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When everyone has a home

028 9024 5640: Housing & Debt Helpline for Northern Ireland

Matthew - Policy Assistant volunteer

Matthew Holland is an Ulster University Social Policy graduate who assists with research and policy work in our vibrant Policy & Practice team. Matthew is hoping to gain more experience in different fields of policy to help him decide if a career in policy is for him.

Matthew, 25, began volunteering for Housing Rights earlier in 2016, volunteering once a week with our Policy & Practice team.  Matthew previously worked in NI Consumer Council after graduation and felt Housing Rights offered a valuable opportunity to get back into policy work.

Matthew says: “As part of the Policy team I help out with any research - using the internet and also writing reports to summarise my findings to assist the team. For example one of my larger areas of work at the moment is around accelerated evictions in England & Wales and how it could impact tenants in Northern Ireland, so it is a great experience looking at the different policy issues.”

Furthermore, Matthew was inspired by Housing Rights’ mission to tackle homelessness and housing problems which proved a perfect fit for him following his previous voluntary experiences:

“I also volunteer for a local foodbank in Larne, where I am from. This peaked my interest in getting involved further to prevent homelessness, as I saw first-hand the devastating impact on individuals and families.
“So when I did an internet search and came across Housing Rights it just seemed like the perfect match for me and my interests and I haven’t looked back!”

Matthew feels his role provides an opportunity to contribute to the work of the wider organisation and he enjoys being back in a policy focused environment. He comments: “I think you need good written and verbal communication skills as well as research analysis skills to be able to do my role. It is also crucial to both be able to take direction, as well as work independently.”

He also feels his role has enhanced his employability as he is gaining direct work experience in a busy office environment. He says: “I would encourage you to volunteer as it looks amazing on your CV and the atmosphere is great as everyone is so nice.

“Housing Rights are looking to grow their volunteer network so it is a perfect opportunity to be a part of something new and exciting!”

Find out more about the volunteer roles available in Housing Rights, and how you can apply.