What is Student Volunteering Week?
Running for its 21st year, Student Volunteering Week is a nationwide event bringing students together to celebrate the volunteering you’ve been taking part in, or to find out more about ways you can get involved.
For obvious reasons, this year has seen many people keen to support projects focused around sustainability, but there’s a whole range of opportunities out there and it would be difficult for someone not to find a programme linked to a social issue close to your heart.
Why should I be interested?
Being a volunteer is not about being a saint! Talk to anyone who gives up their time for a cause that concerns them, and they will tell you it makes them feel good. And if your physical or mental wellbeing isn’t in need of a boost, then what about your employability skills?
Volunteering often provides the chance to test your ability in areas where you may not have had much experience before, but that will be a real asset in your future career. You often get thrown in at the deep end, but when you realise you can swim you will get a huge confidence boost – and who would say no to some Jedi powers? You may also find out that topics you thought would interest you turn out to be not what you expected and, equally, discover subjects you feel passionate about but had never really considered before.
If you need more inspiration, please head to the Law School Student Employability Blog and read about Ayran who volunteered at the Law Clinic. By providing clients with free legal advice he not only made a real difference to people who needed help but weren’t able to afford it, he also gained invaluable experience in advising clients, and resolving disputes.
How can I get involved?
Many people have considered volunteering but are not sure whether it’s for them, or even what they’d like to do.
A brilliant way to find out more about how you can get involved is to go to the Bristol SU Volunteering Fair. This will be held on Wednesday 9 February from 4:30 – 6:30 in the Anson rooms and will be showcasing lots of local organisations. You don’t need to be ready for a long term commitment – there will be options for just getting a taster too.
If you can’t make it to the Fair but would like to find out more about local projects then head to the SU’s Skills & Volunteering webpage, check out what’s happening at Bristol Hub, or take a look at myopportunities run by the Careers Service.
British Heart Foundation have lots of volunteering opportunities available, and if you already know you are looking for an outdoor volunteering role, Step Together are looking for volunteers to assist with their allotment programme and would welcome anyone interested in helping vulnerable young people.
We hope that’s provided you with some food for thought, and wish you a very happy Student Volunteering Week!