I Spoke To Volunteers To See What It's All About #StudentVolunteeringWeek

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This week is #StudentVolunteeringWeek (19th February – 25th February) and we’re celebrating all things volunteering. It’s the perfect opportunity to get involved and Go Volunteer – with over 150 student-led volunteering projects, you’re spoiled for choice!

Not only is volunteering a great way to make a positive impact, but volunteering gives you the opportunity to develop essential employability skills for your CV. I spoke to some current student volunteers about the skills they have developed while volunteering:

 

N.E.S.T

A student-led volunteering project providing free English lessons to the refugee community in Newcastle.

Julia, publicity officer at N.E.S.T: “For me, I’ve gained a lot of skills in terms of marketing and PR which I wouldn’t have had the opportunity to do if it wasn’t for N.E.S.T.”

Why volunteer?

Julia: “You just leave the sessions every week feeling that you’ve done something good, and you make a lot of new friends from all over the university.”

For any aspiring teachers, N.ES.T is a great way to build on your teaching experience and prepare for a PGCE.

Get involved: https://n-e-s-t.org/

 

Oxfam

Raising awareness for Oxfam and the “STAND AS ONE” campaign to help reunite refugee families.

Amy, co-president of the Oxfam society: “You gain a mixture of employability skills and it conveys that you have an interest in Oxfam. I would love to work within Oxfam so I’m showing something that tangibly conveys that interest.”

Why volunteer?

Build on a diverse range of skills. From social media, communication, campaigning to team work, volunteering with Oxfam is great experience for students who want to work with NGO’s.

Get involved: http://bit.ly/2EFsufJ

 

Virtual Reality project

Virtual Reality aims to deliver a tailored virtual reality experience for various members of the local community.

Volunteer at Virtual Reality: “It’s a really good opportunity to build on your communication skills and technical knowledge... it’s also a good way to build on your teaching skills.”

“We need people who want to work with the elderly and children. We’ll teach you about the tech side – we just need people who are good communicators.”

Why volunteer?

Make a positive impact! VR are currently working with a local care home to provide a VR Google street view experience where people can walk around locations they have visited before: “It’s really helpful for people with dementia in a therapeutic sense.”

Get involved: http://bit.ly/2GtWoQx

 

Student Scout and Guide group

A project for anyone who wants to be involved with scouting or guiding as a leader, occasional helper or volunteer for one-off events.

Eleanor, leader at Student Scout and Guide group: “… even standing up in front of 30 kids is quite a big thing to learn and improve on to develop your communication skills.”

Why volunteer?

Tim, president of the Scout and Guide society: “You can learn a lot of outdoor skills, first aid skills… there’s a wide range of skills, whatever you want to learn, there’s always opportunities…”

“You can actively sign up and volunteer to be a leader with a local group, run activities or just help with organisational admin and attend meetings if that’s what you want to do.”

Get involved: https://nussagg.ssago.org/

 

Nightline

An anonymous and confidential listening service, run by students for students.

Jenny, publicity secretary: “You don’t know what kind of call you’re going to get, it can be a drunk person calling or it can be more serious so you learn how to adapt to the situation.”

Why volunteer?

Be a part of a team of over 70 volunteers and build on your active listening skills, as well as empathy, patience and gain insight into student welfare at NUSU.

Get involved: http://bit.ly/2EGv15j

 

For more information on volunteering opportunities, head here.

 

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