As you may or may not know, the RSPCA holds an annual event every year called the ‘Million Paws Walk’ in which money is raised to help fight against animal abuse among other important animal-related issues in society.
In my incredibly recent experience of this event, I was part of the ‘Support Squad’ which involved organising the show-bags to give to the guests, greeting guests as they entered with a bubbly personality, handing the show-bags out along with maps of the event, directing people to the entry points for the Runs or other places in case they got lost, cheering on the owners and their pets as they finished the walk, handing out small medallions and certificates and taking photos of the guests etc.
It was an incredibly enjoyable, fun, and helpful experience in terms of developing work skills, social life, my muscles (kidding, I’m joking about that part!), and learning about event management as well. I feel that I’ve learnt a lot about not only the RSPCA and how hard they work (as well as volunteers), but also about work-related skills and communication.
So here are some reasons why you should consider volunteering for events.
- It’s a great opportunity to make friends.
If you’re volunteering for an event, out of the goodness of your heart or because you have an interest in the event being held, chances are you will find at least a few people around your age (or possibly in other age groups) that have their interests fall in line with yours. When I went to the Million Paws Walk, I met two really cool girls there that were not much older than I and we talked about many things: the adorable puppies at the Walk, university struggles, education, personal interests and so on. We bonded over the amount of free food that was available. They also imparted some knowledge about volunteering and work events which I thought was particularly useful.
- You develop work skills, making yourself more employable and knowledgeable.
There were an abundance of jobs at the Walk that were necessary to make it function well for the guests (including setting up the event, meeting and greeting guests, directing and guiding people, organising show-bags etc.). Some of the jobs require some heavy lifting, and working collaboratively and quickly–especially when there is an influx of people entering the event at one time. Learning these skills is incredibly important when having a paid job and teaches you responsibility and time management, as well as taking initiative and being polite and bubbly.
In terms of the RSPCA specifically, I learnt how to properly approach owners and their pets in order to ensure I could pet them and take photographs of them. I also learnt how to identify dogs that looked dehydrated or tired (a skill that is especially necessary when you’re a pet owner).
- It’s an incredibly fun and satisfying experience!
If you volunteer for something you enjoy or have an interest in, the event you volunteer for will be endless amounts of fun and joy. I love animals, especially dogs, so you can easily imagine how exciting the Million Paws Walk was for me. The fact that I was part of the process of helping these animals and their owners was also immensely satisfying. (Not to mention, there are a lot of perks to being a volunteer including free food and merchandise!)
So, if you haven’t already, you should definitely consider event volunteering, because not only is it useful and enjoyable, you will also feel happy by the end of it!