And unlike almost any other experience in life, it is a situation that no one can prepare you for: there's no on the job training, no instruction manual, no trial period.
Market House showcases
SHETLAND Community Bike Project provides paid and volunteer placements for people with barriers to employment, equipping them with transferrable skills, experience and confidence to help them get back into work. Louise Thomason went along to speak to the people who have been making the project the success that it is.
Established in 1999, the charity was formed after various agencies recognised a need for a project which could help people with drug and alcohol problems.
DEALING with a bereavement is something that most of us will have to face at some point in our lives. Grief can take many forms, and issues relating to a bereavement can impact people in complex ways, writes Louise Thomason.
FOR SIX years, the OPEN peer education network has enabled young people in Shetland to help each other learn, writes Louise Thomason.
Based on the idea that people often learn most effectively when the message is delivered by a peer, Our Peer Education Network (OPEN) involves training young people aged 16-25 to deliver workshops in schools and youth clubs on issues such as sex education, alcohol and drug use, mental health issues, positive relationships, online safety and child protection, and young parenting.
The charity began life in 1987, and has since evolved to its current status, a company limited by guarantee, with a team leader, club leaders, support workers, volunteers and a board of eight trustees.
The annual ceremony, now in its fifth year, began with music from Charity Johnson, and guests were treated to canapés and mocktails before the formal presentations got under way.
The Royal Voluntary Service (RVS) is one charity on hand to help with this. It works to ensure older people feel valued and involved in society. Based in Market House, Lerwick, the Shetland branch operates lunch clubs, social meets and other services throughout the isles to do just this.
Friendship can be easy to take for granted, but for many folk across the isles, it's sometimes in short supply, Louise Thomason writes in her latest contribution to our series on voluntary organisations located at Lerwick's Market House.
Thankfully, the Shetland Befriending Scheme (SBS) is one charity which can help to fill this gap and benefit people feeling lonely or in need of some extra support.
For people who are the victims of crime, it can be difficult to know where to go for help and support, writes Louise Thomason in the latest of our profiles of voluntary organisations based at Lerwick's Market House.
Everyone's needs are different: some people need emotional support while others might need more practical help.
Across the isles at any given point, there are thousands of people offering their services for free. From sports clubs to hall committees, festivals and organisations, our community would not be what it is without the work of volunteers, writes Louise Thomason in her latest profile of voluntary organisations based at Market House.
FINDING employment can be a difficult process. A competitive job market, having the right skills, and being able to present those skills in a format acceptable to prospective employers are all factors which can add to the stress and difficulty, even for those who feel they are qualified.
Barriers to employment such as a conviction, mental health condition or having no work experience can make the whole process even harder, but thankfully the Moving On Employment Project (MOEP) can help.
The service provides a safe and impartial environment for parents to discuss arrangements for their children and family post separation, and an opportunity to avoid the financial and emotional implications of going to court.
FOR THE last 11 years, Market House has provided a base for voluntary and community-led organisations in Shetland. In this new series, to be published over coming months, Louise Thomason takes a tour of the building and finds out what the various groups based there have to offer. Here she speaks to Catherine Hughson, who is in charge of umbrella organisation Voluntary Action Shetland (VAS).