Lloyds Scholars: The double benefit of student volunteering
Posted on 3 Mar 2016
Today we've got a guest blog from the team at Lloyds Scholars, a programme offering financial support, employment opportunities and mentoring to talented undergraduates. In return Scholars complete at least 100 hours per year volunteering to help causes in their local community. They're sharing a special SVW opportunity with us…
During Student Volunteering Week we hear a lot about the fantastic causes students are supporting, and the crucial help that they provide to people all across the world. These outcomes are quite rightly lauded, however we also know that this is only one side to the benefit that student volunteering provides.
Lloyds Scholars is a programme offering financial support, employment opportunities and mentoring to talented undergraduates. In return Scholars complete at least 100 hours per year volunteering to help causes in their local community. We are enormously proud to announce that students on the programme have contributed more than 60,000 hours volunteering over the past five years.
However perhaps even more striking than this impressive number of hours is the fantastic impact that this volunteering has on the Scholars themselves, providing experiences and developing talents that prove crucial in their lives and careers to come.
Even during their first few weeks at university Lloyds Scholars throw themselves into supporting good causes - taking on leadership roles and developing organisation skills, as well as raising money and resources for some great causes. Matt Baldwin, a first year student at the University of Bath, is organising a group trip to tackle the Budapest Marathon – all in aid of Worldwide Cancer Research. Sophie Pownall, also a fresher, ran the Shoebox appeal for Rotary International in her first term. Sophie organised the collection of over 120 boxes filled with crucial lifesaving items that were sent to children living in poverty in Eastern Europe. Matt & Sophie have both found these roles have significantly increased their confidence, administrative skills, and their connection with the local community.
As well as working for established causes Scholars some have set up their own initiatives to help tackle problems they see in society. Pauli Platek, who studied at the University of Bristol, started her own charitable enterprise called the Clothes Line, which provided young people who were homeless, or at risk of becoming homeless, with free smart clothes to wear for interviews. The Clothes Line continues to have an impact, being passed onto a new Lloyds Scholar each year to continue its work. Pauli gained a great deal personally from her volunteering, as she says, “The experience greatly boosted my confidence and project management abilities, and taught me that I can achieve a lot if I only put my mind to it.”
It is difficult in one blog to sum up the difference that student volunteering on the Lloyds Scholars programme can make – both to countless individuals benefitting across the world, and of course to the Scholars themselves. Perhaps this is best summed up by Chris Fleming, a Lloyds Scholar from the University of Sheffield, who said, “The places I’ve been, the people I’ve met and stories I now have to tell about my various volunteering experiences are ones which I always share and have helped develop me both personally and professionally.”
At Lloyds Scholars we know how important student volunteering can be, which is why it sits at the centre of our programme – and why initiatives like Student Volunteering Week are so important.