Becks Sanchez, has been actively involved in volunteering in her community and fundraising for charities since she was at school. She says: “I believe these experiences have helped shape me as a person and develop my career as a British Gas engineer.”
Her social action journey continues today, allowing her to further develop on a personal and professional level, whilst helping other young people to have the same great experience.
I was first introduced to social action whilst at school. One of my teachers adopted a disabled orphan who had been abandoned by her family in Romania. I was extremely moved by the story and inspired by the teacher – I felt compelled to help.
I organised a fundraising event so that, along with my fellow students, we could raise money to directly help the orphanage in Romania. After this I wanted to continue to help others in less fortunate circumstances.
My school played an important role in enabling me to undertake social action opportunities. This this is why I think it is vital for education to champion and embed social action. Every young person should have the opportunity to help others and develop their skills as a result of it. My social action experiences at school set a personal standard for me about my commitment to support the community and good causes, and this has stayed with me into adulthood.
I went on to volunteer with the Scouts and local sports clubs. In the Scouts I worked with other volunteer leaders to assist 11 to 18 year-olds with expedition planning, outdoor activities and camp craft.
Volunteering helps develop skills for work
As well as helping others through my social action, I have developed my own skills, including communication, teamwork and resilience. I have also become more confident. I am grateful that this was recognised and valued when I applied for my first job.
When applying for my engineering apprenticeship with British Gas, they actively encouraged me to draw on my social action experiences in the recruitment process. As a direct result of my social action experience, I was able to demonstrate the attributes British Gas were looking for, such as good communication skills, team work, personal commitment and empathy.
British Gas believes in giving back to communities and developing their employees’ skills through volunteering, so I’m very lucky that I work for a business that celebrates and encourages me to continue my social action commitments. Now that I have finished my apprenticeship and am working as an engineer, British Gas continues to support me to volunteer, by giving me two days a year in work time to do so.
I am now a British Gas and DofE Skills for Work Ambassador and share my story to inspire young people, organisations running the DofE and businesses to recognise the value of a DofE Award.