Friday, 25 February 2011

One-off Volunteering

My name is Emma Lindner. I joined KUSU Volunteering at Kingston University at the beginning of my second year. I had done some volunteer work at college and missed doing something other than reading textbooks and going to lectures so I thought it would be a good idea to get involved! 

Since joining I have done a number of one-off events such as helping as a steward at the Bloomsbury Festival, building a Santa’s Grotto in the Children’s ward at Kingston Hospital and some orchard management and tree planting at Dorich House. I also recently volunteered to raise money for the charity Momentum in the town centre and got involved in a number of events during Student Volunteering Week including walking the retired grey hounds at Hersham Hounds!
Emma and Fay volunteering at Bloomsbury Festival
As you can tell, there are a huge variety of activities you can get involved in especially doing the one-off events. This is just one of the reasons I volunteer, there are so many opportunities to learn something new, meet new people and of course that warm, fuzzy feeling you get when you’ve helped someone else! There is also that inevitable cliché we are all familiar with: it looks great on the CV! We’ve all heard it before but it is true that employers want to see you did something other than go to lecture theatres and bars during your time at university and so volunteering shows that you are an interesting person worth hiring! 

Another great thing about the one-off events is that you can fit them in whenever you have time which is great if you’re not sure you can make a commitment to something more permanent. You are guaranteed a lot of fun and I’ve made some good friends from volunteering so I would advise anybody thinking about getting involved to go ahead and do it! You won’t regret it!

Wednesday, 23 February 2011

Volunteering with the MET Police!

My name is Christine Daniel and I am a Metropolitan Police Special Constable!

Being a Met Police Special basically means that I have all of the same powers of arrest and entry as a regular Metropolitan Police Officer. The only difference is I volunteer! I volunteer out and about in Wandsworth Borough of London which includes; Putney, Battersea, Clapham Junction, Tooting, Earlsfield, Nine Elms and Wandsworth. 

Here’s a little picture of me in uniform with the class that I trained with.

I volunteer a minimum of 16 hours per month, but you can do more, essentially the Met Police require 200 hours per year, so if you wanted you could do the whole thing in two months, but as most volunteers do, they have a few other commitments! 

The police service is a really rewarding job to do, you meet all sorts of people and everyday is a new learning experience. Since I haven’t been able to do much patrolling because I’ve been run over by Uni, I would say that even graduating from the ‘crime academy’ (!) was the most rewarding thing, because you’ve learned, in a short space of time, the incredible amount of knowledge that Met Police Officers have, met the most wonderful people, like my colleagues and my sergeants and your learning always continues as you have first aid training every twelve months, Officer Safety Training every six months and people training everyday!

If you want to join the Metropolitan Police as a Special Constable, then go onto the Met Police website and join up, it’s the last generation being recruited now, so get applying!   

Tuesday, 22 February 2011

Adventures with retired greyhounds!

Very excited to bring you our first installment from a regular KUSU Volunteer! 

My name is Marketa, I am originally from the Czech Republic. I am in my final year of Sociology and Business at Kingston University.  I have been volunteering with KUSU for three years now.

Currently, I am involved in walking retired greyhounds from Hersham Hounds Kennels, who look after about one hundred dogs. The majority of them are waiting for their new owner, but some of the greyhounds cannot be re-homed for various reasons and spend the rest of their life in The Sanctuary.  

 The Hersham Hounds staff rely on volunteers to help with the dog walking and fund raising. I try to go to the kennels once every week and me and my friend walk two hounds each. The dogs are on a short leash and muzzled – although that does not seem too necessary as greyhounds are generally a very mellow breed. Each walk takes about 15 minutes and takes place outside the kennels. 

Hersham is quite far away from central London, so the surroundings could be easily mistaken for countryside. We often walk around a meadow, which is usually very muddy. The dogs do not mind at all, but it served as a great excuse for me to buy cute wellies! 

When we reach the end of our walk, the sad part comes: the greyhounds slow down as they know they will have to go back to their kennels. Well, I cannot adopt one now , but I always promise them I will come back in the future and take a few of the hounds home.

Monday, 21 February 2011

Student Volunteering Week 2011

Both Alex and I agree that one of the nicest things about our jobs is hearing all the amazing feedback and stories of great work from both volunteers and the organisations that they work for. Thing is this only gets as far as our email accounts which seemed like a real shame. That’s where the idea for a blog came from. It’s going to be a space for KUSU Volunteering’s staff of Alex and myself (Lucy) to update everyone on what we’ve got planned. More importantly though it’ll give all the wonderful students from Kingston University who give up their time as volunteers in all sorts of different ways a space to shout about what they get up to.

We’re launching it at the start of National Student Volunteering Week 2011 (21st-27t February). Student Volunteering Week is in its 10th year of celebrating the excellent things that student volunteers get up to. It all kicked off today with the first session of Knit For Babies (an ongoing and very successful Student Led Project).

We’ve got a whole week of activities planned which can be found on our Facebook page. Across the week we’ll also be posting some great volunteer stories. When all the chaos is over we’ll make sure a proper report on everything we’ve got planned finds its way here!
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