Volunteer Development Path Case Study

Case study 1: Cathrin Daniel

Cathrin Daniel, 27, is the Executive Director of Dolen Cymru, an organisation that promotes links between Wales and our twin country Lesotho in southern Africa.

NEW PERSPECTIVES: first volunteering experiences
Renovating a village monument, France, 1996, aged 16. Archaeological dig, Portugal, 1998, aged 18. Looking for: to improve my French, to have fun, to get away from home and gain some independence. Found with UNA Exchange: confidence from travelling alone, interesting friends, a sense of freedom.

LEADERSHIP: with UNA Exchange and abroad
First Welsh encounter: Leaders Training and leading a group project in Wales 2000. Leading a project in Greece, forest fire watch. Looking for: leadership and team-building skills. Found with UNA Exchange: self-awareness, stepping out of the comfort zone, affordable holidays from university.

PROFESSIONAL STEPS: working for UNA Exchange
Appointed as Wales Programme Co-ordinator 2002-04. Looking for: a job in the voluntary sector, an international context and opportunity to use languages. Found with UNA Exchange: friends, confidence, programme management and organisational skills, youth-work experience, understanding of global education, travel scholarship to West Africa opened new doors.

BECOMING A TRUSTEE: developing professional skills and giving something back
Served as a trustee for one year, 2005-06. Looking for: an opportunity to present staff perspectives on the Board of Trustees and support the Director. Found with UNA Exchange: a deeper understanding of the voluntary sector and strategic planning/issues affecting voluntary organisations. Overlapping issues with my current role in Dolen Cymru coincided with each other.

Cathrin still lives in Cardiff and supports UNA Exchange with recruitment, fundraising and events.

Case study 2: Rosie Ferguson

Rosie Ferguson is 25 years old and currently works as Head of Youth Action and Innovation for London Youth, a network of 400 youth clubs in London, and is studying for a Masters in Voluntary Sector Management. Her first involvement with UNA Exchange was in 1999; in October 2007 she completed two-years as the Chairperson of the UNA Exchange Executive Committee. This is her story…

NEW PERSPECTIVES: first volunteering experiences
Rock-climbing with immigrant children, Germany 1999, aged 17. Hamburg TV Station, Germany 2000, aged 18. Old people’s home, Japan 2001, aged 19. Looking for: to improve my German for A-Level, something interesting in the summer holidays. Found with UNA Exchange: a whole new perspective, experience living with people from different countries, a new independence, experience of making a documentary, a love of German beer!

CLOSER TO HOME: getting more involved with UNA Exchange
First Welsh encounter: Leaders Training and leading a group project in Wales in 2002. Looking for: a way to boost my Millennium Volunteer 200 hours. Found with UNA Exchange: friends for life, a new love for Wales, leadership skills.

GAINING MORE SKILLS: taking more responsibilities with UNA Exchange
Becoming a trainer: Leaders Training Team 2003, aged 21. Looking for: training skills.
Found with UNA Exchange: teamwork skills, training skills, responsibility.

A UNIQUE GAP YEAR: filled with international action
Finding my way after finishing university. Looking for: who I was, what I wanted to do with my life. Found with UNA Exchange: Global Education training, Training for Trainers course in South Korea, a month-long language course in Moscow, a 3-month teaching placement in a school in Russia, a project with refugees and asylum-seekers in Cardiff, a month volunteering in Tanzania, leading an international seminar in Czech Republic, a whole host of international friends.

I knew at this point that I was committed to a career in the voluntary sector, supporting people to gain access to the same kind of unique international and personal development opportunities that I had experienced through UNA Exchange.

TAKING IT FURTHER: developing professional skills and giving something back
Developing the Training for Trainers programme at UNA Exchange. Becoming a Trustee of UNA Exchange. Taking the role of Chair of UNA Exchange. Looking for: increased professional skills, a way to give back to UNA Exchange. Found with UNA Exchange: understanding and experience of being a Trustee, an opportunity to take initiative and lead on projects, a chance to make a real difference.