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#IVolunteerBecause: George from Loughborough SU Action

Posted on 1 Mar 2016

We're continuing our #IVolunteerBecause series on the blog today with George Hones, a student at Loughborough University and a committee member for Action at Loughborough Students' Union.

Find out more about how LSU Action celebrated Student Volunteering Week 2016.

Of all my experiences at Loughborough over the past three years, none have come to have made as large an impact as my time with Action, Loughborough Students’ Union’s volunteering section.

By the time I graduate from Loughborough I will have completed nearly 700 hours of volunteering, both within the community and overseas. Volunteering has become a driving passion in my life. Before I came here, I hadn’t even considered it.

Getting involved could not have been easier. Loughborough’s uniquely passionate hall system allowed me to get involved straight away. As an elected Hall Rep, I was placed in charge of finding and recruiting for volunteer projects within my hall. It was a great stepping stone into the section, and allowed me to gain valuable experience.

From there I was elected as Overseas Opportunities Officer, taking the reigns of our overseas projects and ensuring all of them ran smoothly. Working closely with numerous project leaders, it was a position that solidified my passion for volunteering (particularly overseas) and developed me both personally and professionally.

Now as Action Vice Chair, I work closely with our section head and assist her in any way I can, from chairing meetings to taking charge in her absence. It’s an immensely rewarding position that has allowed me to see just how much goes into the running of such a large volunteering organisation.

Of all the memories I've accumulated during my three amazing years with Action, it's hard to pick just one that truly demonstrates just how profound an effect being involved has had on my time at university.

But if I were to pick one from the list of hundreds, it would have to be my three weeks in rural Uganda working with the Jolly Mercy Learning Centre.

Action gave me the opportunity to volunteer overseas and work to change the lives of those that desperately need our help. Had you asked me three years ago if I would have enjoyed volunteering for three weeks in Africa, I would have shrugged you off. No, of course I wouldn't. I'd be too hot, too smelly, my skin would explode after 2 minutes of direct sunlight. I barely like my mum's cooking let alone three weeks of an entirely different culture and diet.

And yet it was the best three weeks of my life. It's something I'm immensely proud to have been a part of. To see the faces of those that we were helping light up when we greeted them is something I will never forget. I'll never forget the children who, even if they themselves had so little to give, would offer me their lunch out of kindness.

And every day this section creates those memories for our hundreds of volunteers. Year in year out we offer students the opportunity to create those memories for themselves. Be it overseas or in our local community, the people we help are so grateful for our time and our effort.

Getting involved with Action was the best thing I've done here at Loughborough, and if you give it a chance it may just be the best thing you do too.

George receiving his Loughborough Experience Award for commitment to volunteering and the experience of students

George Hones

George is the Vice Chair of Action Volunteering at Loughborough Students' Union

Categories: What volunteering means to me