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Share Your Experience

Warwick Volunteers Project Leaders share what they have gained through volunteering, what challenges they have overcome, what impact their volunteering has and what their best memory is.

In my second year at university, I started volunteering at Coventry Chess Academy. This inspired me to help set up Chess in Schools - a lunchtime chess club for primary school children. At the same time, I joined the exec of Mind Aware society and helped to launch Mind Aware Volunteers - mental health awareness sessions for secondary school pupils.
Both projects allow the young people to learn new skills, whether it's a chess tactic or how to help a friend with a mental health problem. It is incredible to see the impact that we have as volunteers and I enjoy making a difference. Taking on two project leader roles in my final year has been challenging, but the skills I have learnt will definitely help me in my future teaching career.



I've met many new people through volunteering and I am not exaggerating when I say everyone I've met so far is extremely nice. Staff members, volunteers and the Execs have done so much to help me the past two years. I am starting to think it could be something in their coffee/tea that they always serve!

Jokes aside, I really love that Warwick Volunteers offer such a large range of volunteering opportunities. Volunteering brings about joy when you realise you've done some good and helped put a smile on someone's face - you honestly cannot get the same satisfaction elsewhere.

Siow Ching

Before getting involved with the Buddy Club, I had a one-dimensional view of elderly people; I assumed they just sit around playing bingo. However, this is not the case! They love to misbehave; asking sometimes if I can slip in a bit of alcohol into their squash and falling asleep when I tempt them with bingo. Willowbrook care-home is filled with characters! One resident always has an inappropriate joke and others reminiscent of their pasts and tell me about their interests. I have learnt that elderly people are rich in experiences and interests. This encourages me to return each week.
I've been involved with Warwick Volunteers since I started at University and over the past two years have done a mixture of projects working with both young and old people, from GotPolitics to Activiteas and Cheylesmore Good Neighbours! I'd highly recommend getting involved with Warwick Volunteers due to the positive impact every project makes to the local community but also gives you an opportunity to get outside the university bubble and see the rest of the local areas around Warwickshire. There's without a doubt a project that you'll enjoy whether it's teaching, conservation work or just simply offering a helping hand!
It was my first time going to Leamington Spa to volunteer as a student tutor and the whole day didn't go as expected. I was eager, excited and lost. I eventually made it to the school in one piece and upon entering the Year 3 classroom, hoping to have a full day of assisted teaching. Upon entering and as the lesson progressed, I realised that I was the only one taking multiplication seriously. The children were more serious about knowing where I came from, what I did and why I spoke with an "American accent". I answered them honestly, telling him I was from Malaysia, and I was studying law in the uk and I just spoke English without an English accent. The kids started looking at me differently. Not with fear or prejudice but enlightenment and gratitude. And there was one boy who asked if Malaysia was in Spain. It made me wonder, how often are we honest to children? And how often are children exposed to foreign culture, not through media that associates foreign with something negative? And how often do we take diversity for granted? It was in this moment I realised being a student tutor was more about helping kids with maths. It was about giving goodness back to the community and reaching out in positive ways. This experience made me glad to be a Warwick Volunteer.
I spent almost a full year at Warwick before I stumbled into a one off volunteering event with Buddy Club after the summer exams. During that year I was socially isolated and, struggling to cope with a long term health condition alongside my studies. Being a part of Warwick Volunteers has really transformed my experience of university. There has always been the opportunity to take part in a range of projects, so far, I have volunteered with LWS night shelter, Kenilworth Phab Club, Activiteas and Canley Community Centre, just to name a few. The staff team are always happy to help and listen to ideas for new projects. With their support I have been able to run PostPals sessions, where volunteers make cards for children with terminal illnesses. The team of project leaders for Crafts in Hospital are all so committed to working together to help the wider community and the patients of UHCW. I am so grateful to have been involved in so many meaningful activities, and I will certainly miss Warwick Volunteers when I graduate this summer.
Of all the things I’ve done this year, being a Project Leader for Crafts in Hospital has been the most rewarding. I got a chance to add my bit in something I truly believe in- helping others and spreading smiles. In addition to donating craft-packs to the hospital, we spread Christmas cheer to the needy, sent cards to PostPals, helped LWS Night Shelter and spent our Valentine’s day with Kenilworth Phab. I would encourage everyone out there to try the diverse activities Warwick Volunteers has to offer as however cheesy it sounds, it’s true that ‘one of the greatest gifts you can ever give is your time.’