Skills & Training Network (STN) is proud of its ongoing volunteer program.
This has always been a treasured asset; taking willing beginners or enthusiastic regulars and channelling their skills and expertise into services which help disadvantaged local citizens. Over the years we have recruited dozens of assistants from the diverse cultures that make up our community. We have lots of volunteer success stories; many have moved into sustainable employment after their learning and working experiences with STN.
I have been a teacher in the private sector for 25 years. I am a specialist trainer in English and Mathematics. My work has included training in; functional skills, administration, ICT and customer services. I had been out of work with medical issues, off and on for several years. When a trainer’s position at Skills and Training Network became available I applied and was accepted as a volunteer in January 2016. I saw this as an opportunity to gain experience with the ESOL program, to embrace new teaching subjects and update my cv. I am currently overseeing STN’s ESOL courses at the Edmonton Green Shopping Centre.
I have found volunteering good for me on two major points: it opens doors to career opportunities which would not normally be available to someone my age; it also gets you back into the rhythm of everyday work, while meeting many interesting and helpful people on both sides of the room.
I’ve been a volunteer at Skills and Training Network for four months. I heard about the charity and its good work through my jobcentre advisor. It sounded like an opportunity to utilise my office admin skills, advance my supervisory talents and get back on the grid after a term of unemploymnet. I currently hold an accounts data-entry position in the office but help in other areas as and when needed. I used to work for Trading Standards where I would liaise with the police, government agencies and members of the public. Using this experience I have been able to bring my personnel and organisational skills to STN; dealing with volunteers, talking to beneficiaries and contacting funders and local body education departments. Working at STN has given me confidence and a positive mindset; when unemployed, even for a short time, you lose touch with the commercial environment and office interactions. I really like my fellow workers and meeting people from different backgrounds and cultures.
I’m originally from Yemen, and have been living in north London for eight years. I have been a volunteer at Skills and Training Network for three months, my advisor at the jobcentre told me about the charity. I cover most secretarial and some admin functions in my current role; I hope this office work experience will help me to get a job as a secretary, receptionist or admin assistant. I have meet new people and I really like that. I have learned to be patient and to respect the beneficiaries. My time at the charity has been challenging and enjoyable.
I came to the UK from Somalia 6 months ago. I have been a volunteer at Skills and Training Network for the last two months. I was attending ESOL classes to improve my English, and was so impressed with what they were doing I decided to volunteer. My main function at this time is to provide translations for Somali students in the ESOL classes. I also help with office administration. I would like to use my time at STN as a launchpad into further education, or perhaps to obtain a volunteer position in the STN Health and Social Care program. I’ve meet many helpful people, from the manager to the other volunteers; they’ve taught me a lot and given me hope for my and my family’s future in this country.