Posted: 25 February 2016

Giving back as a volunteer

One of our Project Workers Jackie McGrath highlighted Olivia as one of the amazing volunteers that we need to shout about this Student Volunteer week.

1. Where do you study and what course are you doing?

Psychology at Manchester Metropolitan University.

2. Why did you get involved as a volunteer with us?

 I heard about it from a tutor at university, working with younger individuals is something that I want to do as a career and I’m passionate about it. I also want to give something back. I’ve got spare time and I thought how better else to spend that than to be volunteering.

3. What is your volunteer role with us? What is a typical day?

I have been assigned with a young person, we go out twice a month and explore different activities and days out. My role is to be a professional friend. We were all trained in safeguarding and other areas, so it’s using all that knowledge, and keeping the young person safe, as well as having fun, and listening to them.

4. What has been your favourite experience of your volunteering? Why?

I find it very rewarding. I love our days out, and what we chat about. The Children’s Society matched us very well and we have a lot in common! I also like the fact that I’m there for someone, and that I can give my support to someone that benefits from it.

5. How has volunteering with us helped you with your studies?  Have you gained new skills?

I studied a lot of the training we did with the charity, later on in my psychology degree.  So it goes hand in hand with my course.

6. What would you say to other students who are interested in volunteering with us?

I would say definitely give it a go. If you are studying something like Psychology or Social Work, it may benefit your course, and give you ideas for the future. But it’s definitely not something to just put on your CV. You have to be passionate about it and want to be there for someone. It is very rewarding though, I would say to definitely give it a go if you are thinking about it.

7. What would be your three top tips to new student volunteers to make the most out of their experience?

1.         Sometimes listening is just as good as talking and giving advice

2.         Be reliable and consistent. This will ensure your young person trusts you and knows you will be there for them!

3.         Enjoy it. You can learn things from your young person and learn more about yourself! 

Get involved

If you are interested in volunteering please visit our website for the latest opportunities.


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