Lydia Ruston’s Volunteer Experience with EmployabilityUK

Lydia Ruston is a Volunteer Marketing Officer with EmployabilityUK, where she works on the charity’s social media strategy, forms an integral part of the Marketing Communications Team.

Hi Lydia! Tell us a bit about your involvement with EmployabilityUK…

During the lockdown, I was fortunate enough to take on the role of a Marketing Assistant for EmployabilityUK. Understanding my privilege of being able to volunteer during these testing times, I wanted to ensure that I made the most of the opportunity. Gaining valuable experience, enhancing my skills and working amongst individuals that genuinely care about helping young people has been an eye-opening experience.

Tell us a bit about what you get up to as an EUK Marketing Officer…

Whilst volunteering, I have attended weekly Team Touchpoint call’s that allowed me to gain an insight into the work the charity was doing. I have also been fortunate enough to attend a Trustees Meeting, which gave me a great insight into the charity’s core values. More recently, I have attended meetings as a part of the Marketing Communications Team, which involved discussions around future projects and the development of EUK’s Social Media Strategy. Despite these meetings being virtual, I was warmly welcomed by every single member of the Charity and treated like I had always been a part of the team.

What other experience have you gained as a member of the team?

During my initial interview, I expressed my interests in Social Media and Blogging, explaining that these are the areas I would love to gain experience. So far, I have produced two blog articles that targeted different audiences. This allowed me to experiment with the tone of voice and positioning. One blog involved me interviewing members of the Business Development Team and the Marcomms Team, with the purpose being to compile an article around how they support EUK. My second blog targeted students who were about to receive their GCSE or A-Level results. I thoroughly enjoyed producing both articles and found this experience invaluable.

What skills have you developed as an EUK Volunteer?

One of my main responsibilities has been coordinating the ‘Student Voice’ Project. Through leading this project, I have strengthened my time management and teamwork skills, as well as understanding the significance of clear communication.

Tell us a bit about the opportunities you’ve found most valuable…

I wanted to make the most of my experience volunteering for a Charity, so I tried to gain experience in areas I have not ventured into previously. This involved completing a Trust Fund application. Completing this application allowed me to gain an insight into the process of applying for trusts – a vital aspect of any charity.

I have also joined a small team of volunteers to work on creating content for EUK social media channels – specifically LinkedIn and Instagram. Throughout my time volunteering, I have also assisted the CEO in multiple projects. In doing so, I have gained experience in multiple areas and made the most of my time by taking on every opportunity.

What aspect of volunteering have you enjoyed the most?

Learning how a charity operates and most importantly, how they have adapted during these circumstances. This has allowed me to appreciate just how dedicated volunteers are. I have enjoyed my experience being a volunteer for EUK and look forward to showcasing my experience to future employees.