Eden is a student who volunteers at an after-school book club through the Students' Union. We sat down with her and asked her a few questions to find out why she decided to volunteer and how it has helped her with her career choices…
What do you do as a volunteer?
I volunteer at an after-school book club as I enjoy working with children. This involves discussing the books with the children and helping them to develop their reading skills and confidence. The book club is also a chance for me to develop my own confidence and gain experience of planning and delivering sessions to the children.
What made you decide to become a volunteer?
I wanted to make the most out of my uni experience as I had dropped out the year before. I felt like I wasn't enjoying my course, however I was also volunteering with the book club which I was really interested in and this made me realise that I wanted to be a teacher after working with the children. I've started uni again this year and I'm so much happier, which I think is due to volunteering as I now know what I want to do after I graduate.
Would you say that volunteering can help students who may feel lonely or homesick?
I would definitely say that volunteering can help if you're feeling lonely or homesick. I felt a similar way last year when I wasn't enjoying my time at uni, and volunteering really kept me going which is why I've continued doing it. It's a great way for you to apply yourself and to give something back to the community whilst developing your skills, so it helps everyone really.
What can students get out of volunteering?
Volunteering is a great source of enjoyment and it's really fulfilling. You're helping to make a difference by being a volunteer, so there are lots of things that students can get out of doing it.
What would you say to students considering volunteering?
Just do it is what I would say. Throw yourself in and if you don't like it, you don't have to carry on doing it and if you do, then that's great. You might even find a new passion for something which will influence your career choices like volunteering did for me.
Interested in volunteering? Visit hallamstudentsunion.com/get_involved/volunteering/communityaction/afterschoolbookclub/ to find out how you can volunteer at the after school book club like Eden. You can also visit our main volunteering page on the website hallamstudentsunion.com/get_involved/volunteering/ to see what other opportunities we have available and to book an appointment with one of our volunteering coordinators to discuss getting involved.