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Tom Cowling: Volunteer Profile

What inspired you to volunteer?

I was inspired to volunteer because it was a new challenge that I have never experienced before. All I wanted to do was football coaching, youth work is a different experience for me and I wanted to take on this new challenge with both hands as it is an opportunity worth taking.

What is great about volunteering with Poplar HARCA?

The great thing about volunteering with Poplar HARCA is that it offers a whole different range of work from football to basketball and from fashion to working in the games room. They also offer different opportunities to work or to volunteer in another youth centre. Not many companies in youth work can offer these opportunities and for a young person like myself it’s a great development for new challenges in the future.

Do you think volunteering has helped you in anyway on a personal level/career level?

Volunteering has helped me on a personal level and on a career level as it has opened so many opportunities that I can take on in the future. On a personal level, it has gained me more confidence and belief in myself as now I feel more confident when taking on new challenges and when a new opportunity arises I have self-belief that I can take it on and no matter what the outcome I feel that I can overcome it. On a career level, it has boosted me when I go into my coaching work as I have gained new experience and new ideas through volunteering that I never would have thought I would gain.

Can you tell me about a memorable moment that happened during your volunteering time?

A memorable moment during my volunteering time for me was my first day of volunteering. Everyone welcomed with me open arms and made me feel part of something special which shocked me completely but it encouraged me to keep volunteering and every time I walk into the work place everyone is friendly and welcoming so that motivates me when I’m working and taking part in the sessions, but I would never forget the first day of my volunteering experience.

What is the one piece of advice you would give to future volunteers?

My advice for future volunteers is to always take volunteering into consideration as it leads to so many great opportunities along the way. It also an opportunity worth taking because even though you might not have experienced volunteering before it is a great experience for now and for the future.