Volunteering during your time at LSE has many benefits, but one of the biggest is that it can help you settle into London. It’s not unusual to feel a little overwhelmed when arriving in such a big city, starting on your course and trying to do all those other things that life throws at you. In this blog, we give you four reasons why we think volunteering can help you settle into London and feel part of this incredible city.
1. Make new friends
Volunteering is a fantastic way to make new friends. Meeting people who believe in a similar cause instantly gives you something to talk about. Whether it’s cleaning up a local park, mentoring a school child or welcoming refugees to London you’ll definitely have something to bond over. Many volunteers told us that they enjoyed meeting students from different courses or making friends with someone who was completely separate to LSE. Don’t worry if you feel a little shy, the LSE Volunteer Centre runs one-off volunteering opportunities that are aimed at people new to volunteering or to London. Just sign up on LSE CareerHub to attend.
2. Discover new places
If you live in hall of residence near LSE it can be really tempting to stay in zone 1 and we don’t blame you. However, volunteering is a brilliant way to explore London that you’re living in and escape the “LSE bubble”. The Volunteer Centre has opportunities all across London and students often report back how fun it is to see somewhere new. The good news is that most charities will pay your travel expenses, but please remember to ask this before you start volunteering.
3. Feel part of the community
Whether you petition for a cleaner environment, give advice at a pro-bono law centre or coach football to a children’s team you will get a sense of feeling part of the community. It will give you ownership over an issue that you care about and bring you closer to those that you’re volunteering with and for. Students also report back that volunteering gives them the sense of feeling part of LSE too.
4. Understand London
London can be a confusing place. It’s busy, loud and sometimes doesn’t feel that welcoming. Scratch beneath the surface though and you’ll find the majority of Londoners are incredibly friendly. Thousands dedicate their lives to making the city a nicer place for us all and if you connect with them through volunteering it’ll give you a sense of why this city is the way it is and how you can fit right in and make a success of it.
We hope our four reasons have encouraged you to volunteer and become a Londoner.
If we’ve 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 that will return for Michaelmas Term 2019, 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.