Four things I learned while volunteering for One-Eighty

Four Thingsby Annie 

I started volunteering for One-Eighty because I wanted to help young people who were struggling at school, just like I once did. Over the past two years I’ve had the chance to assist with individual interventions, help run the Kick Start programme and get involved in training. Here are just a few of the many things I’ve learned in that time.


  1. All behaviour is communication


It’s one of the first things anyone told me at One-Eighty: all behaviour is communication and there’s always a reason for it. I already understood that idea in principle, but volunteering gave me much deeper insight. Of course, finding the reasons can take some detective work, and that’s where One-Eighty comes in.


  2. The value of supervision


As a student of counselling and psychotherapy, I was familiar with the concept of supervision but hadn’t experienced it first-hand (as that comes later in the training). One-Eighty provides group supervision for volunteers. It’s a space for collaboration and reflection – and if you go in with something you’re stuck on, you’re bound to get helpful feedback.


      3. It’s okay to have a “bad” session


Sometimes things won’t go to plan. A young person might not engage with the activities you set up or they might be disruptive or uncooperative. That doesn’t mean it’s gone wrong. The session is for them and it’s part of the process. Change tends to be uncomfortable, even when it’s positive. What matters is that you’re there.


       4. Making a difference feels amazing


Whether it’s a small change you’ve noticed or positive feedback from a teacher, it’s an amazing feeling knowing you’ve helped a young person to change their life.


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