Harry Twohig, making a positive difference by volunteering at The Mix
I’m Harry, a football mad 16-year old sixth-form student from Middlesbrough. I’m currently studying History, English Language, Philosophy & Ethics and English Literature at AS-level, with a view to carry three of these subjects on to A-level next year. I’m an avid supporter of Middlesbrough Football Club and a keen reader – Mitch Albom is my personal favourite!
In the summer of 2016, I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to attend World Youth Day (an event which confusingly lasted for a week) in Krakow, Poland. This event was a mass gathering of almost two million young Catholics from around the globe and it was at this event that I first gained a real sense of social responsibility. After hearing the stories of what so many others did to make a positive difference to the global community, I returned home and began searching for a voluntary position which would allow me to do exactly that. That was when I found The Mix. From this, I began volunteering as a comment moderator for The Mix in June 2017.
As a comment moderator, I am part of a team who work to respond to the comments made on the vast array of articles housed by The Mix. In my role, I help to point commenters in the right direction to give them the best possible chance of getting the help and support they need and deserve.
Since I have started volunteering with The Mix, I would certainly say that I have developed many existing skills, and picked up a few new ones along the way! Particularly, I have learnt how to communicate effectively with someone digitally. It is sometimes strange to think of the need for listening skills when you are not actually physically hearing something – in this role I have learnt how to listen with my eyes! This is key so that I can try to understand the commenter’s situation and then provide them with the best possible information. Since taking up the role, I also feel far better equipped to understand some of the key issues affecting my peers – and some of the issues that may affect me in the coming years too!
Volunteering with The Mix has really helped me to grow in confidence – there truly is no better feeling than knowing you have been able to help! Since volunteering with The Mix, I have begun to engage in other opportunities in my local community and I feel far more comfortable with ‘putting myself out there’.
I think volunteering with The Mix is unique because I can support others without even having to step foot outside of my front door. To volunteer with The Mix, I don’t need to be able to travel to different places (something which has prevented me from volunteering previously – at 16, driving is obviously not an option!) All I have to do is log in to the online portal and I’m away. My only regret is that I did not find The Mix sooner!
Published on 30-Apr-2018
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