Student Volunteer of the Year Award Finalist: Jordan
Posted on 4 Mar 2014
Jordan was one of five students shortlisted for the Student Volunteer of the Year Award 2014. Here, he shares his perspective on volunteering…
Volunteering isn’t really something I’d ever seen myself doing, but I’m so glad I did!
Helping out with something you love, whether like me it started in sport, or it’s giving time to helping vulnerable people, or working in a school, I think most people just enjoy it and that’s the bottom line.
Giving your time to something you love is just second nature isn’t it? My roles have taken me all over the UK, and now all over the world. In fact, I’m starting to be head hunted for roles globally on graduation from University because of the work I’ve undertaken up until this point in my life, so to be honest volunteering is pretty damn great.
Don’t go through life doing one thing, whether it’s getting a job, studying at school or working towards a qualification elsewhere, it’s boring, and it will make you boring. Take a chance, and give some time up. In 2012 I went out to Zambia on behalf of the UK Sport IDEALS programme, my role as a Team Leader was to manage a group of volunteers on the ground in Zambia for 4 months. I chose this role over a number of year long placements I was offered from around the world, opting against working in New Zealand, the US and Asia, because the challenge looked incredible.
To this day, I can’t speak highly enough of my experience, but not one day did I feel like I was working, it was a professional experience incomparable, but I worked in an environment I loved and had the best time of my life. Getting to this point is hard, you may well do some pretty bland things, and I’ve been shouted at refereeing football more times than I care to remember, but honestly it’s worth it. In my current range of positions, I have influence over budgets, individuals and a say in the direction of things I care about. If I had not undertaken all the volunteering on offer via the University and Students’ Union then I would not have developed so many skills and had so many different experiences
I really do believe that everyone should give sometime back to society in any way they can, you will make a difference; trust me, but don’t ever be in something just for the recognition, it will never arrive if you do. Challenge yourself, take a chance, remember you are allowed to say no, but give as much as you can in a voluntary role, it really could change the direction your life is heading in!