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During my second year at Bournemouth, I decided that I should get more involved with volunteering opportunities around me. I’d briefly looked at the SUBU Volunteering stand at Freshers Fair, but to be honest the free Starbucks and Lidl give away bags sort of distracted me!

subu-volunteering

Still, I decided to be productive and get online to see what opportunities the university had. I found an Alzheimers Cafe that met weekly in Westbourne for local residents who suffered with Alzheimers and their carers; they’d come along and enjoy tea, biscuits and different activities. Now, I had never really been too involved with elderly volunteering before but thought this would be a great opportunity to do some good, whilst developing my personal skills.

The Alzheimers Cafe was great, I ended up going for about 13 weeks in total; I was able to make great friends and build rapport with the residents that went regularly. It was great to see them smile and talk about their lives, whilst enjoying a cup of tea and company. The weeks alternated between ‘singing for the brain’ (yes they let everyone join in singing even if you are as bad as me) and arts weeks with colouring and painting. The members loved the activities and always appreciated the students that were involved.

volunteer

Getting stuck in with volunteering was awesome; it developed my confidence, people skills and also was great for my time management, as I was going volunteering around my lectures and study time. It fits well on my CV and shows my commitment to the local community as well as my interest to develop extra-curricular activities.

That is however, only one of the numerous activities you can get involved in at BU. There’s loads of one off experiences like beach cleans, bag packing at local supermarkets or even 5 minute volunteering, yes 5 minutes. You sit down at the campus for as little as 5 minutes and help out with making cards or wrapping presents for various events. There is literally a plethora of opportunities for all of your interests, not just if you’re interested in health care or care work; check out the website!

So, that’s what volunteering is all about! It’s great fun and you never know who you’re going to meet there! It helps you develop your personal CV and you get to have a laugh with some great people! Why not try it out?

 

By Robert Wallace

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