Make the most of volunteering
Here are some top tips to make sure you get the most out of your volunteering experience.
Tip 1: Keep track of what you learn as you volunteer
Think about the skills and experiences that you are learning while you are volunteering. To make it easier to remember for future job interviews and applications keep a record of what you learn. We have developed a skills reflection sheet to help you identify the skills that you gain through your volunteering. Keep a record of these skills in a learning log.
If your course is part of studentprofile, you can include your volunteering experience and reflect on what you’ve learnt from it here. To view your studentprofile, login to studentcentral.
Tip 2: Plan for the bigger picture
To really make the most of your volunteering, you may find it useful to make an appointment with a careers counsellor to discuss your career and what skills and volunteering could be useful in your chosen field. A careers counsellor can help you incorporate your existing volunteering experience into your CV in a way that showcases the skills that you learnt to employers.
Tip 3: Be rewarded for your volunteering
By volunteering, you can access schemes that offer rewards and additional training opportunities as well as a chance to network with like-minded people. Current schemes include:
This organisation supports young people between the ages of 16 and 25 to actively engage in their communities.
The scheme offers information and advice to encourage and support sports volunteers. It is a great way to get benefits from your sports volunteering. The scheme allows you to count up your hours, exchange them for points and turn all of your hard work into rewards.
Don’t forget to ask your placement for a reference. This could be useful for future job applications.
Active Student certificate
All Active Students are eligible for a certificate after completing 30 hours of volunteering or completing a project.
A number of Active Students have won national awards for their exceptional volunteering, including:
- A group of pharmacy students who volunteered by befriending older people and meeting them in their own homes to provide information and support about their medication.
- A student who volunteered at a community allotment with young people who had been excluded from mainstream school, giving them opportunities to make positive choices and experience achievement in physical tasks.
If you are a Community Engagement student, or want to find out if you can gain academic credits for your voluntary work see our page on the Community Engagement module.
Tip 4: Have your say
Once you have done some volunteering and have a view on what’s worked and maybe what hasn’t, please provide use with feedback.
Your opinions will allow you to reflect on your time as a volunteer, and will also help develop the service for other volunteers.
Email your thoughts to firstname.lastname@example.org