The students at the heart of Humankind – Humankind

The students at the heart of Humankind

Jack Keery

This week marks the 21st Student Volunteering Week and we want to say a big thank you to all the students who donate their time and energy to helping Humankind.

The week, which takes place annually, is an opportunity to celebrate student volunteering and explore how these opportunities can improve students’ wellbeing and allow them the contribute to their community, while also developing their employability.

At Humankind, we are fortunate to have forged student volunteering partnerships across our services, with institutions like the University of Bradford, Leeds Beckett University and Manchester Metropolitan University.

Catherine Casey, a student volunteer at Forward Leeds, said:

“Volunteering with Forward Leeds, for me, was a great way to learn, gain experience and improve my knowledge of drug and alcohol services. It really solidified my interest in working within the field. The experience of volunteering developed my skills so that I had the confidence to apply for full time roles.”

Volunteering opportunities such as Catherine’s are beneficial both for the students who gain valuable new skills and experience, and for Humankind as students bring a diverse set of skills, knowledge and experience to the organisation.

Student volunteers are invaluable to our charity and, this year, they have supported Humankind to carry out research in our addiction services, created content for social media campaigns, facilitated one to one counselling sessions, co-facilitated groups for people accessing our services and arranged activities with our residents.

Roxanne Dodd, a Project Manager & Lead Counsellor at Umbrella Early Intervention & Prevention Support Service in Barnsley, said:

“Having students volunteer within our service has been invaluable. The energy and thirst for learning they bring to the role and team is often infectious and getting to watch them grow within that role is a privilege”.

Vicki, a student volunteer at Umbrella, said:

“I am a counselling student and was keen to do some volunteering with a local mental health agency before beginning placement. I have gained lots of skills, worked with some very experienced and kind people and completed some great training.

I will be beginning my counselling placement at the agency soon and plan to continue volunteering alongside my placement. My aim is to work within community mental health and the values that Humankind have in helping local communities are a big part of why I volunteer with them.”

Humankind’s volunteering team engage with students at university and college events, and all this week they will be out and about promoting volunteering opportunities at a number of events and organisations, such as The Academy: S.P.A.C.E. (Sheffield Psychotherapy and Counselling Education), the University of Leeds, and a student volunteer recruitment fair at Manchester Metropolitan University.

If you are a student and would like to learn more about volunteering opportunities at Humankind, please visit:

If you would like to have an informal chat about volunteering opportunities at Humankind, you can email

Written by Ann Hall, Humankind’s Volunteer Development Manager