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Did anyone do volunteering as a SAHM with a view of it helping with employment later?

(38 Posts)
sebsmummy1 Thu 06-Feb-14 18:17:02

It's all in the title really grin

I've been driving myself mad trying to think of employment options as a SAHM and thought today that maybe I could do some volunteering with a view to either turning into employment down the line or at least making me more employable in the future.

Has anyone done this and could give me any pointers? I suppose I'm less interested in dog walking or sitting in a charity shop and more interested in something that could have prospects. Do such things exist?

happysingh Fri 21-Feb-14 23:55:25

Brilliant discussion! Sounds good to hear happy stories after being a SAHM! Just started to be SHAM.....My girls enjoy me being around them....I am planning to do something at least once a week....thx for all the advice and bw!!!!

LoisWilkerson1 Thu 20-Feb-14 15:57:46

Hi folks, just thought I'd share with you that after trying to get back to work after six years as a sahm, the fact that I done had some part time work and voluntary work has really saved my skin! I was quite surprised how many employers were only interested in the last five years of my life and were not at all interested in anything before then so when answering interview questions etc, these experiences were so helpful! Just a thought, if you are staying at home, try and do even one night a week somewhere (pub, shop etc). Hope this helps.

fuzzpig Thu 20-Feb-14 10:22:04

Yes I did.

I did a few things related to the children and family centre but the main thing was just volunteering in a charity shop.

It was great both in terms of actual experience like till training and customer service etc, and also the confidence it gave me after feeling isolated for years (I have social anxiety issues) - it definitely helped me get a job.

1stMrsF Thu 20-Feb-14 10:10:30

I was the chair of our local twins club and also trained as a bf peer supporter. Neither led to paid work, but I did use examples from each of them in my interview for my current job, so I feel it was really helpful in getting back to work (had been SAHM for 4 years). I still do email bf peer support.

drivinon9 Fri 14-Feb-14 13:30:21

Another one here who volunteered for an advice line for 18 months, and then got a paid role doing something similar. I'd not been in paid work for 6 years, and now I enjoy my new work much more than my previous job - so definitely possible & recommended.

fortyplus Fri 14-Feb-14 09:48:42

Thinking about it, you probably have a local 'volunteer bureau' that tries to match organisations needing help with people who have the relevant skills and time available. Ours has a little feature in the local paper every week.

ProfYaffle Fri 14-Feb-14 09:22:27

Another CAB advisor here. It's fantastic for keeping in touch with the world of work. You're treated very much like an employee, training, appraisals etc. Personally I was in HR so use the CAB to keep my legal knowledge up to date as we get regular training. I'm hoping that when the time comes it'll make it easier for me to get back into paid employment.

SliceOfLime Fri 14-Feb-14 09:20:48

Also this is a lovely reassuring thread, I see so many SAHM / WOHM threads on here where people basically say "if you are a SAHM you will lose all your skills and never work again!" (And of course your husband will leave you etc...) So it's always nice to hear stories like these.

SliceOfLime Fri 14-Feb-14 09:18:26

sebsmummy I have set up a small local non profit organisation, and I know there are loads of small groups in my area like residents' associations, gardening groups, baby groups (and me!) who would love some help with designing leaflets / posters / websites if that is the kind of thing you do? Just have a look round for small groups like that in your area and they will bite your hand off grin

kd73 Fri 14-Feb-14 09:04:38

Hi, I too trained as a volunteer bf peer supporter and now get paid to do i, without the volunteering I wouldn't have such a fab job :-)

ThinkAboutItTomorrow Fri 14-Feb-14 09:02:44

Try an organisation called taproot. They are a US org but I have heard they are looking to start over here.

They help people with skills like graphic design do pro bono work for smaller non profit organisations. So design a new logo or website for a charity etc.

Would give you stuff for a portfolio if you are looking to freelance.

ShotgunNotDoingThePans Fri 14-Feb-14 08:58:48

Another ex CAB volunteer here. Am now on a f/t degree course (creative subject). CAB was good in terms of getting professional referees, and also helped with confidence, but I had no interest in pursuing a paid role there (not that I was ever invited to!)

They do exist, though, and most of the supervisors/specialists started as volunteers.

I would have loved to find some sort of creative role, but we're in the sticks so not much of anything around.

fortyplus Fri 14-Feb-14 08:56:49

Set up local residents' association
Ran mother & toddler group
Helped in school
Became parent governor
Joined committee of local Scout group
Ran school uniform shop

Breezed into part time job with local council after 12 years as sahm - now work full time smile

supadupapupascupa Fri 14-Feb-14 08:53:56


I'm Treasurer for a building used by scouting groups
I'm Treasurer for a Parent's Forum at the Children's Centre
I've spoken to the local school about becoming a Governor

Not much but it's good to keep up your skills, confidence and do something for yourself. And it benefits others enormously

Helpyourself Fri 14-Feb-14 08:48:32

Yes! I trained for and took calls on a helpline, trained as a bf peer support worker, trained and worked as a literacy tutor and then did admin support of face to face work with clients for a charity.
I really beefed up the voluntary work and used it to evidence the fact that I had updated my skills, liaised with professionals from the relevant sector, undertaken supervision and gained experience in 1:1 work and office admin which was vital as I was previously a teacher and wanted to move into an advice/ support rôle.
If you're doing voluntary work with a view to changing industry, be analytical: work out what skills you need, get them and learn the lingo so you can prove it!
Good luck!

BranchingOut Fri 14-Feb-14 08:38:22

I was only a SAHM for a year after my maternity leave, but I trained and volunteered as a bf peer supporter.

I don't think that any of this will get you a job, but it will certainly help with a reference and open up new contacts.

lilyaldrin Sun 09-Feb-14 14:10:22

This site might be useful

You can search for volunteering roles either by your interests or what activities you want to carry out - eg. you want to get some PR experience in Oxford, this comes up

hellokittymania Sun 09-Feb-14 14:01:52

Not a mum but can someone suggest some volunteering options around Enfield or nearby. I am visually impaired, no degree but have lived in Vietnam for 7 years and speak 7 languages. I have worked with people with disabilities and am trying to enroll on an RNIB course to get a qualification for working with people with VI.
I have a bit of vision but not sure what to do.

Trizelda Sun 09-Feb-14 13:53:01

I volunteered for a charity called 'Volunteer Reading Help' now called 'Beanstalk' I think. You need to do 3 hours a week in a school helping 3 children with their reading/confidence issues. Definitely helped me when applying for teaching assistant jobs.

secretscwirrels Sun 09-Feb-14 13:50:18

I did, in fact I still do some,but I don't think it helped much.
School governor at secondary and parent helper at primary.
Volunteer at library .
Education appeals panel.

The thing about being a parent helper is that by the time your children are older and you want to work, you may no longer enjoy the company of small children like you used to, I certainly don't grin.

verdiletta Sun 09-Feb-14 13:43:57

I volunteered as an adult literacy tutor - got lots of free and really interesting training, and it helped me land a paid tutor job now the kids are at school.

Nevercan Sun 09-Feb-14 13:39:50

I volunteers for the Nct so I could put on my vc I was a branch secretary or social media coordinator etc.

Ilovemydogandmydoglovesme Sat 08-Feb-14 23:11:27

I'm a parent helper at school. Apparently that's how most of the staff started. grin

dashoflime Sat 08-Feb-14 23:08:41

I volunteered at the Citizens Advice Bureau (not as a stay at home mum) and now I am a (paid) specialist benefits advisor

A lot of small organisations could do with website help - that might fit well with your cv?

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