Thursday, 21 June 2012

New Volunteering Coordinator - Jemma Houghton

Hello everyone! I just thought I’d write a blog to introduce myself - My name is Jemma Houghton and I’m the new Volunteering Co-ordinator in KUSU Volunteering. I can’t believe I have been here a month already – the time has flown by, what with settling in, working on the BirdBox-Building and BBQ celebration event, the KUSU Volunteering Awards Ceremony and now preparing for the Vice Chancellor’s Civic Reception!
For those of you who have not met me yet, I will be looking after One-Off Volunteering Opportunities and Student-Led Volunteering Projects. Alex Britton my lovely colleague (the other Volunteering Coordinator in KUSU Volunteering) will continue to look after Community Volunteering and Schools Volunteering.

If you are not sure what any of these four categories of volunteering are, you can click on the hyperlinks which will take you to more information about the type of volunteering we offer here at Kingston University Students’ Union!

I just want to take this opportunity to say that if you have never volunteered before and want to find out more please pop by and see either myself or Alex in the Student’s Union on Penrhyn Road Campus. We’re really friendly and there’s no commitment to sign up to anything. We’ll just have a chat with you about volunteering, what you know, what you don’t, what you might be interested in and then you can go away and have a think about it! If you want to get involved, then that’s great, but if it’s not for you then that’s alright! There are plenty of other things you can get involved in at KUSU such as joining a sports club or a society, standing for a position at the elections etc!

...Back to volunteering though!
Lots of people volunteer at charities or not-for-profit organisations for different reasons. There’s no right or wrong reason to volunteer... Some people do it to meet new people and make new friends, other people have skills they want to share with the local community, some people just want to give something back, some people are bored and want to get involved in something exciting, whereas others do it to increase their work experience, to put it on their CV and to gain some life experience.

If any of these reasons spark an interest in you then you should check out KUSU Volunteering! There are so many different opportunities to get involved in – there really is something for everyone. And if there is not, then let us know and we will do our best to accommodate your needs!

I’ve volunteered at a range of not-for-profit organisations and at many-a-charity event over the last 9 years and have loved every single moment of it. Giving my time and skills to help the local community, or to help small or large charities gives me a feeling that is hard to describe. The best way I can put it, is that I get a warm, happy feeling in my heart. Volunteering lets you be the best possible person you can be, it allows you to meet inspirational people you’d never have the opportunity to meet otherwise, you get to develop your skill-set, be supported along every step of the way and most importantly make a positive difference in other people’s lives. It’s one of the key reasons why I work in this sector because I want to help facilitate more people getting involved in volunteering, so that they can help others, as well as experiencing the wonderful benefits that volunteering brings.

All in all, it’s been a very busy month, and both Alex Britton and I are now preparing for Kingston University’s Civic Reception. If you didn’t get around to volunteering this academic year, don’t worry because there are still volunteering opportunities trickling in over the summer and before you know it, it’ll be Freshers’ Week and then London Student Volunteering Fortnight (Saturday 27th October 2012 – Saturday 10th November 2012) where we will have lots of taster volunteering activities you can try out!

All the best,
Jemma Houghton
KUSU Volunteer Co-ordinator

Ps. Remember we’re on Facebook and Twitter as well!

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