Whether you are an undergraduate or postgraduate, whether you have two hours to spare every Wednesday or are looking for something to do once in a while on a Sunday morning, volunteering could be for you.
Volunteering is about giving something back to the community and helping others, but it's a great way to help yourself too. You can:
- Make a difference to the local community
- Get insight into an area of work you are interested in – having some volunteer experience in your sector of interest will make you shine above others
- Gain practical/applied experience to complement your more theoretical learning from school
- Learn new skills and put your existing ones to good use
- Meet new people, get to know your local community, make new friends
- Have fun
- Get a reference
- Change your life!
How can volunteering boost my career?
Volunteering can be intrinsically rewarding in and of itself, but it can also help you bridge the gap between education and the world of work.
It is a fantastic way of learning new skills and gaining hands-on experience, which is essential to complement the academic and theoretical skills you already have from your degree. Volunteering can also be an ideal opportunity to learn about yourself, try new things and explore areas you previously have not considered. It allows you to discover where your real interests and passions are – according to a survey by Student Volunteering UK, 40% of student volunteers are so deeply affected by their volunteering that their career paths take a new direction!
Research by Reed employment amongst 200 leading businesses revealed that:
- 73% of employers would employ candidates with volunteering experience over those without
- 94% of employers believe that volunteering can add skills
- 94% of employees who volunteered to learn new skills had benefited either by getting their first job, improving their salary, or being promoted