These are just some of the benefits that Abigail attributes to her volunteering experiences, which she began during secondary school in her home country of Guyana.
For Abigail, volunteering allowed her to help those in need in a more meaningful way while also socialising with a group of peers with similar interests outside of school.
“As I grew older and my capacity and skill set developed, I joined the Rotary Club in Guyana. By volunteering with Rotary I am able to make a greater impact at the level of the individual, family and community. It allows me to be part of a network of professionals across all sectors with the means to generate ideas and funding for targeted projects,” says Abigail.
Abigail’s solid volunteering background and developed skill set, meant that when she arrived in London to study for her Msc in Global Public Health Nutrition, she could manage her time well enough to volunteer with more than one project.
Volunteering with Hackney Pirates
“I am passionate about supporting education and literacy among children, so when I came to London, I wanted to continue this. This brought me to work as a volunteer with the Hackney Pirates, who work to develop the literacy, confidence and perseverance of young people in the area. I also worked as a community outreach engagement volunteer with HENRY (Health. Exercise. Nutrition for the Really Young), which is an NHS funded project to help reduce childhood obesity,” says Abigail.
In addition to being better prepared for the workplace, volunteering has afforded Abigail the opportunity to network with others from diverse ethnic, cultural, educational and professional backgrounds.
Her advice to anyone considering volunteering is to find something that they are passionate about or that may help to build a needed skill and sign up.
“No matter what you choose to dedicate your time to, you will develop more skills. That could be the difference between a distinction and a merit in a piece of coursework, or whether you get your desired job or not.”
Top Graduate Attributes Achieved
Socially, Ethically and Environmentally Aware, Entrepreneurial, Critical and Creative Thinker.
“Improving children’s literacy, both in Guyana and in the United Kingdom through my work with Rotary and the Hackney Pirates is still the highlight of my volunteering journey. I love working with children and I am a firm believer that education and literacy is the key to human development. In children, it breeds self-esteem and gives them a chance at a better socio-economic and health status as adults.”
Find out more about volunteering and available opportunities, visit the volunteering webpages.