Nicola's 'Art'astic Time Volunteering

Name: Nicola

Course studied at NTU: Sociology

Year of graduation: 2015

Current Job :  Volunteer counsellor

Organisation name: NSPCC’s Childline

What volunteering were you involved in whilst a student at NTU?  Was it course related or to help with a particular career choice?
“I volunteered for the ARTiculate project whilst studying at NTU. I got involved by volunteering with the programme during my first year and then became project leader for two years. The project runs fun arts and crafts sessions on Saturday’s for children from the charity Spiral, who have experienced a close bereavement or domestic abuse at home.

 As a project leader I was responsible for recruiting eight volunteers each academic year to help prepare and run the sessions. I carried out the communication to the parents/guardians of the children, the charity spiral and the Nottingham Trent volunteering team who fund the project. I also undertook safeguarding and leadership training for the role. The project had a great impact on the charity, reducing the waiting list of children not engaged.

Has your volunteering helped your employability since graduating?  If so, in what way?
I choose to volunteer for the programme because I love working with young people and the project stuck out as something really amazing to get involved with. I found giving a little bit of my time to others also had great benefits to me. I was working alongside so many inspirational people, whom I learnt lots of new skills from, all of which made me realise I wanted a career with a sense of purpose within the charity sector.

Therefore, I am just about to start a graduate level job at a youth charity, where I will be delivering a widening participation programme to disadvantaged children and young people. My volunteering experience was a great boost in my application and interviewers were really impressed to hear about the volunteering I had done.

What advice would you give students when considering taking part in extra-curricular activities such as volunteering?
I wanted to keep on volunteering after university and am very excited to start the training course for a volunteer counsellor role at NSPCC’s Childline service. I would advise everyone to do some volunteering whilst at university you will meet amazing people, learn so much and not regret it giving a little bit of your time!”

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