New career and confidence for volunteer
There are currently dozens of openings for volunteers across Lincolnshire and one of the people helping others into the roles saw his own life transformed by giving his time for free.
Jody Raggo is now an area officer with Lincolnshire Community and Voluntary Service (LCVS).
He originally joined LCVS eight years ago in a voluntary capacity. Back then his confidence was low, he felt stuck in a rut and he was struggling to motivate himself.
Jody had taken stop-gap jobs in retail and catering on leaving university with a degree in English and film studies, but wanted to shift to an administration role.
A training coach he was referred to via the Job Centre advised volunteering after Jody faced five months of unemployment, applying for roles that he didn't get due to lack of experience.
Jody was nervous when he joined LCVS (then called South Lincolnshire CVS) as an administration volunteer in February 2010, but it proved the perfect platform into a new career when seven months later a paid role became available.
He said: "I enjoyed being around a close-knit and friendly team of paid staff and fellow volunteers and was able to utilise my existing skills and knowledge to my fullest effect.
"I was able to gain work experience and qualifications through my volunteering (I completed a Level 3 NVQ in Business Management whilst I was volunteering), which then led to a paid job in September 2010 that I have been in ever since.
"It has helped me gain confidence and a sense of being within a community again as well as given me self-belief in my abilities and skills."
His experience not only led to a new career but also led him to continue volunteering long term.
Jody, 37, of Boston, continues to volunteer as a dog walker at Jerry Green Dog Rescue, in Algarkirk, and on resident committees Witham Central and Carlton Road Neighbourhood Action Group and High Street South and Boston East Neighbourhood Action Group. With LCVS, Jody has previously worked in East Lindsey and is now area officer in Grantham and Boston. His role involves promoting and enabling volunteering and supporting community groups with things like funding and policies.
Jody said: "Volunteering is very fulfilling and can help change lives. It certainly has mine!
"There are many roles that people can do and I believe there is a voluntary role for everyone out there whatever your skills and experience may be. I would definitely encourage people to give it a go."
LCVS supports people to volunteer in Boston, Spalding, Louth and Grantham in a wide variety of roles ranging from radio presenting to race marshalling.