With an eye towards doing volunteer work that could help get paid employment, eventually...
Most of the voluntary positions I can find that are remotely appealing require me to spend a minimum £7 (motoring costs). More if I have to pay for parking, less (£5) if I could use the train instead (depends on timing, though). To get, say, 20 volunteering sessions under my belt, what should I be prepared to invest? What is reasonable? And if 20 sessions isn't enough, how many sessions at £7 should I budget for?
The sort of job I'd expect to get on back of the volunteer experience would pay at very best, about £2.50/hour after travel & childcare costs (averaged over the year).
Supposing this hypothetical job was 20 hours/week, that's £50/week take home after costs (I'm ignoring tax for now).
So to recoup investment on 20 volunteer sessions (£140), only 3 weeks of paid work required.
do you think that's right way to think about it? In which case I suppose I should be willing to invest at least ... 120 volunteer sessions? As long as I can get at least a good reference out of it at the end.
But might be better use of time & money invested to just retrain in something to get an actual qualification (hmm). Am not sure which way to go.
It depends on the organisation I think, but at all the places I've ever done voluntary work my travel expenses have been covered. Sometimes automatically, sometimes I've had to ask (bit embarrassing, but I've never been turned down). Work experience is valued more than qualifications when getting a job in my experience (though qualifications help). What field is it you're looking to get into?
Oh gawd, I don't know what I want to do. I last applied for an admin-tech job in local government. I enjoyed doing admin when I was on preschool committees and am moderately geeky. None of the voluntary jobs are for admin, though, unless you count website admin.
Good to know about travel expenses usually being paid, I had no idea; I will ask.
I think I might enjoy being a TA, definitely would need NVQs for that, and could volunteer at some local school (perhaps, was turned down last year when I asked, though) to get some relevant experience. What are the starting pay rates for TAs? £7/hour, maybe?
when i did an OU course i paid about £600. if you reckon the volunteering is going to look better on your cv than an ou course then i guess anything under that is a good investment.
i volunteer for the woodland trust and my travel expenses are paid. i think that big organisations who depend on large numbers of volunteers will do that, whereas volunteering in a place where most people are paid staff you're less likely to get the travel expenses.
Ta, I was never going to ask school to cover volunteer costs (but schools are close so no need). Other places to volunteer, that I could imagine wanting to volunteer or having something to offer to, are mostly far away.
Where are you looking for positions? Many of the smaller charities and grass-roots organisations rely on word of mouth or people simply dropping in and asking to get their volunteers. You could also avoid hefty travel costs (although you may find you end up running errands and financing the odd thing, it should work out an awful lot cheaper than a position that requires a commute).
Search online for local animal sanctuaries, toddler groups, fundraising committees, parish council, development trusts etc. If you enjoy admin you could also volunteer your services to a local small business or sole trader; filing, entering tax receipts into a spreadsheet, preparing mail drops etc.
Be prepared to be a bit creative. Think about exactly what you want out of this and then be prepared to knock on a few doors and volunteer yourself. Good luck.