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Student Volunteering Week. 10-16 February 2020.

About

This is a unique week-long opportunity where the whole of the country will be getting involved. SVW gives you a great platform, whether you’re a student, university, college, students’ union, charity or social enterprise this is your chance to get to showcase your innovative projects and events. We hope you use this time to promote student volunteering and share your ideas, best practice and challenges with the rest of the sector.

New Student Profiles

Will Forbes

I volunteer with the Rock Pool Project, a community interest company that aims to inspire people to learn about the marine environment in a fun and educational way. I chose to volunteer with them because I have aspirations to work in education and charities, and working with the Rock Pool Project has given me fantastic insights into how a community interest company functions, as well as having gained multiple valuable skills!

Most rewarding moment was seeing everyone's eyes light up when I picked up a lobster! To someone considering volunteering, I'd tell them its a fantastic way to meet new friends, gain new experiences and you never know what might crop up when volunteering, which to me makes it even more fun!

 

Sophie Gray

I volunteer with Scouts UK.

I volunteer because I want to make a positive impact in my community and be able to give young people experiences outside of education and home life that they wouldn't necessarily have the opportunity to. I want to inspire them to gain skills for life.

My most rewarding moment was when one of the young people that I have seen grow up in the past few years, gained a participants position to attend the World Jamboree in West Virginia, USA last summer. To get this position meant this scout needed to learn lots of camp basics, how to cook, how to pitch a tent and some survival skills such as understanding how to tie certain knots and using purification tablets for example. All of his skills along with his new ones made at Scouts enabled him to go on a trip of a lifetime that he will never forget.

I would say to someone thinking about volunteering to "go for gold". It makes you feel good, you can have fun whilst learning something new and you're partaking in something that keeps you on your toes and makes you happy! ??

 

Katie Hemmings

I am the President of the Raise and Donate; we are a society that offer a range fundraising opportunities to Falmouth and Exeter students from climbing Everest Base Camp to hitchhiking over Europe to jumping out a plane! We also run lots of fundraising events/projects for Students to get involved with from a Naked Calendar, to themed club nights to our own edition of Take Me Out. By doing this we raise money for a variety of great charities and causes throughout the year.

I volunteer because, not only does it help me make a positive difference, but it also helps me to meet likeminded people, feel involved in the community and develop new skills that I can then use in a productive way to help others. The causes I volunteer for are also close to my heart, and knowing my work helps support them is such an incredible feeling.

My most rewarding moment would probably be the production of our Naked Calendar. It involved 13 societies and 4 student photographers, meaning over 100 students were involved. It was such a great project to work on and everyone got so stuck in and had so much fun with it. Looking through the finished calendar once it had been printed was amazing, and it went on to raise nearly £400 for charity.

Definitely volunteer, it will be one of the best things you ever do. You will meet the most lovely people and knowing what you’re doing is helping others makes any hard work worth it, it’s just the most rewarding feeling.

 

Katy Ross

Over the summer I volunteered as Conservation Skills Trainee with the RSPB in the North of Scotland in one of their largest reserves. This was great for me because I was working in an incredible habitat and met some really inspiring people as well as working on current conservation operations. Since being back at university I have been volunteering as captain of the university shinty team and I am also plant and habitat rep on the ecosoc committee.

I volunteer for lots of different reasons, with the RSPB I initially started to improve my job prospects as I'm getting close to graduating but also because I really love the blanket bog habitat that they protect there and wanted to spend some time learning how to conserve and restore the peatland. With the university I volunteer because I want to share my passion, I want more people to experience the opportunities I have had from playing sport at an international level from being a complete beginner. As well as sharing the fascinating nature of British wildlife with other people wanting to learn more.

My most rewarding moments involve seeing people achieve things that they didn't think they would ever be able to do, particularly in shinty. Or when I found I could name all the different species of moss on a blanket bog (a bit niche but cool).

If someone asked for my advice about volunteering I'd say to pick something you really love or want to learn more about. Volunteering isn't just about giving some thing back, I'f you're doing something you love you'll also gain so much, from knowledge around about a subject to meeting new people (just make sure you still spend plenty of time on your degree)

 

Emily Gilford

I’m not great at sitting around doing nothing, so I figured it’d be good to use that to my advantage and spend my free time doing something useful! Another great benefit of volunteering is that it’s something looked upon really highly by employers, especially if you can find time to volunteer while studying at University.

One of my most rewarding volunteering moments has to be when the Beach Clean Project won a National Societies Award last year. We spent so much time as a team organising Plastic Free Week and lots of sustainable events, and to have that recognised was an amazing experience.

My most rewarding moments involve seeing people achieve things that they didn't think they would ever be able to do, particularly in shinty. Or when I found I could name all the different species of moss on a blanket bog (a bit niche but cool).

Volunteering is a great way to use any free time that you might have at University. It’s also a great way to meet new people and learn new things outside of your degree. And even if you can’t find the time to get out and about, you can even find volunteering to help out with at home. You don’t have to dedicate your life to anything if you don’t want to - just spending a little time here and there donating your time to something you care about can go an awfully long way.

 

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