August 7, 2014, by studentcontributor
Getting involved in volunteering
Hi everyone, Andrea again, hope you’re all having a lovely summer! In this week’s post, I am going to tell you about some of the volunteering societies run by medics at Nottingham, in particular Marrow!
I am currently one of the co-presidents of Nottingham Marrow, we are the student branch of the Anthony Nolan charity which run one of the bone marrow registers in the UK. For patients with blood cancers and other bone marrow disorders, a bone marrow transplant may be the last treatment option available to them, so Anthony Nolan recruit potential donors and match them with patients who desperately need a transplant.
The best donors are young people, making the student population the best place to recruit new people! There are 40 Marrow groups throughout universities in the UK and together we are responsible for signing up 10 000 people per year, and a quarter of all the people that go on to donate their bone marrow. Nottingham Marrow is where it all began, set up by a medical student in 1997 to find a match for a friend with leukaemia who needed a transplant, and we are proud to keep this life-saving society going!
Our lovely volunteers run regular ‘Save A Life Sessions’ every two weeks on campus, where they sign up potential donors, this is done through a simple medical form, confidential counselling session and a spit sample. We also raise a huge amount of money every year through large events like film screenings and sponsored runs, as well as selling glowsticks at the big student club nights and braving the cold in all kinds of fancy dress to do bucket collections in town! All of this does keep us pretty busy, but we make sure that we take our chilling out pretty seriously too, with regular socials and nights out whenever we can!
Being a part of Marrow has been one of the best experiences of university so far, I’ve made some amazing friends whilst being part of a bigger movement that is really making a difference. I’ve been a volunteer since my first year, and would really recommend getting involved in a society’s committee, it’s a great opportunity to learn how to work with other people and have a say in how your group is run.
There are a ton of other interesting societies that you can volunteer with, including HEARTSTART, who teach basic life support in the community, Teddy Bear Hospital, who teach children about health issues and the role of doctors, and HoMed, who do soup runs for the homeless people in town.
Volunteering will help you develop essential skills for the future, as well as being really fun and a great way to meet new people, it’s a must for every medic!