Caroline’s Story

Caroline began volunteering with Rennie Grove Peace as a Web Support Volunteer and went on to secure a job in the digital marketing team as a Digital Marketing Officer. She tells her story...

Caroline’s Story

From volunteer to career…

Caroline has a long history of working with or volunteering for charities both in the UK and internationally, including a stint when she lived in Chicago and volunteered at a food pantry. After time out of the workplace it was volunteering that gave Caroline the confidence, and experience, she needed to apply for a paid position.  

She explains: 

“I had always seen my mum volunteering, so I really grew up with it. I was taught how important it was to give back. It really is in my blood.” 

Caroline worked for a local mental health charity before her time with Rennie Grove Peace. 

“I was in my previous role as Fundraising and Engagement Manager for nine years. I really loved my job but had to leave due to family circumstances as I was needed at home to support one of my children.” 

After nine months out of the workplace, Caroline felt it was time to see if she could find some volunteer work to help her maintain her skills and confidence.  

“I was searching on a volunteering website and found a ‘Web Support Volunteer’ role at Rennie Grove Peace, so thought I would apply. I had experience of website building work in my previous roles so it seemed like a good fit.” 

Caroline started her new volunteer position in May 2023 and supported the digital team with tasks such as checking web page content, uploading news stories, updating pages, adding images and more.  

“At that time it suited me really well to volunteer – without the degree of responsibility and pressure that might come with a paid position.” 

Caroline was impressed with the volunteer process and felt very much valued as a volunteer: 

“It was all very organised. I was assigned set tasks which worked really well. I was able to sit with my line manager who inducted me and showed me all the systems. It was a nice smooth process which made me feel even more valued.” 

After her induction, Caroline was able to work mostly from home so she could still be there for her family but was encouraged to feel a real part of the team from home.  

“I was invited to attend a team meeting and lunch with the wider marketing team to get to know everybody and how their roles fitted into the team. Everyone was friendly and made me feel very welcome.” 

Caroline continued with her volunteer post until January of this year when a position became vacant in the digital marketing team and she decided to apply for it. Caroline was the successful candidate and is now Digital Marketing Officer (fundraising) at Rennie Grove Peace.  

She now supports the fundraising team with all their digital marketing needs such as creating fundraising and ticketing pages for upcoming events, ensuring the fundraising section on the website is up-to-date, assisting with paid social media or writing and designing emails to supporters.  It is a busy and varied role. 

Caroline credits her volunteering experience with being a key stepping stone to getting back to work. 

“I felt useful and had a sense of purpose. It was a key step in returning to work as I was able to get used to structure and routine again while getting my teeth into work I enjoyed but without pressure.” 

Caroline adds that the best thing she got out of volunteering was confidence. Confidence to work again and more confidence in herself. 

“I learned new skills through the digital marketing work I was doing in the volunteer role. The familiarity with the work turned into experience and helped with becoming a full member of the team” 

On the other benefits of her volunteering with Rennie Grove Peace, she said:  

“At that time in my life it was great to have something that was just for me. It got me away from any challenges at home and gave me something to focus on, using a different part of my brain and utilising my skills and experience from previous roles.  

“Rennie Grove Peace is definitely one of the best organisations I have volunteered with. The support you receive and the way volunteers are valued is great.  

“All volunteer roles here are purposeful and have a reason behind them. So volunteering here was a really positive experience.”