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You don’t need to be a marketing guru or a head of digital strategy to give invaluable support and advice to the people we work with. All we ask for is around two years professional experience and a real enthusiasm to get involved.
What is the time commitment?
It can be as little or as much as you like. Even 20 minutes of your time, writing a few emails or a quick phone conversation can often make an invaluable difference. Equally, some of our volunteers become committed to their work by maintaining the connection over many months or years. It’s entirely up to you.
Why should I volunteer?
Good question. Your skills are unique and of value, skills you use everyday in your professional role could be the vital missing link for grassroots organisations. With a little bit of your time, you can make an enormous difference to the charities and young people we work with. Many of our volunteers say that it makes a big difference to them too – it’s personally rewarding, often great fun, you make new connections between new organisations and new contacts, and learn and develop new skills – all good for the CV.
What do I actually do?
This really depends on you and the charity or group that you’re working with. Some of our volunteers simply help by suggesting amendments to a charity’s press releases, others meet and talk about how a community group could harness the power of social media to achieve their aims, and others get involved by mentoring young people on media projects like film-making or radio production.
'I can honestly say this project has been one of the highlights of my year so far. The young people have surprised and delighted me and made me think hard about issues that I had never even considered before.'
Hannah Bayman, BBC (mentoring at Whizz Kidz)
'I really would recommend to all PR and communication professionals to volunteer with Media Trust. Not only because you can help organisations in need of professional help, but also because it helps you to have an insight on the charity sector, which is always very valuable.'
Yazmin Meza Lopez, Freelance PR professional
What difference does it make?
The difference volunteers like you make is invaluable. The young people that our volunteers work with talk about feeling much more confident in their abilities and having much stronger self-belief after completing their projects. The charities and community groups we work with benefit in thousands of different ways – ranging from improving and increasing their fundraising abilities to achieving more press coverage to help raise the profile of their work and the impact that they have.
How do I get involved?
It couldn’t be easier. Take a few minutes to tell us about yourself, what you do and what your skills are and what you’d be interested in volunteering on. Register online here.
I’d like to get involved in my area, can you help me find something near me?
Requests for support come in to us from across the country – in towns, cities and more rural locations. We’re confident that your skills are needed and can be used in a volunteering opportunity that’s right for you. Our online service enables you to search by location.
We currently offer youth mentoring in London, Essex, Birmingham, Bristol, Manchester and Leeds/Bradford only.
Where is Media Trust based?
We are based in London's White City, but you don’t have to come and see us to get started. You can volunteer from your desk or from home: wherever suits you. But of course, you’re always welcome to pop in and have a cup of tea!
If you'd like to be a youth mentor, you will have to attend a training session and the volunteering is usually face-to-face.
Do you cover volunteers' expenses?
If you work with young people through our Youth Mentoring scheme we can cover some of your expenses but unfortunately we can’t cover your costs through any of our other schemes. We are sorry about this and we hope it doesn’t get in the way of your enthusiasm to get involved. Remember you can volunteer with us without leaving your office or home – you can offer support on email, over the phone, through web cams... the possibilities are endless!
I know a charity that needs media advice and support, how can I introduce them to Media Trust?
There are lots of ways that we can help charities and not just by providing volunteers. More details are available at www.mediatrust.org/communications
Can my whole team get involved?
Certainly. There are lots of ways that your team can get involved. Give us a call and we can talk through the various options of how we can match your team’s professional skills with charities that need one-to-one support.
Can you do one of your speedmatching events at our office?
Yes, we are always delighted to run speedmatching events with our media partners, and are grateful for the donation of venues and refreshments. We do ask that all staff attending work in a media, marketing or communications role, as we are unable to facilitate non-media volunteering. During busy periods it may take up to three months for us to program in a speedmatching event, but this is to ensure that the right participants are involved.
Once I start volunteering, how much contact will I have with Media Trust?
We will keep in touch with you throughout your volunteering experiences through our schemes. We’ll be more regularly in touch if you volunteer through our youth mentoring schemes because we will organise some training for you. But we are always available to talk through any queries you have and help iron out any issues.
I work at a media organisation but I don’t have media skills, can I still volunteer?
We are particularly interested in hearing from people with digital media, marketing or communications skills as well as publishing, film, TV and radio production. So if you don’t have those kinds of skills or experience but are keen to volunteer, don’t give up. We know lots of organisations that you might like to volunteer for so get in touch and we’ll tell you more.
How can I stay in touch and get the latest news from Media Trust?
We keep our volunteers updated through regular e-newsletters. You can also join our Facebook groups or follow us on Twitter.
For more information, call 020 7871 5658 or email email@example.com