Student Volunteering Week: Why Get Involved?
By Danielle Williams on February 17th, 2016
With Student Volunteering Week fast approaching, now’s a really good time to think about the benefits of volunteering as a student. For those who don’t know, SVW is an annual, nationwide campaign that highlights the work of thousands of student volunteers and encourages more students to give volunteering a try.
Running February 22nd-28th, it’s the perfect opportunity to get into volunteering if you’ve never tried it before. Here are some reasons why you might consider getting involved.
Think about it – how often do you hear about graduates getting that dream job or graduate scheme spot, based on their degree alone? Most careers now require students to go the extra mile if they want to be noticed, and volunteering is an excellent way of doing that.
By giving your time to help others in need, you’ll be showing your commitment to achieving change and your value as a potential employee.
Volunteering is so diverse and so changeable, you’ll be certain to meet an array of new people from various backgrounds and even forge some really strong friendships. As well as mixing with other students (both from your own university and others), you’ll also get to connect with the people you’re helping, many of whom always have some interesting stories to tell. And as the story goes, those who volunteer together stick together.
How often have you ever wished you could change a current situation you hear about on the news, or to do with the way a group of people is treated? Have you ever felt angry but not known what you could do about the situation?
Because of the way SVW is organized and structured, all students are given a real opportunity to make a difference to something they really care about – whether its setting up your own campaign or joining someone else’s. You’ll also be able to actively measure the impact your work is having using the resources SVW provides – something volunteer schemes don’t always cover.
If you’ve never volunteered before, SVW is the ideal time to start. Thanks to a number of introduction events and activities leading up to Volunteering Week itself, you’ll be able to dip your toe in the pool and find out what types of activities and projects might be best for you. Each participating university will be running ‘Explore Your Potential’ – a week of activities that helps students explore taster sessions, CV workshops and see what’s out there.
Take a look at the SVW What’s On section to find events you can get take part in, or check the list to see if your uni has registered.
Giving because of giving is all good, but it’s nice to be recognised sometimes. One of SVW’s key aims is to ensure all student volunteers in the UK get the recognition they deserve, which is why they give a Student Volunteer of the Year Award after each SVW. Students will need to await details on how they can nominate a volunteer, but in the meantime, you can take a look at last year’s shortlist here. Gaining this sort of recognition is just another incentive for getting involved, and an accolade like this definitely won’t hurt your CV, either.