Being a student can be incredibly busy at times, but then at other points during a semester you can find yourself at a loose end, especially if you’re not travelling home during the holidays.
But there’s lots of things you can do with your time, and one of the most rewarding and fulfilling ways to spend your time is to volunteer. There are tons of opportunities in Sheffield and it’s a fab way of giving back to the city that’s hosting you during your university time.
It can be quite daunting when looking for places to volunteer, but there are so many wonderful organisations needing a hand.
I’d recommend your first stop being Sheffield Volunteer Centre; these guys have a drop in between 10-4 every Monday-Wednesday. This is where you can learn everything you could possibly need to know about Volunteering in Sheffield, plus current open opportunities.
Alternatively, take a look at Sheffield Volunteering ran by the Sheffield Student’s Union which strives to pair students with volunteering opportunities. They currently have over 2,200 current volunteers, so it’s a hugely successful venture and a great way to make friends with similar interests too. With over 200 current opportunities you’re bound to find something to suit your volunteering needs.
Age UK – A wonderful charity working with over 50s to make sure that Sheffield is a great place to grow old, they provide information, advice and resources to our older generation and is a worthwhile charity to volunteer with. You get the opportunity to learn from a whole host of incredible individuals and the stories you will hear will make this role really fulfilling. There are currently eight different opportunities ranging from Wellbeing Centre Coordinators, to Reception Volunteers. All you need to do is complete the application form and email it back to them.
Citizens Advice Sheffield – Citizens Advice relies wholly upon volunteers to continue providing their valuable service to residents. Helping over 25 thousand people every year, it truly provides a lifeline for those needing advice on important issues such as benefits, housing, legal issues, and a whole host of other problems. They’re currently seeking receptionists and trainee advisors – a full application form can be found on their site, as well as a document detailing what to expect when volunteering at Citizens Advice.
Sheffield Cats Shelter – What better way to deal with any University stress than by volunteering at the Sheffield Cats Shelter? They rehome over 400 cats and kittens every year and caring for these furballs can take a lot of time, hard work and donations. You can volunteer to work in the Cat Shelter itself on Cat room duties, which will involve cleaning dishes and litter trays to ensure the cats have a nice clean space to live. Once this has been completed, you are free to spend a little time with the cats to help with their socialization, increasing their chances of being rehomed. Away from the shelter, they also need volunteers in their retail stores and rely on this income to look after the cats in their care, so it’s a really important role. Application forms and details of training can be found on the Cats Shelter website.
The sites mentioned above are specific to Sheffield, but what if you want to volunteer for a specific organisation close to your heart outside of Sheffield? Or maybe continue your volunteering after University in another part of the UK?
Then Do-IT should be your port of call. These guys aim to make volunteering easy and have a whole host of brilliant tools on the site to help you, such as a distance calculator, a tool to select a particular organization, and even options to see how you can volunteer from home.
If you’re thoroughly enjoying your university course and want to give back, then there’s always the option of Volunteering at University.
There are opportunities to mentor new students, because let’s face it, those first few months can be hell! Especially the stark reality of living on your own and the stress of University work. Or you could represent your fellow students on the Student Council – this is a brilliant opportunity to have your say and really stands out on your cv when looking for work after University.
However you choose to volunteer, whichever organisation benefits from your time, just know that what you’re doing is fantastic and you’re improving the community you’re living in.
Written by Sheffield-based blogger and writer, Alice in Sheffield