“My name is Rhys Baldwin and I am a volunteer with Volunteering Matters. I am 18 years old and live in Pontypool.

Prior to volunteering with Volunteering Matters I was in school and volunteering with the police cadets and St John’s ambulance. I found out about Volunteering Matters through my time with the police cadets as a member of staff from Volunteering Matters came in to deliver a workshop on active citizenship, in the hopes of recruiting volunteers. I was inspired to volunteer because I wanted to make new friends and I also wanted to eventually join the police force, so I saw the cadets and St John’s as perfect opportunities to do this. While volunteering here, I was inspired to move on and become more involved with volunteering with Volunteering Matters.

When I first began volunteering, I was very shy. At first, I found it very difficult to stand in front of a big group of people and deliver workshops with Sex Matters Too. However, with time, I overcame this by taking on more responsibility, attending training provided by the project as well as additional workshop sessions.

I have learnt how to teach and train people around the topics of sexual health, sexual exploitation and healthy relationships as well as how to speak in front of a group of people.

I have gained a lot from volunteering; from having support to find employment, to being able to build my CV with the experience and knowledge I have gained through volunteering. It has also given me something to do weekly and I have made new friends.

Volunteering matters to me because it’s something I am really passionate about and I believe that everyone should volunteer. For young people, it keeps you busy and off the streets. I personally found it gave me something to focus on other than my school work, as I can switch off and do something I enjoy.

Next month, I am starting a job at Admiral in Newport. I think that volunteering with Volunteering Matters and having it on my CV made me stand out from the crowd and more able to get a full-time job.