Here at QMSU, we strongly believe in the benefits of community volunteering. To get an idea of what could be instore for you by participating in volunteering in 2016, here are QMSU Volunteering’s top 10 reasons why you should consider volunteering! Of course there are far more than just 10 reasons to volunteer, but we’ll let you discover those for yourself!
#1: You’ll do new and exciting things
Volunteering will contribute to your personal development and life experience. While volunteering can be challenging and tough at times, your experience will also be fun and you will get to do and see things that you would not necessarily experience otherwise.
One of our volunteers had this to say:
“What really astounded me was the true extent of what a group of like-minded students could achieve when working together as a team. We had no limits. We set ourselves a challenge and achieved more than we could have possibly imagined…all the time while having the time of our lives.”
#2: You’ll connect with your local community
Volunteering really gives you the chance to discover the charm and wonders of your community as well as the challenges people in your local area are facing. The wide range of opportunities will give you the unique opportunity for you to come into contact with people from different walks of life and to see a different perspective on life from their eyes.
- 75% of London student volunteers say that volunteering increased their sense of being part of their local community.
- 89% of London students also felt that volunteering improved their opportunities to meet people from different backgrounds.
#3: It will contribute to your professional development and improve your CV
Volunteering will definitely benefit your employment prospects! It’s an opportunity to continue to grow your existing skills and learn new ones. Research shows that:
- 90% of student volunteers say that volunteering has developed their communication skills
- 87% say that volunteering has developed their interpersonal skills
- 71% say volunteering has improved their teamwork skills
Even if the volunteering that you’re taking part in is not directly related to your course/career, it will still provide you with work based examples to demonstrate your competencies in job applications and interviews, as well as helping you and your CV stand out from the crowd.
- 84% of those responsible for hiring agree that volunteering is a way to help people find work
- When recruiting, 80% of employers value volunteering on a CV
One of our own QMSU volunteers has said:
“Volunteering has been a wonderful experience which has ensured that I leave university a well-rounded individual. It has taught me how to communicate with people of all ages, time management and also the importance of giving back to the community.”
#4: It’s good for your health
Research suggests that benefits to your immediate and future mental and physical health from volunteering do exist!
- Those who embrace volunteering have lower mortality rates, greater functional ability and lower rates of depression later in life
- Nearly half of volunteers say volunteering has improved their physical health and fitness
- 25% of people who volunteer more than 5 times a year say volunteering has helped them to lose weight
- 35% of volunteers say that volunteering makes them feel less stressed
#5: You do have the time
Looming exams and coursework deadlines may try and convince you otherwise but I’ll assure you, hundreds of students find the time to pursue volunteering and if you want to, you can too! Even contributing just a few hours of your time can make a huge difference. Everyone needs to take time off from university work every now and again – and here’s your chance.
We offer a range of flexible volunteering options on our website, both one-off and short-term opportunities in various locations across London, as well as opportunities that you can even undertake from the comfort of your own home. Even some of our regular placements may only ask for a few hours of your time per month. Check it out for yourself: http://www.qmsu.org/volunteering/
#6: Volunteering is open to everyone
The great thing about volunteering is that it does not discriminate. No matter what you’re studying, where you study, where you live or where you come from, male or female, young or old, able bodied or otherwise, there are opportunities for you! (And for those of you who are international students – no visa restrictions apply!)
Volunteering does not require any specific skills, and although some roles may require some experience, there are many that require nothing but motivation.
If you would like assistance in finding a role to suit you then contact us and we’ll be happy to help.
#7: It’s an opportunity to develop new friendships
Volunteering is an opportunity to meet and get to know other students. Volunteering Groups, which are set up and run by your fellow students, are free to join. They provide you with the opportunity to meet other students with common interests. Look out for them all at Welcome Fair, chat to them about what they do and how you can get involved.
Read here just how much volunteering impacted our own volunteers:
“I left with a smile plastered to my face, along with some friends for life.”
“To create a sustainable community for all to enjoy, it is important that both sides of the community integrate. Volunteering helps students not only meet other students, but volunteering is also an opportunity to socialise with local people.”
#8: It’s free
Volunteering won’t cost you more than your time. All QMSU Volunteers can claim back volunteering costs including travel and lunch expenses and there are no subs required to join a Volunteering Group.
#9: It’s rewarding
The Union’s Volunteering Service has an Awards Programme to reward and recognise students for their time and efforts. Log your volunteering hours on your Volunteering Profile and work towards Volunteering Awards or visit our Awards page to find out about Special Volunteering Awards.
A QMSU Volunteer who volunteered with ReachOut (our Community Organisation of the year) had this to say:
“Volunteering proved to me that I can make a difference to someone’s life, despite being just a student.”
There’s no more feel good factor than that.
#10: You will make a positive difference
A prominent reason why people volunteer is because they want to do something good for others. And you will!
Through offering your time and skills, you can make an important contribution to voluntary organisations including small local community groups, national charities, schools and hospitals and have an enormous impact on the health and well-being of communities.
Some of our volunteers had this to say:
“I quickly realised that it is not what you get out of the experience, but what the people/animals/organisations you are volunteering for get out of it; that feeling is rewarding beyond words.”
“Volunteering has proved to me that I can make a difference to someone’s life, despite being just a student.”
One of the charities who some students are currently volunteering at says:
“A volunteer’s time can literally help to transform a life…” – Mildmay Hospital
Do come and speak to us and see all that we have to offer during the Welcome Fair on 21st and 22nd September 2016 on the Mile End Campus.
To browse through current volunteering opportunities with charities and non-profit organisations throughout London visit the QMSU Volunteering website. http://www.qmsu.org/volunteering/
If you require any assistance with finding or applying for any volunteer roles then please email firstname.lastname@example.org to speak to a member of staff.