'Venture into Volunteering' course through our training arm, Himilo Training. The course was led by our newly appointed Training Manager Jane and has been a great success. The aim of the course was to help people with their CVs, find out about local volunteering roles and how to apply for them.  
 
Four of the learners gave some fantastic feedback about the course:  
 
"I'm new to Bristol so the course has helped me to find what organisations to get involved with, which will help with my future." - Refat 
 
"I like the course as I wanted to get back into learning. I started volunteering two months ago so this course has come at a great time for me. It's good to hear about other organisations who help people - and if I can help people, I can help myself too." 
- Nasta 
 
"It has been useful for new information about where I can go, what I can do, what I can give and what I can get. I am volunteering for a charity shop but I want to do more so I can use my free time well. I am also learning English and IT skills which will help me to get a job."  
- Maria 
 
"Jane has been really good and supportive. I am now aware of what else is out there in Bristol. I am not currently doing any volunteering work but the reason I want to is to gain new skills and get out of the house." 
- Kirstie 
 
If you would like to find out about our other courses on offer, or about Himilo Training in general, please contact himilo@ashleyhousing.com 
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