What can you gain from volunteering?

Olivia Green: Social and Political Science third year student at the University of York

Olivia has shared below her top reasons for why you should consider volunteering while you’re a student in York


There is the obvious reason that is at the core of so much of student life – meeting new people. Volunteering opens so many doors to meet new, like-minded people who you may never have come across without volunteering. Not only that, you are working together towards a shared cause, which is a great way of building even stronger relationships.

Positive change

The sense of achievement when you are working towards a goal you care about is so rewarding. No matter what your volunteering work or community project is, it is guaranteed to be good-natured and progressive. You really feel like you are pushing forward positive change for the community.

Getting to know York

Being involved in volunteering or community project immerses you into your community both at the University and in the city. If you are new to York, it is a brilliant way to get to know the area, the people in it, and how it all works.


Volunteering can be an incredible way of boosting your CV. It exposes you to working environments and builds skills that may be outside of what your degree provides. This is especially valuable at the moment, with experience becoming harder to come by and industries being increasingly competitive.

Finding your interests

Through community projects, I realised my passion for environmental sustainability, which is the field I am now working in for my Placement Year. The community projects were central in shaping my interest in the area, and the really relevant experience also gave me an edge when applying for placements.


Often, your time commitment to volunteering can be very much tailored around your schedule. Whether you are particularly busy and just want to do an hour a week, or you are able to give more of your time, you are likely to be able to find an opportunity that suits you.

So, being part of a greater good, meeting like-minded people, enhancing your CV, discovering what you care about, getting involved in your community… the list goes on and on. I cannot recommend volunteering enough, and I hope that you get involved and have as good of an experience as so many others have had.

If you’d like to get involved and see what volunteering options there are, taken a look at the Community Projects webpage