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Volunteering Stories: Jack Calder

We recently spoke to Jack Calder, Jack studied Education with Psychology and Counselling at Sheffield Hallam University and will be graduating this year. Jack was heavily involved in volunteering whilst he was at Sheffield Hallam and now works for a not-for-profit youth charity in Sheffield called Element.

Whilst he was a student, Jack was involved with the Head in the Clouds project which developed and delivered interactive workshops to upper primary school pupils to help tackle mental health issues. He was also involved with the Monday Club, a monthly social club for adults who are on the autistic spectrum.

We asked Jack why he got involved with volunteering with Sheffield Hallam Students' Union, he said: "I've always been interested and passionate about volunteering and I wanted to spend my free time at university wisely, I had a lot of free time so didn't want to waste it.

"I want to be a primary school teacher one day and knew that to do that, I needed experience so I thought that the Head in the Clouds project was perfect. I got the chance to plan my own sessions and run projects, it was amazing and was a stepping stone to my dream of working as a teacher."

As well as being a great way to further your career, volunteering is a fun and rewarding experience. Jack said: "I really enjoyed my volunteering work; I liked the diversity of the projects I got to be involved in. I liked getting to build a good relationship with the team at the Students' Union and I learnt a lot about myself and my capabilities.

"For example, I know now that I can work with children with different abilities and different ages and I feel that my volunteering experiences enabled me to become a diverse practitioner.

So, what would Jack say to someone who's thinking of volunteering?

"Don't think, just do it! I can almost guarantee you'll find a project that suits your interests and development needs and one that you will gain a great deal of a valuable experience from, and to be able to give back to the local community."

To find out more about the volunteering fair, head our Facebook event and to take a look at opportunities you can get involved with look on our Volunteering page.