Meet the Volunteering Team

The Volunteering Team in Careers and Placements is here to help you find volunteering opportunities that will help you to build your skills and confidence, gain fantastic work experience for your CV and enhance your wellbeing, all whilst making a huge difference to the city you’re studying in! 

As the new term starts, we wanted to take a minute to say hello and let you know about the programmes you can get involved so you can #seizetheyear.

Kate Harper – Community Projects Manager

Kate leads on Community Projects. Community Projects are team based opportunities in which students volunteer with a community partner to tackle a local challenge, such as sustainability. 

This term we have a range of exciting projects for students to get involved in, including biodiversity surveying in local green spaces, working on environmental education projects, developing resources to support sustainable tourism, and creating sustainability action plans for local charities.

What does Kate think is the best thing about volunteering? 

“I love how volunteering can give you access to so many different experiences, all of them making a difference to the community. I’ve done lots of different volunteering roles, from making theatre costumes to supporting refugee communities, and I’ve learned something new and interesting from every experience”

Jacqui Fountain– Operations Manager

Jacqui is the Operations Manager for Volunteering and oversees York Students in Schools, Charity volunteering and the University Community Fund.

York Students in Schools is an award-winning scheme that connects students from the University of York with local schools, to help make a difference to the lives of young people in York. Every year, hundreds of students support schools and learning through a wide range of placements and projects, from nursery to college levels. 

We also promote opportunities with local charities and organisations across the city each term.  Student Volunteering opportunities cover a range of sectors including health and wellbeing, heritage and sport. This term you can volunteer with, SNAPPY, The Island, York Neighbours, Bedern Hall, Move the Masses and many more!

What does Jacqui  think is the best thing about volunteering?  

“Really making a difference in the community and seeing how your work has such a positive impact on others. Whether you volunteer in an area of interest or you just want to explore something new, you will meet lots of new people and develop key skills for your future.”

Amy Nieuwenstein  – Volunteering Project Officer

Amy is our Volunteering Project Officer, and as well as supporting the development of exciting volunteering opportunities she coordinates the implementation of our Community Projects. Ranging from topics such as food insecurity solutions, developing neighbourhood action strategies to creating sustainability action plans for local organisations. These Projects aim to create social value for the local community. She also makes sure you are fully prepared for your volunteering role by providing project management and sustainability skills training, where you will learn about the tools and theories to get the most out of your project! 

What does Amy think is the best thing about volunteering? 

“Being able to create social value for the local community while working in an interdisciplinary team is such a wonderful experience. It allows you to gain hands-on experience in major topics like sustainability, explore new interests and it gives you the opportunity to make a positive change.” 

Leanne Shaw – York Students in Schools Project Officer 

Leanne is one of our Volunteering Project Officers, working on the York Students in Schools volunteering offer along with Georgette. She liaises with schools to find classroom based volunteering placements for students and come up with new placement types, such as our EAL Support Assistant placement. Leanne looks after our matching process and delivers our training sessions. 

She completed 4 YSIS placements as an undergraduate student in 2010-2013, before completing her PGCE at York and working as a maths teacher. She returned to YSIS in April 2022. 

What does Leanne think is the best thing about volunteering?

“Volunteering is a rewarding way to develop your skills, meet new people and have an opportunity to “give back” to the community. I’ve recently started volunteering with a local Beaver Scouts group and it is one of the highlights of my week!”

Georgette Pooley – Volunteering Administrator 

Georgette is our Volunteering Administrator and helps to coordinate our Charity Volunteering programme as well as supporting York Students in Schools with Leanne.  

Georgette is also on hand to answer any questions you might have about volunteering. If you have any questions about the volunteering process, whether that be applying for roles, placement queries, or what you can do after your volunteering experience, you can get in touch with her through our dedicated volunteering email. 

Here at York, we like to thank our volunteers for their outstanding contributions to local communities, so if you have a story to share, let us know! You could be featured on our Instagram and Twitter accounts, or even receive a prestigious Student Volunteering Award at our annual celebration in June. 

What does Georgette think is the best thing about volunteering?

  “Being able to see how your contribution can mean so much to another person or cause. It is also a great way to meet like-minded people and learn new skills!”

So what are you waiting for? #SEIZETHEYEAR – VOLUNTEER!

To see a full list of our current volunteering opportunities, please visit Handshake. Follow The Volunteering Team on Instagram and Twitter :  @uoyvolunteering