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One person who has benefited first-hand from volunteering is former Halesowen Windsor High School pupil, 22-year old Hannah Detheridge.

Since graduating from university in June 2013 Hannah has struggled to gain a full-time job. To help boost her chances, in November Hannah began a volunteering position at Dudley Council, working in the communications team.

Thanks to the skills that this has given her, she is now going to second interviews for two graduate-level jobs.

She said: “Despite working my way through university with part-time jobs, I didn’t have an impressive enough CV to see me through application forms. Since helping at the council I’ve gained insight into the working world, which I’ve used to my advantage, plus I now have a great portfolio, which seems to be getting me through to second interviews. I am confident at last that I will get onto the career ladder, and I’ve got my volunteering position to thank for it.”

Jan Jennings, head of communications at Dudley Council, said:

“Hannah has been a real asset for us. As well as helping the team in conducting ad hoc tasks, we gave her the massive task of researching, collating and writing everything that we will be using to commemorate World War One for the centenary of the war’s start, in August.

“Hannah has set up pages on our website dedicated to the war, where she outlines its history and timeline, as well as loads of local details. She has researched everything from local residents who gained medals in the war, to how local areas contributed to the war effort. She has even interviewed local war veterans.

“Without Hannah there is no way that we could have dedicated resource to doing such a thorough job, and we’re very grateful to her.”