I'm not an expert, but my last job did involve looking at CVs sometimes...
I don't think that a personal interests section is necessary really, once you've got some years of career history to talk about. Hopefully your CV as a whole will make it clear that you're hard-working and committed, so I'd not think you need to say that - I think employers will be interested in evidence of that (e.g. the studying) but not interested in you saying it, iyswim.
I would mention the studying in a section on qualifications/training (making clear that it was while raising children, if that's not already clear from context), and mention the voluntary work in the section on career history (making clear that it was voluntary and in addition to your main job).
The personal interests section is, imo, useful for people without much work experience, to demonstrate that they have done stuff other than go to school/college, but not for others. I think that the exception would be if you did something really substantial and job-relevant, or something that could be spun as job-relevant. Hth.
Thank you so much for replying ennistonemother that really does help
I did have a think about deleting it altogether as it just doesn't help my cv. I think i will set it out as you said as my cv is quite extensive on the work and studying front I'm not sure whether I should mention the children though-I'm going through it now-as law is not a particularly family friendly field and (unfortunately) why I'm updating my cv!
IMO it is worth having an interests section on a cv, but keep it brief and I wouldn't be too worried about it not being relevant to the job you do. It would be completely wrong to assess someone on their interests, but often revealing something more personal about yourself can show a little of your personality and show that you are a rounded person who's not all work work work.
I have found that it usually works more in a candidate's favour rather than going against them (unless you say you support xxx football team!). Sometimes an assessor will identify with an interest that you have and subconsciously think 'that person is like me' (although best practice says they shouldn't), whether that is sport, children or basket-weaving (I'd steer clear of the latter btw, or anything too wacky for that matter).
Putting something active on your cv can show that you keep yourself fit and healthy (I've got 'a keen interest in snowboarding' on mine, even though I went once 10 years ago!). A good phrase to use is 'Time permitting, I enjoy......' - that way, you are showing that you are committed to work first and foremost.
If nothing else, it can be a talking point for the awkward lift journey at interview .
Can I just ask then do you think I should remove my date of birth? I do realise it doesnthave to be there but I just left it ??
I did end up scrapping the personal section as I just did not know what to put : everything I could put is very outdated funny enough one interest I did have was following a football team that you would have thought has a bad reputation if you know football. (I got round this by putting I follow my home team). Another interest is travelling (true although haven't for about four years) but this is covered under part of my work experience as I also worked while travelling, including on a ski slope so that was another interest covered
In the end I just deleted it as I didn't feel it added anything to my cv but I do realise it may be best for others to leave in, and I do realise that's why people leave it there (for that 'this persons is like me ' moment)
What help do you need befuddled?
I have finished my cv now an am really rather proud of it