Caitlin tells us about her very new experience of volunteering with the ALLIANCE's ALISS Programme.

From the days of trying to ensure I have more “BEBO luvs” than my friends in the mid 2000’s, to, in more recent years, striving to get my Twitter followers higher, I’ve always had a keen interest in social media! So, I decided to pursue my passion and turn it into a career. I currently study HNC Media and Communications at City of Glasgow College and thought it would be a good idea to get some hands-on experience alongside my qualification, so I applied to volunteer for the ALISS Programme through the Volunteer Scotland website.

The online application was easy, just my name, contact details and a bit about why I wanted to volunteer in this role. I was contacted on the same day, via phone, and invited to an interview (which was more of a nice chat, nothing too heavy!). A few days had passed after the interview and the phone rings, turnes out I was successful and was asked to come in for an induction the following week.

During the induction, I was introduced to the ALISS team and everyone else in the office! I was greeted with a warm welcome and made to feel at home straight away. I was briefed on all things ALISS including the communication strategy whilst Lorna, the Coordinator for the Programme, went over what they were trying to achieve regarding social media, I was then simply asked to brainstorm a few ideas of what ways I could use my skills to help whilst I was volunteering. I was also told of the opportunities and training I could receive as part of my volunteering, which just makes it all more worthwhile.

Keeping in mind, all this only happened a few weeks ago, it is still early days in my volunteering journey. So far, the plan for ALISS is to try and get the word out there via various social media outlets. The more people know about and are aware of what ALISS can do and provide, the more people will use it and add resources, which in turn makes the facility more effective. We want to get the word out there by, for example, visiting organisations that have added ALISS resources and including them in a Snapchat story or filming them for Periscope, by creating a new Facebook page to target a wider audience and by getting a lot more engagement from our tweets. Hopefully, further into my volunteering journey, I will have achieved some of these goals and helped raise awareness of ALISS, in turn, helping people to live well.

After my time volunteering with ALISS, I feel I will have gained a lot more knowledge than I had before regarding social media and the third sector. I will be able to use the stuff I’ve learned to further my media career and I’m more than sure I’ll look back on my time volunteering with ALISS as a rewarding and worthwhile journey!

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