Student volunteering: some thoughts (and today is Good Deed Day!)

Did you know that this week is the 14th annual National Student Volunteering Week, and today (Wednesday 25 February) is designated Good Deed Day?

Monday saw the Student Volunteer of the Year announced at the House of Commons, with an audience composed of nominee volunteers, representatives from educational institutions, parliamentarians and sponsors including Student Hubs (who organise student entrepreneurship at SOAS), Barclays and the NUS whose President spoke eloquently of the value of volunteering to society.

Some interesting snippets of information:

  • 83% of students believe their volunteering activity helped them to get a job.
  • 78% of students talk about their volunteer work when they go for an interview.
  • Triple the number of people applied to be the Volunteer of the Year this year compared to 2014.

The top 5 volunteers included a student who had started a new social enterprise of a play scheme at a children’s hospital and a student who established a crowdfunded enterprise to make soup from supermarket leftover vegetables.

The winner was Conor McGlacken, President of Engineers Without Borders, an organisation which works towards a world where everybody has access to the technology they need for a life free from poverty.

Image courtesy of Student Hubs/ Graham Read 

The judges said they were looking for students who showed a balance of activities and who went above and beyond the norm in their service to the community.

Does this remind you of anybody you know? Could it be you standing there next year?

Philippa Hewett