Q & A: Volunteers' Week - Jack's Journey
Volunteers’ Week 2022 is running from 1-7 June this year.
It is an annual celebration of the contribution millions of people make across the UK through volunteering.
To help celebrate Volunteers’ Week 2022 we would like to take this opportunity to share some of our fantastic volunteer stories with you.
This is the volunteer journey of how Jack Harris, 22, a sports marketing student in Leeds, has gone from volunteering one day a week for Yorkshire Cricket Foundation (YCF) in a media assistant role to having the opportunity to create content for The Hundred, Tokyo Summer Paralympics 2021, The Premier League and recently landing a Marketing Communications Executive post with Yorkshire County Cricket Club, in just three years.
Any advice I would give to students is – to get ahead while at university volunteering is the best way! – Jack Harris
Here is Jack’s volunteer story…
How did you first get into volunteering for YCF?
Near the end of 2019 when I was in my first year at Leeds Beckett University we had the opportunity to attend an employability presentation with speakers including Will Saville, the Managing Director for the Foundation.
Will gave a talk about what to expect in the sector, employability skills and what life is like working in a sports business industry. What I took from the session was that the best way to get into the industry is to give up your time and volunteer.
At the end there was the opportunity to stay behind and ask questions – everyone walked out basically, because it was the first week of university and a lot were heading off to the pub, but I went down to the front and asked about the opportunity for some work experience or volunteering and at the time the Foundation was looking for someone to do one day a week in a media assistant role and I jumped at the chance.
What did you gain from your first volunteer role?
The Foundation is brilliant at bringing people through, letting people grow and giving them the experience in the first place.
I started helping with admin tasks and was also able to shadow and learn from members of the YCF team.
I also did a lot of work with the Yorkshire Cricket College – covering training sessions – and that is where my passion for content creation – and that sort of line came out really.
It was a great environment to work in – you feel good about yourself because you’re giving up your time, doing something positive and giving back. Also it was great working with the college – helping support young people and giving back.
It is also great for the CV because there is so much competition. If you have given up one day a week or however many hours over a month –and given up your time for free and produced good work it shows that they are committed and driven and in it because you want to succeed.
It’s also a chance to show a bit of character and who you are just through volunteering and on top of that you get a great experience and it’s a great feeling to give up your time and see the work that you produce and work with great people at the Foundation.
How has volunteering benefitted your career path?
Thanks to volunteering with the Foundation I was then given the opportunity in a paid role for The Hundred as The Northern Superchargers content creator for the men’s team. That was an unbelievable experience – working with all the professional players and being really embedded within a professional sports team and how they act and learning a lot of skills from my time with the Foundation.
This then led to creating content for Tokyo Summer Paralympics 2021 and working with LiveWire Sport on programmes like Euro Sport and The Premier League. All this happened because of skills I had learnt while volunteering at YCF and experience I had gained.
Now I’ve been given the chance in a full-time role with Yorkshire CCC and this is because of the hands on experience and knowledge I gained through volunteering and the opportunities that then opened up.
Any advice I would give to students is to get ahead while at university volunteering is the best way! If you want someone to look favourably on your CV or if you want companies and organisations to pay interest volunteering can really help with this and make people pay attention.
To find out more about Volunteers’ Week 2022 & our volunteer opportunities, click HERE.