When it comes to volunteering, Lyndsay Malone knows a thing or two about making the most of your experiences.
From giving out packs at the Color Run and selling tickets at the Belfast Festival to lending her support and skills to events such as the Cathedral Quarter Arts Festival, NI Science Festival, Belfast Film Festival and now the Tall Ships Race, her collection of branded t-shirts and merchandise just keeps growing.
That’s not all the well-known Belfast blogger gets from the experiences of giving up her free time voluntarily with the organisation Volunteer Now.
Lyndsay not only gets a wealth of first hand experience to write about but also has the opportunity to add to her growing list of skills and meet hundreds of new people each year.
She explained: “When I heard the Tall Ships Races were sailing into town for a four-day festival in July I knew instantly it would be an event I didn’t want to miss.
“I’m volunteering through Volunteer Now, which is a great organisation for promoting, developing and supporting volunteers throughout Northern Ireland.”
But it’s not just a case of turning up on the day.
In order to join the team Lyndsay had to treat the application as if she was applying for a job.
“Applications were open five months in advance and after a brief interview I was told I got the role of Liaison Officer” said Lyndsay.
“I was really pleased with my role, mostly because every volunteer’s role is an integral one, whether we’re meeting and greeting, event managing, raising the media profile or liaising between captains and organisers.
Already Lyndsay has begun to add to her skillset as a result of volunteering for the Tall Ships.
She said: “I undertook World Host Ambassador training and role specific training to prepare me for the festival. I will be assigned a ship for the duration and will be responsible for liaising between the captain, his/her crew and the organisers.
“This could involve anything from signing up the crew for tours of Northern Ireland, ensuring any laundry left out is clearly labelled and informing the crew when it is ready for collection, ordering groceries and other supplies, or maybe just advising them on sights to see on dry land. It’ll be quite different to my previous volunteer experiences.”
The Tall Ships Race takes place in Titanic Quarter from July 2-4, tallshipsbelfast.com