What a week! This year we celebrated our biggest ever Student Volunteering Week with 6 events during the week, 4 charity stalls and whole load of volunteering love. During the week we spoke to the LSE community about how their volunteering as benefit them and the answers were amazing! From getting involved in the local community, to developing more empathy for others, LSE student volunteers have gained a wide variety of benefits from their volunteering experiences. Check out the Student Volunteering Week videos to see more students explore the benefits!
Over 60 students volunteered with us to celebrate the week through our one-off volunteering events. On Tuesday we visited our charity partner and LSESU RAG local charity, The Felix Project, a fantastic charity that works to both reduce food waste and food poverty across London. The LSE student volunteers helped by accompanying drivers in the vans, collecting food from suppliers that would have gone to waste so that it can be redistributed to local charities that provide meals.
“It was an enlightening experience which I was able to highlight the excessive amount of food that is wasted and the better uses it could be put to.” – Aaina Chopra, The Felix Project Volunteer
To celebrate the halfway mark, we hosted a Post Pals session on Wednesday to create and send cards to children and their siblings, suffering with long-term medical conditions. LSE volunteers got creative and made over 50 cards sent to children all over the UK. A massive thank you to everyone who volunteered their time and wrote a lovely card!
We had over 50 students attend our ‘How to find a volunteer role in the law sector’ panel which was run in conjunction with the LSESU Lawyers Without Borders society, a sub group of the LSE Law Society. We were joined by panellists from the Free Representation Unit, the Disability Law Centre, Amicus, the Pro Bono Community and Consonant.
Later on in the week we hosted a film screening of ‘The Voluntourist’, a short film that questions the impact of voluntourism (international volunteering) on local communities. It was created by Chloe Sanguinetti who spoke to many volunteers across Southeast Asia. The documentary pushes those who are volunteering to question what their motives are and whether they have the skills to perform the role they are doing. After the screening, students discussed their thoughts surrounding the topics in the documentary, with some drawing upon their own experiences.
The main takeaway from the evening was that students want to talk about this. Whilst it can be a sensitive and emotive topic, the students present were really keen to express their views and engage in the conversation. The topic is tied into history, colonialism, identity and much more, and students expressed the lack of space to discuss this.
Our final event was in conjunction with the LSESU UN Society where we celebrated the impact that students had made through their volunteering but also reflected on what they had learnt, how they will pick their next opportunity and what barriers they face at LSE to start volunteering.
If you were inspired by Student Volunteering Week, it’s not too late to get your volunteering started! 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 happening over the rest of Lent Term, organised by the LSE Volunteer Centre. If you want to share your volunteering experience with us, why not write us a blog? Have a scroll through our blog page to read what other students have written and get inspired!