Almost every volunteering opportunity comes with clear benefits for both of the involved parties: a university student hoping to be a teacher gains a very valuable line in their CV by volunteering in a school, while a teacher is provided with some desperately needed support in the classroom. Most of the people reading this will realise that this simplification does nothing to represent the true volunteering experience.
For me the intended purpose of volunteering has always been a small, though obviously important, part of the actual experience. In everything I've been involved with, from running an after school basketball club to mentoring younger students in my secondary school, my original motivation to volunteer has quickly become less important when I realise the real impact it is having. A large part of this is on others of course, as has been highlighted in blog posts throughout the week the impact that voluntary projects can have on individuals and the community is amazing. However what I would like to talk about is the impact these experiences can have on the volunteer.
The impact that my volunteering experience has had on me is undeniable and goes far beyond a strong point on my CV. I've developed relationships with people I otherwise would never have met (shout out J-Dogg if you're reading) and had opportunities I would never have had. My confidence, both in myself and in social situations, has developed greatly and the affects that volunteering have had on me are invaluable.
Don't get me wrong, a packed CV can never be a bad thing, but as far as volunteering benefits go it really is just the tip of the iceberg. The impact that volunteering can have on yourself and others truly is incredible.
Name: Jacob Killeya
Exec role: Media & Comms Officer
Year of study: Third Year
Subject of study: Chemistry