Thursday, 30 August 2012

Vice President Activities of KUSU blogs about Volunteering!

Hi I’m Lauren McCormack and I am currently on a gap year from my Sports Science with Business degree. I have just finished my placement year where I worked full time as an elected student officer (Vice President Activities) of Kingston University Students’ Union where part of my job has been to oversee volunteering. I’ve also got involved in several volunteering opportunities throughout the year – here’s a quick recap of what I’ve taken part in and more importantly why you should consider volunteering too!

Working and studying full time can be very demanding on time, especially when there are deadlines/exams to prepare for. One-Off Volunteering is a great way to get involved in volunteering as you can do as much or as little as you like! I’ve done several one-off volunteering opportunities this year.

Back in November last year I went along with the sports students (known as the Kingston Cougars) to redecorate the sports hall at Waldegrave School For Girls, a local secondary school. 15 of us worked together to whitewash the wall and stencil silhouettes to transform the space – and it looked great!

In February I then took part in a food project for the homeless using waste food from supermarkets to cook at a local church in Kingston. Using food that was going to be thrown away we did a ‘Ready, Steady, Cook’ style day where volunteers and the homeless were split into teams to see what exciting dishes we could come up with! The day was part of Student Volunteering Week and was great fun - we all got to eat the food together afterwards as part of a big lunch in the church hall!

Most recently I went along to KUSU’s Bird & Bat Box Building and BBQ event where I helped make bird and bat boxes for the nature trail at Kingston Hill campus. The event also celebrated KUSU volunteers’ achievements over the past year. The BBQ food was cooked to perfection and we were really fortunate to have good weather – it was a great way to meet other volunteers too!

Volunteering with KUSU is a good way to try something new, meet new people, make new friends and also learn new skills while helping out and having fun. It also means you are able to do something worthwhile and productive with your spare time! I’m looking forward to doing more volunteering this academic year 2012-2013. It’s going to be a busy year and I can’t wait!

In March I was re-elected to do a second year as Vice President Activities where my role is to oversee sports, societies and volunteering in Kingston University Students’ Union as well as representing the student body. In terms of volunteering this year I’m hoping to run a project through the Be A Champion sports volunteering scheme where 5 volunteers from the mountaineering (climbing) club will lead sessions at a local climbing wall for a community group. As well as this I’m also hoping to go along as a kayak volunteer to the Sub Aqua Thames River Clean project during Freshers Week to help ensure they are visible to passing boats. I’ll be keeping an eye on the One-Off Volunteering opportunities that happen throughout the year too and am also hoping to become a regular volunteer with the Scouts through Community Volunteering at KUSU! There’s just so many opportunities that it’s hard to get the chance to do it all, but I’m trying to make the most of it while I’m still at Kingston University and when I go back into my final year next September!

Phone: 020 8417 2883 Ext: 62883

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