14 LSE students decided to spend their Tuesday night a bit differently on 7 February. They joined the LSE Volunteer Centre team on a one-off volunteering opportunity. The tube ride turned out to be the perfect opportunity for socialising and it quickly felt like everyone had known each other for years. After the necessary stops for Instagram photos in the beautiful neighbourhood of Belsize Park, we arrived at Anthony Nolan.


The charity

Every 20 minutes someone finds out they have blood cancer. For many, a bone marrow transplant is their only chance of a cure. Anthony Nolan matches individuals willing to donate their blood stem cells or bone marrow, to people in need of a transplant and about half of people join the bone marrow register online. The organisation therefore needs to send spit-kits to potential lifesavers all over the UK. That’s why our LSE student volunteers made their way to Richmond to help pack these spit-kits.


Packing, packing and more packing

After a short explanation about the packing process, the students formed groups and started packing. They proved LSE students’ inventive nature, as they quickly came up with a way to make the process more efficient. While there was still time for chatting and listening to music, the volunteers kept on packing – I even had to bring snacks into the room because they didn’t want to take a break! The effort that the students put in was clearly visible. The Anthony Nolan staff had to keep on taking boxes full of spit-kits away whilst getting new packing materials in.


Rebecca Jiayu Yan, one of our Student Volunteering Ambassadors, said:

It was so amazing that what we did in just two hours can really make an impact and save lives of people with blood cancer! The whole activity was enjoyable and everyone worked in a team to pack the letters. I really hope more people can get involved in this one-off volunteering event in the future!

Undergraduate student Chloe Russell participated for the first time in an one-off opportunity. After the volunteering she told us:

My expectations were totally exceeded. At first, I thought the event would just provide a ‘feel good factor’ because I would be helping Anthony Nolan to carry out their amazing work but it was so much more. Not only did we produce a lot of spit-kits, the session was a great opportunity to meet new people, share our LSE experiences, and have fun (the opportunity to listen to music from each participant’s home nation was a particular highlight). It will be an experience from my time at LSE that I will never forget. The spit-kit social was my first time participating in a one-off volunteer event…I will definitely be doing more in the future!

And indeed, besides the fun that the students had, they did an absolutely amazing job. They packed more than 1,600 spit-kits in two hours. This number doesn’t even include the four boxes full of spit-kits which only have to be labelled by other volunteers before they can be sent out!

Rebecca Pritchard from the organisation commented:

Thank you so much for your help last night – I have heard the students were great and really enthusiastic. 1,600+ is amazing and we have now been able to clear the backlog of kits waiting to be sent so thank you to you all.

Would you also like to help others while having fun and meeting other students? Sign up for one of our other one-off volunteering opportunities!