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Volunteers going the distance

Our volunteers come from far and wide, and from all walks of life. They never fail to make the office a brighter place to be, and we strive to give them valuable hands on experience in return. Kristen came all the way from Georgia, USA to give us a helping hand. She was with us for six weeks, and has very kindly shared what she learnt from her time here.

I found out about The National Brain Appeal after I applied to be part of The Intern Group, an organisation that matches students up with companies they are interested in. I expressed my interest in the social work field, including charity work and raising awareness for the prevalence of mental illness. Based on my interests I was lucky enough to get an interview with The National Brain Appeal. I had a phone interview with Fundraising Co-ordinator Jess and it sounded like the perfect fit.

The work was mostly focused on The National Brain Appeal’s events – Sandown Park Race Day, A Letter in Mind art event, and the Pyjama Party.

I also worked at the Race Day itself, and it was one of my favourite experiences. The volunteers were mainly responsible for encouraging guests to bid on the silent auction and spotting the live auction. Since I was the only one that had been in the office, I helped the others understand the auction process and told them about the auction lots. I was also lucky enough to get to wear some of the beautiful (and very expensive!) jewellery that had been donated for the auction around the event so the guests could get a closer look.

Kristen at sandown

I’d never been to the races before so that was lovely in itself. More than that, it was so special to see a project that we’d been working on come to fruition. There’s nothing like seeing a room full of people who all share your passion for an incredible cause.

One thing I took from my experience at The National Brain Appeal was that the people there have the biggest hearts, and I hope that will be the case wherever I end up in the future. I don’t know exactly which country I want to work in, or even what field exactly, but now I know that when you’re working for any type of helping organisation, the people you work with will make your experience even more rewarding.

Later this year I will be starting another internship at a domestic violence centre, while I continue to take classes and finish my last year of my undergraduate degree in Social Work. I am very excited for the opportunity – it is a very different field of experience. But I loved my time at The National Brain Appeal so much, it will have a lot to live up to!

If you too are interested in making a difference and would like to volunteer at The National Brain Appeal, please get in touch here. Our Pyjama Party campaign is this October and we need volunteers throughout September and October to help at this exciting time in our calendar.

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