Why Volunteer?

By Florence Orchard: Politics second year student at the University of York

Volunteering at university is a great way to develop your skills, make new friends and support the community here at York. Here are my top reasons to volunteer at university.

Doing good

An obvious reason for volunteering is to put some good into the world. Helping other people is a fantastic thing to do and certainly an incentive in itself! Whatever your passion is, you’ll likely find a volunteering opportunity related to it at York. There are some great York Student Union ratified student led charities here at York which you can view via the following link: https://yusu.org/student-life/clubs-and-socs#

As well as this, there are also volunteering projects listed on the platform Handshake which all University of York students have access to. Applying for projects is quick and easy via Handshake!

Making friends

An exciting part of university is meeting new people and building new connections. Volunteering offers you an opportunity to meet other students who are like-minded and happy to help others. You already have something in common as you all decided to join the same volunteering team so making friends is really easy! During a volunteer project I was a part of in my second year, I was put in to a group with three other really nice students and I found that the project was as a great way to meet other people despite everything being online due to COVID-19 restrictions. 

Building skills

Volunteering is a great opportunity to develop your skill set. Team-work, multi-tasking, communication and creativity are oftentimes important elements of volunteering projects and you will likely find you develop many more skills through the course of your volunteering. It’s a fantastic way to develop yourself as a person, personally I found that my presentation skills developed throughout my volunteering project which I’ve found has helped me be more confident in other aspects of my life.

Work experience

Obtaining work experience can be very difficult, especially in the current climate, but volunteering provides an opportunity for you to obtain some much sought after work experience in a field you are passionate about. Volunteering looks great on your CV, it’s a fantastic way to highlight that you are a hard-working individual and build core skills employers are looking for. I have found my volunteering at University is a great thing to mention in interviews, it really grabs the attention of employers and shows that you are a proactive community-minded individual!