Big Night Walk, Big Benefits – Natalie’s Story

You know when you see or hear about someone suffering and you really wish you could help, well actually you can! From helping the elderly with internet skills to improving public spaces, with a little bit of research you’ll find the right volunteering position for you.

My heart-pulling moments were seeing people struggling on the streets, a fate no one deserves and one I couldn’t imagine. So I unhesitatingly signed up to volunteer at the Big Issues Big Night Walk. This is an annual event where hundreds of people walk 13 miles in London to raise money to change the lives of street vendors trying to escape homelessness.

At the event I helped set up the starting point and checked people in when they arrived. It was busy with everyone keen to start their challenging walk; this meant I needed to be efficient and assertive to ensure everyone was checked in and all the correct details were shared.  I will just point out the added bonus here; these skills are excellent to develop for your regular job too!

All the volunteers I met at the event came from a variety of backgrounds and lifestyles, so it was interesting to meet them to hear their stories and views as well. This kind of introduction to different life events and values helps you to softly develop an empathetic and considerate attitude that you might not have had before. This can only be a good thing in today’s multicultural and exciting society. I am looking forward to a coffee next week with my new friend Louise who I met at the Big Night Walk.

Overall, the volunteering experience was actually a lot of fun and not a chore at all. The rewarding ‘pat on your back’ feeling was incentive enough so it was pleasing to find so many other benefits to volunteering! So get yourself on the internet searching for volunteering opportunities near you to find out for yourself.

Natalie Barnes