Volunteering at YoungMinds: An intern's perspective
It's Volunteers' Week and we are saying a huge thank you to all our volunteers, who give their time, experience and enthusiasm to help us work towards our goal, we really couldn’t do it without you.
As we celebrate Volunteers' Week, we're sharing some of our volunteers' stories. Rim Al-Awadhi tells us what being an intern at YoungMinds is like and what she's gained from the experience.
What is your role?
Digital Communications Intern.
Why did you chose to intern with us?
I want to gain a better understanding of mental health by being part of an organisation that aims to raise awareness and work towards constructive and practical change.
I firmly believe that, there are increasing pressures on young people and stigma on their coping mechanisms. I want to help combat those pressures and help create a safer environment for the mind to thrive in.
I also want to gain an insider’s perspective on how a charity is run on a day-to-day basis.
What’s a typical day like?
As part of the Communications and Campaigns Team, I have a diverse workload.
I begin a typical day by checking emails and catching up with what is happening in the organisation (as my internship is only 2 days a week). I also do a quick skim through the latest news and insights on mental health and young people.
My daily tasks range from tracking the development and reach of our social media strategy, to creating infographics, to writing a personal blog article. I also help with planning and preparing for public events and youth engagement activities.
Sometimes, I research current topics and events that YoungMinds is involved in. For example, for Giving Tuesday, I researched the campaign’s impact and why it is relevant to YoungMinds. Then I created some graphics encouraging people to support YoungMinds on Giving Tuesday.
What do you enjoy most about being an intern at YoungMinds?
I enjoy coming in to the office with a sense of purpose, knowing that everyone here works together for a great cause.
I also thoroughly enjoyed meeting YoungMinds Activists during a workshop that involved making plasticine models and putting them inside baubles! It was an opportunity to get to know the Activists and enjoy their company. It was also a good exercise in reflecting what mental health meant to us and how we could creatively express our ideas with plasticine and glitter!
What have you gained from being an intern?
Seeing what a successful and growing charity like YoungMinds does to communicate and engage with its audience has been very insightful.
I have also learned about charity structure, policy and practices by working with different teams. Working at the front desk really helped me learn a lot about YoungMinds.
What advice would you give to anyone thinking of becoming an intern?
Think about what you want to get out of the experience and what you want to learn. This will help you get the most out of your time, as there are so many things happening that are good to get involved in.
Ask questions, be curious. Value your skills and knowledge as you can always bring something new and create an impact - don’t underestimate yourself!
Find out how you can get involved with Volunteers' Week, either as a volunteer or to celebrate the great people you work with, by visiting the Volunteers Week.