Volunteers’ Week 2016: Fitting volunteering into your work schedule

It can be a challenge to fit volunteering in when working full time. However, we know that many volunteers who run Code Clubs – either on their own or as part of a group – not only feel able to balance it with their work but also see benefits from it too.

We spoke to a few of those volunteers to find out more about what motivated them to get involved with Code Club, and how they manage their professional lives alongside their volunteering.

Saskia Warwick, a volunteer who works at Pearson, told us she got involved as she was “keen to learn about coding myself and thought this would be a great way to slowly learn the basics. Also, I was previously a nanny so I was interested in finding volunteering opportunities that involved children and working for Pearson, I naturally am passionate about Education. Code Club ticked all the boxes!”

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She also told us about some of the personal benefits she has gained from running her club; “I have acquired a lot of patience and more enthusiasm – the kids’ enthusiasm is contagious! … The patience element has benefited my work – now when I ask a colleague to do something, I realise that sometimes other people might take longer to complete a task due to their level of computing ability. Code Club has also instilled a sense of problem solving and self reflection to my work. If the code isn’t right – the project just won’t work!”

Bryonie Badcock, another Pearson employee, explained how she fits volunteering into her schedule by making Code Club a fixed part of her weekly schedule:  “I volunteer almost every Thursday for the 3.45pm class for about 45 mins, and I volunteer when possible on a Wednesday at a 4pm for an hour class. I’ve committed to stick with it, and other commitments generally have to work around my volunteering.”

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Yousuf Aboobaker Sait, a Software Engineer at ARM, told us that volunteering has helped change his attitude to work; “Code Club helps to give me an outsider view of my coding tasks. It also helps me to be more patient and find out interesting ways to express my ideas.”

Victoria Campbell-Crawford, another ARM employee, runs a club alongside other three other colleagues to reduce the time commitment for each person. This means that she takes time out of her work schedule every two weeks. “As there are plenty of volunteers and the club is teacher-led, I can schedule my sessions around heavier workload times. I’m also happy to put in additional hours if necessary to fit in Code Club.”

So, if you would like to find out more about volunteering with Code Club, visit our website for more information.