Thursday 18-02-2016 - 15:12
Here's Deputy President, Ebbi Ferguson, on the importance of volunteering and what students can gain by taking part in it.
So often students are branded as tourists who enter into communities, make noise and leave bin bags on the streets; but we know that this is far form the truth. Student Volunteering Week is fast approaching (22nd to 28th February). This week is an excellent opportunity to showcase all the outstanding work that students do within their communities. Students aren’t holidaymakers, they are key to contributors to society. But volunteering is so much more than serving others around you, the techniques you learn through working in teams towards common goals provide students with transferable skills to be used within their education and future employment.
For me, it goes deeper. Having volunteered at my local Duke of Edinburgh award scheme and Mumbles yacht club throughout my three years in college taught me so much more that just some buzzwords on a CV. Seeing a project through from start to finish bring an intrinsic sense of achievement that nothing else can replicate. Watching a team of young people reach their goal because of the time and effort you put into training and supporting them is nothing short of a privilege.
With cuts to youth services and opportunities for young people growing less and less, we are relying more and more on volunteers to fill the gaps. I am more than proud that every students union in Wales is involved in SVW this year. This shows a united value for collaborative working. I look forward to expanding the work of SVW into colleges in the coming year.
This year we have launched the Student Volunteering Network Wales, an offshoot of the national Student Volunteering Network to ensure we are supporting students to organise activities on the ground. You can find out more about it here http://www.studentvolunteeringweek.org/wales.html.
There are some exciting events planned for the 15th year of SWV. Welsh Students’ Unions have teamed up with other great organisations such as Surfers Against Sewage to do a Wales-wide clean up. Hundreds of students will be out in force cleaning up beaches and community areas. And this is just the start. Yes it may seem simple, but often it’s the most basic of tasks that pass us by unnoticed and we often take for granted.
If you are feeling inspired to get involved, you should definitely follow this link and find out more https://www.studentvolunteeringweek.org