City of Glasgow College Students' Association (CitySA) recently hosted a Volunteer Day event, allowing students to talk to various charitable organisations about the benefits of volunteering.
In recognition of the United Nations International Volunteer Day, the City of Glasgow College Students' Association (CitySA) recently hosted a Volunteer Day event, allowing students to talk to various charitable organisations about the benefits of volunteering. The event also encouraged students to get involved with the Students' Association’s new Volunteer Hub programme.
One of the charities attending the event was Guide Dogs, a UK wide charity that trains guide dogs for people who have lost their sight. Heather Valentine, a former student at the college, got her first job with the charity due to her experience as a volunteer, which are essential to the delivery of Guide Dogs’ service.
“I wouldn’t have got my first job offer after I graduated if I hadn’t had volunteering experience on my CV, especially now with Covid, the job market’s so competitive – employers are always looking for something that’s above and beyond just your studies” Heather said.
“Volunteers are essential for the delivery of our service. We have 5,000 staff across the UK but 14,000 volunteers, so without our volunteers we wouldn’t be able to offer our life changing services. We really rely on them.”
The importance of volunteers is echoed by Charlotte Andrews, Development Officer of Food Train, a charity that helps vulnerable older people with grocery deliveries. Charlotte, who began volunteering with Food Train after losing her job due to the pandemic, found it an “instantly rewarding experience” as she got to meet people from different walks of life while doing good in the community.
“They (students) should get involved with Food Train because it’s a really tangible, meaningful way to participate in the wider community, to sort of step outside of the student bubble as it were” Charlotte said.
Involvement in the community is a major attraction of one of the more niche charities present at the Volunteer Day, the Glasgow Tool Library, a tool lending service which aims to help users access tools that they might otherwise not be able to afford.
Cat Hotchkiss, Tool Librarian of the Glasgow Tool Library said: “We’re working towards community builds. Our volunteers will vote on a community build that they are excited by, and we’ll use our tools and our people power to go and make that dream in that community happen – whether it’s a new bench or plant allotment.”
Cat is effusive about why students should volunteer with the Tool Library.
“It’s fun! If you like playing with or fixing tools, if you want to meet people of different ages from different places around Glasgow and work with them to physically build something together, then it’s a great place to volunteer” Cat said.
Lucy Treasure, CitySA volunteer development officer, said: “The volunteer programme at City SA is a new programme. We’ve managed to build up partnerships with lots of different charities.
“Students should get involved with volunteering because it’s a great way to get work experience, especially in quite a competitive job market. It’s great to show you’re good at working with people and you have those kinds of social skills. I would really encourage students to get involved with volunteering.”
If you are interested in finding out more about volunteer roles, visit the CitySA Volunteer Hub for more information.