Chris Seow, BSc Politics and International Relations 2019, volunteers with ReachOut at one of their Club projects alongside his degree. Chris is in his first year of mentoring at a Primary School in Tower Hamlets and is involved with the Students for Children Society at LSESU. Chris sat down with ReachOut and discussed his experience volunteering with the mentoring charity and working with young people in disadvantaged communities.
What do you study at LSE? Do you find it difficult to balance volunteering on top of studies?
I’m currently in my second year at LSE where I study Politics and International Relations. It is easy to balance volunteering at ReachOut alongside my studies as it’s only two hours a week and it’s like a respite from studying, I find it rejuvenates me and allows me to approach the rest of the week with a fresh mind-set.
What made you choose to volunteer with ReachOut, and how did you hear about us?
I have always been interested in child-related charity causes and have actively participated in fundraising activities, including running a marathon for charity. I heard about the opportunity from my school’s society, Students for Children, and decided to volunteer for ReachOut as an opportunity to push myself out of my comfort zone and to directly interact with and help young people.
Does your participation at the Students for Children society complement your volunteering with ReachOut in any way?
Students for Children has played a significant role in my volunteering journey as it has allowed for myself and fellow ReachOut volunteers to meet and share our experiences and expertise. Additionally, it has provided me with opportunities to be involved in other areas of charity such as fundraising.
What is your favourite part about ReachOut and why?
My favourite part is the weekly outdoor activities in the second hour of the session as I enjoy interacting with the young people and getting to know them better in a more relaxed and informal environment. More importantly, I enjoy seeing their growth in applying the character values and traits in their relationships with each other.
We often find we have less male mentors, could you give some advice to anyone considering it?
I feel that male volunteers are perhaps less willing to come forward due to the stigma that they are not as sensitive or nurturing. My advice to anyone, male or female, who wants to volunteer is to take the first step and be brave. The hardest step is always the first step!
The original blog post written by Chris can be read here: https://www.reachoutuk.org/chris-mentor
Interested in volunteering?
If Chris inspired you to volunteer, check out one of our other 200+ ongoing opportunities or book a one-to-one with Gabriella Monasso, the Volunteer Centre Manager if you have more questions. If you are short on time, then take a look at the one-off opportunities taking place in Lent Term organised by the LSE Volunteer Centre. And why not follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to stay up-to-date with our events and opportunities and read our blog for more volunteering tips and stories.