Lots of students across the school volunteer in their spare time, but the LSE Law Department is home to a lot of committed student volunteers. This week we’re hearing from Jasmine Pearce about her experience volunteering in her first year for the Helen Bamber Foundation.
When I first started studying at the LSE, I remember feeling hugely overwhelmed. Day 2, Freshers Week, and I was asked which firms I would be applying to for a spring week. What the hell is a spring week?, I remember wondering. For a year, I found myself swept up in the tide, struggling to establish my own identity and career path.
This year, I made the conscious effort to establish an identity outside of LSE. So, now, for two afternoons a week, I volunteer at the Helen Bamber Foundation. Within the foundation, I’ve chosen to work in the Legal department; helping victims of trafficking, torture, and extreme violence access asylum in the UK.
Sometimes the work can feel tiring, especially when I’m spending week after week sorting through endless piles of client data on Excel. But most days, I get a feeling of relief. Like something I’m doing actually matters for once in my life. Law can be a very theoretical course, and in classes we spend hours debating why this or that law should be changed. So being actually able to write letters to the Home Office (if even just to submit forms) feels very satisfying.
It helps that my team is so supportive, too. During my January exams, I was able to take time off to study; and in the office, there’s always so much food! Because of the nature of our work, there is a real sense of community with Christmas parties and weekly ‘wins’ (celebrating individual successes each week). On top of that, I’ve had some amazing experiences – the highlight being our annual charity dinner where I was able to meet celebrities such as Emma Thompson, Colin Firth, and Anish Kapoor.
If Jasmine has inspired you to volunteer, check out one of our other 200+ ongoing opportunities or book a one-to-one with David Coles, 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.