Miranda, Bing yuan
Year: Postgraduate Student
What volunteering opportunities have you taken part in and what did you enjoy about them?
I’ve taken part in One Walk and Royal Parks Marathon activities which are organized by different charities and I found those volunteer opportunities on our Student union website. There are many ways to get involved with volunteering. Such as Give Volunteer a Go, Volunteer with our Partner Organizations or with our volunteering groups.
In the Royal Park Marathon which I volunteered for, our task was to lay out all of the water bottles, unscrew the lids and ensure available bottles at all times for participants. It made me feel good when the runners came up to me and said thank you and also gave me a smile. Also I got to meet new people and make friends from different backgrounds.
Why did you apply to volunteer? What interested you?
Volunteering has helped me gain confidence by giving me the chance to try something new and build a real sense of achievement. Also, by meeting people from different countries, I am able to understand a variety of cultures. Lastly, I have learnt new skills and I am able to challenge myself to try something new through volunteering. Since I’m an international student, I want to improve my communication skills and leadership skills. Volunteering is a great opportunity for me to enhance those abilities. When I volunteer it makes me feel thankful and excited.
Would you recommend the volunteering opportunities you have taken part in to someone else? And why?
Definitely yes, because volunteering opportunities allow you to learn new things. For example, when I took part in One Walk which was organized by a diabetes charity, I’ve learnt what type1 and type2 is, in addition to the causes of type 1 and 2 diabetes and how to prevent diabetes.
What in particular do you think are some of the benefits in volunteering?
Volunteering can help you boost your CV with real work experience and gain valuable transferable skills such as communication, team work, time management, decision making, problem solving and organization. It also can expand your network of contacts.
Volunteering is about giving, contributing and helping other individuals without payback. It will make a meaningful contribution to a better community.
Is there any advice/tips you would like to give for someone who is unsure about volunteering? A lot of people say how they don’t get time to volunteer and you don’t get paid so is not important. How would you respond to that?
For those who are unsure about volunteering, they can get more details on QM Student Union website. There are some Frequently Asked Questions and the introduction of every volunteering opportunity that is provided online. Before you volunteer, there are some questions you could think about to help you find a volunteering role that is right for you. For example, What do you want to do? And What kinds of skills do you want to develop?
You can choose time slots that are more convenient to you, as some roles are for one-off events. You can find volunteering opportunities that only take one hour or 30 minutes per week. Like Aspire Fundraising event, it takes only half an hour to help raising money for Wheel power organization by selling snacks.
Although you do not get paid for volunteering, you do gain valuable skills which are beyond payment, as it is something that money cannot buy. Also it is beneficial because you can ask the organization for a reference. What’s more, you won’t be under the pressure and be worried about your performance.