Student Volunteering Week: the impact of student volunteers – Humankind

Student Volunteering Week: the impact of student volunteers

Ann Hall, our Head of Volunteering at Humankind, shares her experiences of volunteering and the impact students can have on organisations and causes which are meaningful to them.

When thinking about Student Volunteering Week, I cast my mind back to my own days as a student.

During my A Levels, I volunteered at a primary school. It didn’t relate to my career path at the time (I wanted to study law), but it was easy for me to access as my mum worked there.

We were encouraged by a career’s advisor to volunteer, but I knew nothing of the power of volunteering back then. I just did as I was told.

At university, I got involved with a range of volunteering and it really felt good to do some good. As a reflection on this year’s theme for Student Volunteering Week, I knew I was making a positive contribution to my local community. I have always wanted to do good in the world, just in my own little ways, and volunteering has and continues to allow me to do that. I really would encourage students (well, everyone really) to volunteer.

You don’t need a lot of time. There are so many micro-volunteering opportunities and one-off, short-term roles out there. If it’s for something that’s important to you, which it should be as you are giving up your time for it, it brings a lovely feeling. Don’t do it because you get told to, do it because you want to. That’s when you and the cause you are volunteering for really get the benefit.

We asked colleagues from across Humankind to tell us about the impact student volunteers have had in their service, and I’d like to share some of their responses with you below.

“Student volunteers bring enthusiasm, curiosity and passion to our services, as well as specific skills and knowledge connected to their area of study.  This adds value to the support that people accessing our services receive, which in turn has a positive impact on local communities.  Many students go on to work with Humankind or other organisations in this field, furthering that positive impact through their careers.” – Chantal Renn, Volunteer Coordinator

“Our student volunteer has been getting great feedback for their positive vibes, they have a great flow of energy and interacts with staff and clients with a big smile every single week. They are very caring, supportive, and professional with clients, as well as potential clients referring into the service. They continue to learn and develop their skills around using CarePath, adding their notes and finding their way around the system.” – Ulku Dirioglu, Administrator

“Volunteering alongside being a student helps the wider and local community through students gaining experience and understanding of substance misuse services and the people affected by addiction – directly and indirectly. Students take this learning back into their studies, to their peers, and into their future careers and communities long after their studies are completed. We’ve has some fantastic student volunteers helping in a variety of roles and would highly recommend them.” – Amy Callebaut, Regional Volunteer Team Lead