In June 2013 I started volunteering for a local charity helping women and children who were vulnerable to domestic abuse. Unfortunately I had to leave after a year and a half as I was given the opportunity to go to an American university as part of my degree.

It was one of the best things I have ever done. Not only did I learn more about a serious issue I feel very strongly about, I met some of the most amazing people and was able to help and give my time.

At first I was very nervous. My age was probably a factor for this as I felt like people wouldn't take me seriously or believe I would be capable of working with them. I also doubted how able I was in such a sensitive situation. Yet after a few months I felt at ease. I would come in knowing exactly what to do and how to do it.

I formed strong bonds with clients and co-workers and could not have predicted how sad I would be to leave. Not only was I given a card with writing from loads of women I met, but my co-ordinator put together a few presents for me which I will treasure.

It gave me a wonderful experience and it’s a lovely thing for me to be able to say I did. I wish I could have contributed more time and had more qualifications to help with things like childcare. I understand many people don’t have any time to give to volunteering but I would encourage anyone who does have the time to do it. It is so rewarding and I hope I will have the chance again to volunteer.