Service: Career Coaching
Having a quarter life crisis
Ella had been working for five years (she didn’t go to uni) and just suddenly hit a wall – friends, boyfriend, work, all seemed overwhelming; her confidence was crumbling, and she felt she was losing the pedals. The Forward team suggested she take a brief time out, go and volunteer somewhere and as a result give up her social media addiction. She needed to get back to her own thoughts without being influenced by the noise all around her.
Forward has a wide variety of volunteering places they signpost to, and despite it being just after the devastating Cyclone Idai.
Ella chose to go to Imire in Zimbabwe. As she explains herself: “Being at Imire was the most phenomenal experience. The place makes your heart sing. I felt immediately settled, in the company of people who were incredibly welcoming and who truly believe in their amazing conservation efforts. Days are spent exploring the mammals, reptiles and beautiful birds inhabiting the game park, caring for the elephants & rhino, assisting in park management, learning the art of tracking, understanding animal behaviour and anti-poaching skills. From feeding breakfast to the elephants, to scouting injured zebra on horseback, we were able to get up close to these amazing animals and have hands-on involvement in their wellbeing.
The focus is on wildlife and the local community, though no two days are the same, enabling you to get really stuck into a variety of tasks. A day in the park winds down with a refreshing drink atop a mountain while watching the great African sunset.
It was incredibly satisfying to combine ‘time out and a digital detox’ with making a difference. As the programme continued, I grew confident in a number of skills I wasn’t aware I possessed and also simply felt valued. The small gifts Imire had asked me to bring of pencils, calculators and other stationery were received with such enthusiasm – I was humbled.
I encourage anyone looking to feel their mind & body refreshed, challenged and their heart warmed, to have some time out, volunteer – and if you can, experience Imire. The Forward coaches were able to examine my situation and help me find the solution that would suit me best, which in this case was a volunteering trip. I am now fully bouncing back and looking forward to London life again!”