Volunteering is a great way to network, gain experience, gain confidence and looks great on a CV. As things start to open up more across Lincoln, more opportunities will be available for participation.
How to find opportunities
From my own experience just a simple google search related to something your interested in with give you a selection of different options. Most of the time, organisations will have a website where you can find contact details and volunteering opportunities. If this doesn’t work, the student union website offers a source for a variety of volunteer roles based on what interests you, this caters not only to hobbies but also to helping you work towards your chosen career path. Simply sign up through the website and the SU will handle the rest, you will then receive emails offering you different volunteering roles. Once you have decided on a volunteering role, you can log and track your volunteer hours and the skills you develop through your student union account.
Volunteering can help equip you with a wide range of skills and benefits which can be useful for other future opportunities. Often volunteering is centred around the community so as well as building up your experience, you may get a sense of pride in knowing that you’re giving back to the community and are helping create a greater feeling community cohesion. As well as this, volunteering is sometimes focused on aiding those in need, this means that people in areas of deprivation can feel less disconnected from the community and feel as if they are being supported through hardship. Employability is another great benefit, it helps to fill out your CV without requiring you to take on the responsibility of a job. Volunteering offers you flexibility where a job might not, but still allows you to gain valuable experience.
Sense of place
From my own volunteering experience, one thing I really valued was the sense of connection to the place I was working. This was significant to me personally, because moving to a city represented a big change, however taking the time to volunteer and get to know not only the place but the individuals who make up the community also. It is worthwhile just for the greater sense of association with the place you’re studying, helping you to feel like you fit in without things feeling too alien. Personally, once I felt like I fit into the City everything else about living and working at university became easier and much more enjoyable.
Overall, becoming a volunteer can be great for personal development from both a professional and individual perspective. I encourage anybody to try out volunteering, and hope that this advice can help!