Dolly Oladini: 'I’ve met some fantastic people through volunteering'

26 October 2015

Dolly Oladini, Project Support Officer for Hydrogen London, explains how volunteering at school helped her land her current job in the Environment Team at City Hall…

I began volunteering at secondary school. I wanted the school to start recycling, so I worked with my teachers and our local authority to introduce recycling bins. I also ran a fair trade stall during school breaks and at lunch. All the profits from sales went to the Fairtrade Foundation. Later on, I helped organise a sponsored Oxfam charity walk with students. I’ve taken part in Oxfam’s annual Cambridge charity walk twice, and have collected donations for the Marie Curie Cancer Foundation and NSPCC. 

It was my belief in creating a more sustainable environment that inspired my first volunteering experience at school. The knowledge and passion I developed for the subject back then helped me secure my current job at City Hall. My role focuses on low emission vehicles and decarbonising transport networks across Europe. By helping business and individuals shift to cleaner transport, we can cut emissions and protect our environment and energy security.

Volunteering gave me experience in talking to lots of different groups of people. These skills have proved invaluable in my current role. I currently work for the Mayor of London’s environment team helping to coordinate the ‘Hydrogen for Innovative Vehicles’ (HyFIVE) European project, collaborating with global car manufacturers and infrastructure providers to increase the usage of fuel cell electric vehicles and availability of hydrogen refuelling stations.

My job is all about being a good communicator. All the volunteering work I’ve done has made me more confident in working with and managing people. I’d say it’s a brilliant way of learning more about what you’re interested in and getting new skills. If you’re out of work, it’s a great way to show employers that you’ve made a real effort to gain experience. It shows you’re committed. 

I’ve also met some fantastic people through volunteering. As well as learning about the environment and charities, I also learned about myself. It’s definitely worth it.

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