April 26, 2013, by Zoë Goodwin
IntoUniversity – A student’s experience of volunteering
The University of Nottingham launched its second IntoUniversity centre in St Ann’s on Monday 22nd April, helping some of the less-advantaged young people in the area to reach university. University of Nottingham student and committed IntoUniversity volunteer Kate Harper shares her experience…
Hi, I’m Kate, a third year University of Nottingham student and IntoUniversity volunteer. I’ve volunteered at the IntoUniversity centre since it opened last year. The main reason I volunteered was because I wanted to give something back to the local community during my last few months here.
At the centre I’m part of the Primary Academic Support Team. Every Wednesday I give up a couple of hours to work with primary school children, helping them with their homework, listening to them read, or helping with the group activities. It’s so encouraging to watch the children develop their knowledge, understanding and skills as the week’s progress, as well as watching them grow as individuals, becoming more confident in their own abilities and finding out just what they can do if they set their minds to it.
The best thing about working with children in an environment like this is when a child who’s been struggling to work something out, or to develop a particular skill gets to grips with it and has that brilliant ‘got it’ moment. Perseverance really pays off, and this is something that the centre really encourages.
For me personally, volunteering here has been invaluable in giving me a much better understanding of the current National Curriculum, and has helped me develop many skills that will be useful in my teacher training and future career. It’s also helped me develop as an individual, becoming more confident in my own abilities by embracing new opportunities and challenges. For that, I would like to thank all the staff at IntoUniversity for giving me the opportunity to get involved and welcoming me into the team.
Whilst I’ve been at university, volunteering has been the best thing that I have done. University opens up so many opportunities to get involved with different projects and charities and to get involved is so worthwhile and rewarding. Perhaps in the future, I may even find myself back at IntoUniversity helping even more less-advantaged children reach university.