Volunteering is a great way to enhance your time at university, gain new skills, and get involved in the community.
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Volunteering is when you spend unpaid time doing something with the aim of helping individuals or groups who are not related to you, or to benefit the environment.
Why you should volunteer
As well as positively impacting those you help, volunteering can improve your wellbeing, boost your confidence, expand your network and help you develop skills that will enhance your CV and help you feel comfortable in professional settings.
Volunteering opportunities are flexible, so you can fit them around your studies.
Roles include anything from mentoring young people to befriending the elderly, managing a charity’s social media account to guiding tours around museums. There will be a volunteering role to match your motivation, passion and goals.
Professional Benefits of Volunteering
- Looks great on CVs and application forms
- It helps you to stand out from the crowd in a busy graduate jobs market
- Allows you to gain practical experience in a sector you might be interested in pursuing a career in after graduation
- Build your networks
- Build up a portfolio of creative work, for example web design, social media management
- Shows that you are motivated by more than just a salary
- Community Volunteering can be recognised on your HEAR, and you could gain the Goldsmiths Community Volunteering Award or the Community Volunteering Plus Award
- Hours spent volunteering can count towards the 40 hours of co-curricular activities needed to complete the Gold Award
What people say
Sam Hawksley, Lewisham Local's Chief Executive Officer
“Student volunteers bring a fresh perspective and a range of different skills that can help us develop. Their passion and enthusiasm can help generate new ideas and give our projects and ideas a new lease of life. We have had over 15 different volunteers from Goldsmiths doing a range of different roles.”
Lewisham Local is a charity who encourages Lewisham people, businesses and organisations to give, to connect and be inspired through initiative and events.
Susmita, MA in Media and Communications, volunteered at Sustainable Transport Midlands
"My greatest achievement through the volunteering role was to overcome my fear of interacting with people in a new country. I was able to form meaningful connections and network with people who will provide me with help as I grow into a new career path."
"The key personal difference I’ve noticed from my volunteering experience is the confidence that I have gained in myself. Looking back at the difference that my contributions have made makes me feel proud and inspired to continue my work in the field."
Jeffrey, studying MA Applied Theatre, found the perfect volunteering opportunity with Heart N Soul
“I choose to volunteer because in my years of doing so, it has led to new artistic projects, a sense of community and, in some cases, employment. In studying my MA in Applied Theatre away from my home country, I wanted a volunteer experience that would enhance my studies as well as give me an opportunity to expand my connections beyond Goldsmiths. It would also give me a chance to explore the workings of a UK-based not-for-profit organisation and potentially make some friends in a new city.”
“I also knew that I wanted to find an organisation that engaged with community art and worked with people whose lives include learning disabilities. Heart N Soul was perfect for me as they work with people with learning disabilities and they hold a wide scope of productions, from theatre, to day programs, to choirs, to an annual Beautiful Octopus Club which invites over 3,000 people each year. Volunteering there was an amazing experience and gave me something to be excited about every week as I built relationships there which ultimately made me feel more rooted in the Heart N Soul community.”
Maya, BA in Design, volunteered at Bees and Refugees
“Volunteering for Bees and Refugees taught me the importance of putting your time towards pushing for meaningful social change and engaging with your community in a positive way.
"I have always been passionate about a variety of social issues and now, I see how I can offer my time to do something beneficial and get out there to make a difference. It has changed me in that this action is something I want to always be involved with; to be active instead of passive."