My name is Daniel Hill and I have recently volunteered at YHA National Office for two weeks as a requirement for my BTEC qualification in Travel and Tourism. After being taught about the organisation at college during certain modules, I was instantly intrigued and interested. When I was told I had to complete a two week work placement as part of the course, I knew instantly I didn’t want to work just anywhere, so I applied to complete my placement at YHA National Office.
On my first day I didn’t know what to expect and I was anxious but as soon as I walked in the door everyone was extremely welcoming. I was given a tour around the building and I was shocked at the amount of work that went into one organisation – maybe that was me being naïve!
Whilst on the placement I was based in the Volunteering and Fundraising Department where I got to work with many lovely people. To help me with my course, I was offered time with other departments so that I could experience as much of the organisation as I could. I got to experience the Finance Department, Contact centre, IT Department and Marketing.
As a taster to the company, I attended an induction with other new members of staff and got to experience what the marketing and finance teams do. Both departments were lovely and treated me as if I had worked for the organisation for years. Marketing were even keen to help me with my assignment by emailing me loads of resources I could use!
I spent a morning with the Finance team and they were keen to get me involved and not just have me sitting around. With the support of a member of staff, I was shown how to scan invoices and input the information onto the system. After being shown what to do, they let me have a go and I was glad to experience the department hands on.
I sat with the IT department for an afternoon, and even though computers aren’t my strongest point, they helped me understand what the department does. I got to experience hands on what they do as someone called them for support. I also got to experience the Contact Centre, where I got to listen in to people making bookings at the hostels.
As I had never been to one of the hostels, Kate Lansley, my work experience coordinator, took me to YHA Castleton Losehill Hall. I am starting my degree in Child and Youth Studies in September so she arranged for me to work with the staff organising activities for the school children. I think this was the best day by far! Making shelters and learning to start fires in a hail storm was amazing fun and such a laugh, even the kids were enjoying the day and didn’t mind getting a little bit wet.
Working at YHA National Office isn’t like working, its like going to your second home and getting on with everyday life. The staff are like your friends and family and the work is enjoyable, everyone is so passionate about what they do and why they do it. After completing my placement, I am eager to stay in touch with all the wonderful staff I have met and help out and carry on volunteering for the organisation, well if they still want me! So to everyone who thinks that volunteering is boring and takes loads of motivation – it doesn’t, because volunteering for YHA is an amazing experience and I would do it all over again!
Finally I would like to thank YHA for the opportunity and hope to see you all again soon.