When you think of the word ‘volunteering,’ what springs to mind?
Litter picking in gale force winds? Shivering on Northumberland Street trying to catch the eyes of uninterested passers-by?
We won’t pretend like the above scenarios are a million miles away from the truth sometimes, but I bet we can prove to you that volunteering can actually be a bit of a laugh too. Read on for 5 reasons why you should volunteer without hesitation this academic year.
1. It’s fun
Hear us out here. Volunteering doesn’t have to mean spending your precious time doing something banal – rather the opposite. Did you know you can put your skills to good use in a range of projects that are tailor-made to suit the passions of students? At Go Volunteer, we offer SO many projects that are designed to not only benefit the community, but spice up your student life too. For example, volunteers regularly head into schools to get messy with kids using paints, chalks and shapes galore in our Art into Schools project. If festivals are more your kinda thing, why not steward at Berwick Film and Arts Media festival and bag yourself a free pass to soak up some of the best art in the North East? The possibilities are endless.
2. The freebies
Volunteering is the best way to give back to the community you’re a part of, sure, but it also offers you the chance to experience some amazing things – totally free. We regularly take trips to Rupert’s Wood, doing conservation work and overnight trips which invariably involves a tasty campfire BBQ. If you help out at Cockle Park Farm, you’ll be first in line to receive the juicy vegetables and fruit you help to grow. Fancy adding a new skill to your CV? Try out INTOgration, where you help fellow students at INTO brush up on their language skills.
3. The sense of achievement
Newcastle is a friendly, vibrant city that will undoubtedly show you lots of compassion and kindness during your 3+ years here. The best and easiest way to show your appreciation is to get stuck in with volunteering work that benefits the people around you. Can you imagine working with refugees in our NEST project, teaching them English, and be able to witness them improve week on week? You could be the one responsible for dispelling the feeling of discomfort some feel when struggling to ask for a bus ticket or tell their doctor what’s wrong. Wouldn’t that be amazing?
4. The friends
At Go Volunteer, one of the parts of the job we love is seeing students come together to help with a project. You may start as strangers, but once you’ve cracked the perfect hops ratio to make a delicious Stu Brew, you can guarantee you’ll be cheers-ing over a pint at the end of the day. Volunteering helps you meet people from halls, bond with those you’ve noticed sitting in your lecture hall and get to know people from completely different courses and years.
5. It makes you more employable
When the fear of the big, bad world of job interviews kicks in – you’ll be wishing you’d spent a few less hours in the pub and a few more hours out making memories you can safely talk about within an interview scenario. We know your mates may want to hear about that time you tripped down the stairs in Sinners, but unfortunately your future bosses will not. Volunteering can help build your confidence, interpersonal skills, public speaking, problem solving skills and so many more. If you want to go into management, what better way to gain experience than to become a project leader in a friendly, supportive environment? Our staff at Go Volunteer are on hand 5+ days a week to help you with any crises of confidence you come up against while on the job, and our Employability Workshops can give you even more hints and tips to equip you for that all-important assessment centre day.
We hope we’ve shown you how volunteering with Go Volunteer can change your life as well as those you help, but should you have any more questions, concerns or opinions – we’d love you to chat to us. Tweet us @nusugovolunteer, find us on Facebook or even DM us on Instagram. Hope to hear from you soon!