Student-Led Volunteering - Students' Experiences
Read firsthand what students thought about running their own volunteering projects...
Halls Food Donation to Kingston Foodbank
"A grand total of 122 tins, 23 jars, 12 bottles of herbs, 32 packets of pasta, rice and noodles, 6 cereal boxes, 9 biscuit/chocolate packets, 5 cartons of juice, 4 packets of tea and 4 rolls of clingfilm were donated by students. It was really wonderful knowing that people were willing to support my idea and donate items!"
Clay-Making After School Club at Hollyfield Secondary School
"This experience has enhanced my communication and leadership skills... it also allowed me to enjoy being creative again but more importantly to see how what I organised impacted the school... If you have the time and if volunteering is something you are interested in then it’s worth every minute. It isn’t just beneficial for others or for you in terms of skill development, it generally just makes you feel good for doing some good, wherever it is or whatever it may be."
Hat-Knitting Project for Knit For Peace
"Teaching the skill of knitting was something we truly enjoyed as knitting is a lifelong skill that can be used in any stage of life and can also be passed on to the next generation with great ease... the best moment was seeing the finishing products come together and the joy it brought to our volunteers, who were so impressed with their own skills and ability to create a knitted product. The delighted expressions on their face showed us that they were enjoying the sessions just as much as we were, and has encouraged us to continue this student-led volunteering project next academic year."
"I'd like to thank you and all the knitting volunteers at Kingston for the wonderful knitted items that we received in the post recently. They were all so cute and varied. The blanket has gone to a Refugee Action centre where they get a lot of pregnant mothers and are desperately in need of blankets for moses baskets. Most of the hats are going to Stoke Mandeville Hospital to give to premature babies in the neonatal unit. It is hard to find hats small enough for the babies in the shops so it really cheers the parents up to be given these little hats to fit the babies. The hats that are big enough for new borns are going with other baby clothes to a refugee and migrant centre in the midlands. Thank you all so much for all your hard work and the time and effort that has gone in to making such wonderful items. We know that the parents of the babies receiving the items are always grateful." Knit For Peace
Jewellery-Making Workshop for Kingston WelCare
“Running this project helped me develop loads of skills including helping me communicate better with children as well as develop my time management and organisational skills. The support, encouragement and enthusiasm from KUSU Volunteering kept me highly motivated! I could not have done it without them.”
Caribbean Culture Day
"My project was extremely successful... I am very happy!... I gained many transferable skills and I will use these in the future."
Creative Workshops for Kingston Young Carers
"I wanted to apply my passion for the arts to volunteering. Over the past two years, I've volunteered my time and skills and organised several workshops for the Kingston Young Carers in songwriting, street art, drawing cartoons and most recently, collage art... The kind staff at KUSU Volunteering can provide everything you need to realise your own student-led volunteering project with full support! This way, like me, you can adjust volunteering to your skills and interests to effectively give back to the community.”
Hollyfield School Art Classes
"Really valuable experience, cemented ideas for careers, lots of enjoyment and boosted our CVs. Do it!!"
Knit Hats For Babies
"The sheer amount of people who were interested in knitting really took me by surprise! We also had male knitters, which was great because it broke that stigma that crafts are a feminine pastime... Running your own project requires a serious amount of organisation and dedication, but it pays off when you see how successful it becomes... it's priceless and so worthwhile, there's no feeling quite like it. The Student's Union were amazing with every aspect of the project; they were always there for me when I needed anything at all. They showed me everything I needed to know in order to run a successful project, and for that, I am extremely grateful."
"The aim of the cookbook was to promote healthy eating and inspire people to try and cook new things. It ended up being massively successful with requests for copies coming in from Young Carer groups across London and a fair bit of local media coverage too!
Pantomine Project with MIND
"Personally the project made me realise how important it is for different members of our community to mix and show that we do care about each other. We have seen first hand that this really does make a difference to people's lives... Following on from the project (which lasted three months) I am currently continuing it independently. The help that we received from KUSU Volunteering and the experience of running the project ourselves gave me the confidence to continue on my own. Additionally I am now in paid employment for MIND and although the drama is still voluntary I am very happy to be working within my field of interest. I would encourage anyone thinking about setting up their own project to go ahead and go for it!"
For more information about any of the Student-Led Volunteering projects check out the Volunteering Blog.