February 24, 2019, by Anjni

Volunteering at University – My Experience Thus Far

Being a part of Nottingham Marrow (a student led volunteering project) means that I regularly volunteer as part of a university society anyway, but when Volunteer week rolled around this February it was AMAZING to see loads of students come along and get involved in not only what we do, but in what other volunteering societies and groups do across campus – and indeed externally – too. Over the past two weeks, UoN has offered ample opportunity for anyone to volunteer and get involved with the local community; not only with National Volunteering week, but with Sewa Week (a charity week organised by UoN’s very own Hindu Society) which began in the week that followed. As such, there has been LOADS going on, and so much great student involvement in volunteering projects these past two weeks, and I just wanted to share my experiences and reflect a little on what it’s like to volunteer.

As a part of Nottingham Marrow, we work with the charity Anthony Nolan to help recruit people onto the stem cell register. Anthony Nolan are a charity that work to save the lives of people with blood cancer by providing them the vital transplants that they so desperately need in order to survive. Marrow groups in universities all across the country help facilitate this by signing up university students and raising awareness about their cause and the impact that it can have on the lives of suffering patients. We run a TONNE of events on and off campus to achieve this; signing people up, fundraising and just spreading the word. And this year has been absolutely phenomenal! Following the success of our Marrow20 event in September we seem to have gone from strength to strength, and have signed up over 850 people this academic year alone.

It’s mad when you think about how this can make a difference outside of our own little university bubbles. I’ve scarcely been a part of this volunteer project for 6 months and I already feel as if I’m MARROWED to the game (okay that was a bad one, but can you honestly say that you didn’t see it coming?). Hand on heart, making the decision to volunteer with Marrow at university has been one of the best things I’ve done in my short time here. I would thoroughly recommend volunteering – and it could be for ANY cause! – to everyone out there.  Not only do you get to meet new people with similar – or differing – interests, flesh out your CV (if that’s what you’re after) and develop interpersonal skills , but more importantly you really get to experience a sense of fulfilment and satisfaction in watching and creating a difference in the lives of others. I’m not sure I can quite put into words what I mean without it coming off as mushy, cliché, or overly patronising, but it’s crazy to see how what you do whilst you volunteer – however little – can go on to make such a big difference in the grand scheme of things.

So whether you’re super busy and can only commit every now and then, even if it’s only for an hour or so at a time, or if you’re looking to commit long term, the university offers a HUGE range of opportunities;  The SU Volunteer Centre has links with more than 50 organisations which offer a myriad of potential schemes, each vast in their interests and objectives. You can visit the Volunteer Centre for more information, or alternatively you can check out another blog on this website “Volunteering at University”, to find out more about what routes are available.

You have nothing to lose, and SO MUCH to gain. So give it a go – you just might like it!

Posted in Anjni