Volunteering can be an extremely rewarding experience for both you and the people you’re helping. The National Union of Students reported that 57% of students already volunteer. Whether you want to volunteer to boost your CV, to help out the community or because you can’t commit to a fixed job, there are many ways in which you can participate. Here’s a few ideas to get you started on your volunteering journey.
Do your research
You can find the perfect placement by using tools found online. Use resources like Hands On London. These guys can really help you with the experience, as they have placements that are set up and ready to go. They provide opportunities that can be completed on evenings and weekends. You will also meet new friends at the Welcome Orientation Sessions that they host. As a volunteer, you are not expected to commit to a long term job and can choose placements as you please.
You can join Mayor Sadiq Khan’s new volunteering programme, Team London. Similarly to Hands On, you are not expected to do any certain amount of work, just whatever suits your schedule. They offer placements varying from running reading classes for children to partaking in a local clean-up. This is a great way to give back to the community whilst doing something that you are good at.
Make it relevant
Volunteering should be a rewarding experience for both parties. You shouldn’t be aiming just to ‘look good’ by doing it. It’s important to choose a placement that will be beneficial for you. Ideally, find something that’s related to your degree in some way, as you can draw on these experiences in the future.
Whilst completing your degree in social studies or childcare, why not volunteer in a local community centre? If you want to become a chef, make yourself useful at a soup kitchen or retirement home, or if you’re looking for experience in PR or outreach work, help a charity to promote their cause. Whatever you choose, make it worthwhile and make it relevant. That way, you’ll take something valuable away from the experience, as well as feeling amazing about helping the community.
Check your student union
You can often find opportunities to volunteer by speaking to your student union. They run tonnes of events all over the year and are always looking for more help. Joining in with your student union events is also a great way to meet new people and widen your circle of friends. You can find out more about what events they are hosting by visiting their website or going to see them in person. The National Union of Students have a great website too.
Another resource you should utilise is your University website. Use the search tools available to find out what placements they are supporting. You never know, you might find something brilliant that you never would have thought of! You can also speak to your University tutor as they will have the right contacts for you to get in touch with if you’re unsure.
So, now you have all the tools available, what’s stopping you? Enhance your student experience and sign up for a volunteer placement!
Do you volunteer or have any more tips on volunteering? Let us know in the comments!