Student Volunteering Week: Students explain why they give up their time to volunteer
Student Volunteering Week is well underway this week. On Monday and Tuesday, we offered opportunities to meet charities and pick the brains of our student volunteers on the Concourse. As we gather our marigolds and bin bags ready for today’s Community Clear Up at Portswood Recreation Ground, we caught up with some of our members to ask them what they get out of volunteering their time.
Volunteering can add something to your social lives as a hobby as well as being an activity that can enhance your CV.
Ambrose Chou is a Youth Rep for his Parish Church and is part of Catholic Society. He finds volunteering a great experience both on a personal and professional level.
We chatted to Artur Fernandes and Marthe Borresen about their involvement with Southampton Hub.
Artur is the Sustainability Coordinator for Southampton Hub and leads on the Biocycle project. He likes to get involved and give opportunities to different people. He says that he finds volunteering fun and a great use of his free time.
Marthe is President of Southampton Hub. She volunteers because she likes to make a social impact on the community while developing useful skills she can use in the future.
Erica March is involved in a diverse range of volunteering at both the Witness service at the Crown Court and at Burgess Road Library. She gives up her time because she likes meeting people from different backgrounds and communities.
Don’t forget that volunteering doesn’t just mean giving up your time to help charity. It may be that you have an existing hobby that you like to do while you study, such as being part of a student group or run on one of our Union Committees, like Giles Howard, who is our Postgraduate Research Officer here at the Union.
He enjoys the role because he likes to improves things for students and give our postgraduate students a voice.
Jessica Parkes also volunteers her time with our Union as a Student Leader, helping other students to get involved with volunteering in the local community. Her title is ‘Community and Volunteering Officer’. She has quite a range of volunteering experience as she divides her time with volunteering as an Independent Custody Visitor and has previously given her time at the Citizens Advice Bureau working on data analysis. The best bit about volunteering for Jessica is talking to people and helping them with their problems.
Finally, Michelle Chow has built up time volunteering across many different sectors. She volunteers in charity shops, as a Freshers Rep, Economics course Buddy and as a mentor for the Summer Reading Challenge. She has also given her time during specific periods, such as RAG Week. Michelle volunteers to give back to the community. She specifically volunteered as a Freshers’ Rep because she wanted to repeat the amazing work of the Freshers’ rep that helped her during her first year of uni. She finds the whole experience very rewarding and a good use of her time.
If you don’t have much time, but you would like to get involved in volunteering, you can do something similar and devote your time to a shorter project, perhaps over the summer.
If you would like to share your story, tweet us @Union_Soton using the hashtag #SVW2017 and #VolunteersOfSoton.