- Hi everyone, my name is Isha and I am a student volunteering ambassador at LSE. Volunteering is one of those things that everyone says they would love to be involved in but don’t have the time to do. There is a misconception that a volunteering role involves a set number of hours each week which for students is not always viable. However, a wide range of volunteering opportunities are available, and I have found several opportunities to suit my availability.Since being at LSE I have been involved in several volunteering activities that have been both socially impactful and gratifying. My main engagement has been with a charity called Care4Calais who provide a wide range of services to assist asylum seekers. Within the charity, my role has been to sign up asylum seekers to food banks. Asylum seekers are referred to the charity who then pass on their details to me. It is then my job to initiate contact with them, to understand their specific needs and circumstances and fill out a form for them to then collect their food packages from a designated collection site. The time commitment for this role has been low but it is a role I know is helping others ensure they have a meal on their table. I was required to undertake initial safeguard training and onboarding calls but besides that, I work with a small team of people and delegate tasks that need to be done. This role has helped me hone my communications skills as I interact with people from sensitive backgrounds so I have developed an empathetic tone of communicating. Volunteering with Care4calais has been a rewarding experience and has raised my awareness of the problems faced by asylum seekers.
Volunteering with Care4calais has been a long-term involvement but I have also been engaged with one-off volunteering events. For example, I participated in a volunteering activity through the Hindu Society where they partnered with Project Giving. Project Giving aims to serve the homeless by holding monthly stalls to hand out essential food, clothing and toiletry items. Alongside several other LSE students, I was fortunate enough to volunteer and hand out these items.
I have also been involved in a voluntary pro bono project where I did some research on behalf of CARE International UK as to whether they should give loans to women in Zimbabwe. This was a group project where we all took different questions the charity wanted us to focus on and then brought our research together to create a report on our findings. This again was a voluntary role where I had flexibility over when I could commit to the work so I could easily balance this with my studies.
So far, I have found my volunteering experience at LSE to be fulfilling and I have been able to easily commit to these roles whilst completing my studies. I have also gained valuable and transferable skills from these volunteering roles, and it has made me more aware of the issues faced by social groups across the globe. My experiences from volunteering have not only enriched my student life but they have also allowed me to contribute to meaningful work.
If you’re not currently volunteering because you’re not sure how to get involved the following can help:
- visit our website to learn more about what we do book a one-to-one appointment to discuss how we can help you find a suitable role browse one-off and ongoing opportunities on CareerHub. Volunteering has the potential to transform a university experience for LSE students and we look forward to inspiring many more to get involved in the upcoming academic year.