Cara Jones chats to Zack, a student volunteer who was keen to lend his time and energy to a worthy cause.
How did you hear about DAAT?
My mum told me about the charity shop and she said it would be a nice place to work because it had such friendly staff. She thought it would be a good place to volunteer too as she had visited there fairly often.
What inspired you to volunteer for DAAT?
I was at college at the time and I wanted to get some workplace experience to help boost my confidence in talking/socialising with people. I had considered dropping out of college, but also I wanted to volunteer specifically at DAAT as a family friend was thrown off a horse on Dartmoor many years ago and needed to be rescued as she had been so badly injured.
Devon Air Ambulance managed to get there and help quickly, and she didn't have to wait for a land ambulance. Because of this and the other stories I have heard about the charity I thought it would be good to volunteer as I had already seen where the money and support went.
What were you studying at the time of volunteering for DAAT?
I was studying Art and Design, specialising in Graphic Design. My interest was mainly in Film and Photography as well as some poster design.
What are your future aspirations?
Right now I'm thinking about what I want to achieve and my possible career direction. Currently I am looking at the possiblity of going into Civil Engineering or Architecture, as I want a career that makes an impact on the world, helping to make a positive difference to people, not just in this country, but elsewhere too.
What do you think are the main benefits for volunteering with us?
Well, first of all it is very good for getting experience, which can really help make the leap from education to work. Also it's good to support a very local charity where you can see the result of the efforts and fundraising, which is to keep the helicopters flying. With a lot of other charities you need to look into where time and money has helped, bit with DAA it's very obvious. Finally, I would also say it is a good way to make a few new friends and build up confidence as it did with me.
And do you think volunteering has helped you to get closer to your future goals?
Volunteering has definitely helped some of my goals to become clearer and feel more obtainable. An important goal for me is to make an impact on the world, and volunteering helped me to realise it isn't all about building huge housing projects in Kenya, or driving lorry fulls of supplies to Syria, you can make a difference by doing something as simple as serving and helping customers in a shop.
By lending time you can help people in distress and save lives and I think that knowledge has helped me to realise that my goal of changing the world can be achieved in a variety of ways.
What advice would you give to any students thinking about volunteering?
I would say that even if it's just a few hours a week it is a worthwhile experience - not just for whatever career you're purusing, but the experience will help you to become more confident and possibly make some new friends and connections, all whilst working for a charity which saves and helps hundreds of lives every year.