Richmond first year Transitions students are volunteering in the London community and learning lots of new skills
Student’s name: Amie Bannerman
Organisation volunteered for: GKR Karate
Volunteering role: Instructor
Why this voluntary work matters to you and to others: This matters to me as it is training people to be safe and teaches people disciple and fitness, both mentally and physically.
Skills developed and how: I have learnt to work with many different people from different backgrounds and abilities. I have also worked with many disabled children who need to have the right teaching skills for them to learn. This has helped with their learning through their education, but also their behaviour in their home environment.
Benefits of volunteering: With the benefits of volunteering, it helps me learn about people’s personal needs and how they need different treatment from other people. It also teaches me to be patient with other people and that not everyone can work at the same speed as me. Volunteering has also helped with my educational learning as I have been able to become more patient with the work that I have been given and to take time to actually complete it to a high standard.
Organisation volunteered for: Wandle Trust in collaboration with the RAIUL Great British Bake off Club
Volunteering role: Baker and River Cleaner
Why this voluntary work matters to you and to others: The Trust aims to achieve their goal through educating locals, getting locals involved in the cleanup, enhancing the river’s habitats and partnering with other groups to facilitate the common goal of sanitation and habitat preservation. Being a part of that is an honour. One leaves the site knowing a difference has been made. The park and river have been made cleaner and safer for people to enjoy.
Skills developed and how: I collaborated with fellow baking club members to ensure we had enough food for all of the volunteers at the cleanup.We worked out our muscles carrying heavy objects like floor boards and burnt out motorbikes to the trash collection area. We walked through the undergrowth with litter grabbers to get trash that would hurt the local wildlife.
Benefits of volunteering: Like I said above, you know you made a difference when you leave the park with it visibly cleaner than before. One doesn’t have to clear mountains every time they go out to make a difference.
Organisation volunteered for: Cancer Research UK
Volunteering role: Shop Assistant
Why this voluntary work matters to you and to others: This matters to me for it directly supports an issue that is personal to me so many different ways. This matters to others because then all the money that the Cancer Research shop makes goes into funding their research which in turn saves lives.
Skills developed and how: I have been able to develop my skill of dealing with difficult and annoying people; in addition, I have developed the skill of understanding when people try and cheat the shop out of money. Volunteering has also developed my personal interaction skills because through doing this I have met a variety of different people either working with them or serving them as customers.
Benefits of volunteering: Volunteering, especially for this charity, makes me feel like that I am helping people who are already in a difficult position in life and also that one day the work that I did would have helped prevent or even find a cure to cancer.
Organisation volunteered for: Fulham Palace
Volunteering role: Learning assistant
Why this voluntary work matters to you and to others: Through this activity, I am learning what it is like to work in a museum and in a learning department. I help the manager in the office updating the rotas and the volunteers portal. Furthermore, I reply to emails and record the bookings for the family activities and for school sessions. Moreover, I help to prepare and to collect the material for the activities. During school sessions, I support the freelance teachers delivering a good and well-planned session about a specific topic.
Skills developed and how: I gained a basic knowledge of excel. I enhanced my budgeting and planning skills. I learned new things about historical periods, London and the Palace itself. I improved my communication skills especially in relation to children.
Benefits of volunteering: it is a great way to engage in a specific activity. It is an opportunity to go out and build relationships within the community and meet new people. It is an excellent chance to learn, improve and gain skills and abilities. It is an incredible rewarding commitment. It is important to choose a charity which operates in a field one is curious or interested about. Motivation is essential to enjoy the activity. Moreover, it is a way to give your help out and to enrich yourself at the same time.
Organisation volunteered for: The Vineyard Charity Shop, Richmond
Volunteering role: My tasks included greeting customers as they walked in, assisting them in finding items, answering questions, organising the store, going through donations, and price labelling. Another one of my roles was to go through the clothes and remove any pieces that have been on the racks for too long. Besides that, I would go through the donation bags and decide what articles could be sold in the store if they were torn, stained, or looked rugged it would go in recycling.
Why this voluntary work matters to you and to others: My voluntary work matters to me because I helped relieve stress and work from my manager. Also, organising the store allowed for the customers to find items easily which they recognised and thanked us for. Besides that, I enjoyed talking to our customers and helping them find products.
Skills developed and how: I developed price labelling skills by having to determine the price of clothes, toys, appliances, and shoes. This was challenging because I had to make sure I wasn’t undercharging or overcharging and that compared to other charity shops our prices were reasonable. I also used my communication and personal skills when helping people shop. For instance, a Spanish-speaking woman came into the store and I assisted her in finding what she was looking for in Spanish and we had a whole friendly conversation.
Benefits of volunteering: My volunteer experience has given me the ability to obtain a retail job and has enhanced my team working, communication, and personal skills. I’ve also met and worked with amazing, friendly, and caring people who made my job easy and enjoyable.
Organisation volunteered for: Kingston University’s Dorich House Museum
Volunteering role: Front Desk Assistant
Why this voluntary work matters to you and to others: The volunteering work is a great use to the museum as it is a way for Kingston University and the Dorich House to incorporate the community in events and open hours. Visitors are able to feel at ease and comfortable as staff are a part of the same city and community. As for volunteers, it consists of university students as well as members of the city who have a passion for the museum and its history. From the volunteers I have met during my service learning, all are active and enthusiastic about working that day.
Skills developed and how: During my time at the museum, I improved many skills as well as adopted many. For one, my technological skills developed with working on Excel spreadsheets weekly, statistical analysis with various tasks on financial and marketing research, and the editing of the museum’s website. In addition, I developed social and communicative skills that I greatly lacked at the beginning of my first year. Welcoming visitors and selling products improved confidence in public speaking and small talks.
Benefits of volunteering: Volunteering in the small museum allowed me to apply skills I learned from my own studies. As an Art History & Visual Culture student, I am able to apply art analysis when discussing works with visitors. There is also basic skills such as confidently speaking to others that can be useful in interviews as well as internships.