Volunteering whilst at university can be a rewarding experience – it can provide an insight into various organisations while helping you to develop many transferable skills which will benefit you both during your studies and in the world of work. Teamwork, communication skills, a strong work ethic and a little bit of positive karma are all up for grabs if you decide to get involved with any volunteering opportunities. Plus, it looks great on your CV and will give you lots to talk about to a potential employer, so during your studies a bit of volunteering can be a great option if you have any spare time.
The SU and their website provide a continuously updated list of opportunities that are available all over the county, ranging from helping within the community, to the arts and heritage sector, the environment and media volunteering positions. You can easily choose something that suits your interests and the good news is that many organisations will be flexible around your timetable, so you don’t need to be worried about it taking up all your time. It can also be a pretty handy way of filling up some of your time during the long summer months too.
All your hard work will definitely be recognised! You can keep a log of the hours you spend volunteering and use them towards the Lincoln Award, which aims to improve your employability skills. Also, the SU will award you with either a bronze, silver or gold certificate based on how many hours of work you do. So, while you bask in the joy of helping other people or offering your help for a good cause, you also reap the employability benefits which will give you the edge when you graduate.
In my free time, I volunteer for an organisation called ‘Just Lincolnshire’ which works to raise awareness about discrimination and hate crime within the county. Through working with them, I have been able to pursue my passion for equality, gain experience in marketing and publicity and develop my time management, communication (verbal and written) and teamwork skills. Alongside this, it’s fulfilling to be a part of something that endeavours to make people’s lives better.
With ‘Just Lincolnshire’ I have had the opportunity to be involved with a number of projects such as the freedom trail at Hill Holt Wood. Hundreds of primary school children participated in activities to teach them about tolerance, identity and equality, as well as some current social issues including migration. I also took part in a filming day to share my own experiences of discrimination.
Volunteering is an opportunity where you can help other people while simultaneously gaining valuable qualities that will help you progress down a wide array of avenues in your life during and after university. It can also be an excellent way to build confidence, meet new people and make friends. I can safely say it’s been one of the most rewarding things I’ve taken part in and been a highlight of my university experience.