I caught the volunteering bug when I was aged just 17 and I have continued to be a volunteer until this day. I do it because every one of my volunteer experiences have been different, the location, the job, the people, the food etc. You get a chance to work on projects that interest you without needing to have the necessary qualifications to work in that specific field. Hell, let’s face it, I’ll have plenty of stories to tell the grandkids!
I was diagnosed with relapsing remitting Multiple sclerosis when I was 25. Naturally, I was devastated but it really made me reflect on what I wanted from my life – to travel more and see what I want to see in the world before my disease progresses too far. At the time, I had been working for a multinational bank for eight long years and so after saving up a decent amount of money, I decided to quit my job to go traveling whilst my mobility allowed for it. There’s a stigma attached to working for free at my age, some friends think that I’ve lost it and genuinely worry for my wellbeing and future – How will you pay your mortgage? Will you get a job again? You just have to be a bit more responsible and make sure that you have a bit of money behind you and then go for it! Now don’t get me wrong, it would be great to still be earning money however I can appreciate that some experiences are worth more than their weight in gold.
On my EVS here in Krakow, I work Monday to Friday 8.30 -14.30, where, I work in a centre that runs workshops for people suffering with mental illness where to my surprise some of the participants speak English and I’ve had some great conversations with them.
I decided to apply for this EVS as I am considering going to University as a mature student when I eventually return to Scotland. The experiences gained here in Poland would put me in good stead to gain a place at University to study social care. My main struggle in Poland has been learning the language if I’m honest! However, I do understand a lot even if my pronunciation is diabolical at times…
The European Voluntary Service project ‘Youth for diverse Europe’ is organised within the framework of Erasmus+ KA1 and financed by European Commission.