5 reasons to get involved with volunteering – from a PLUS Award achiever!

Toby smiling.

Hello! I’m Toby Ferris, chair of the Volunteering and Fundraising Network.

Having used lots of volunteering hours towards my Bristol PLUS Award last year, I’m here to give you five great reasons to consider volunteering, especially during Student Volunteering Week. 

1 – Learn about your community and meet different people 

The Volunteering Fair is a great opportunity to learn more about Bristol’s community and charity opportunities whilst meeting charity representatives who have experience helping diverse groups.

Rows of stalls set up for the SU Volunteering Fair. The room is crowded with students and volunteers.

Whether you’re more interested in education or wellbeing opportunities, there will be others who are similarly passionate, so this could mean meeting someone to volunteer with!  

When you do volunteer, you’ll benefit from meeting a diverse group of people from within the Bristol area, making you a well-rounded individual.  

2 – Improve others’ future prospects 

If you get involved with volunteering in education, such as through Schools Plus or Ablaze, even a small number of hours contributed can have a significant impact on the academic or career prospects of students in the Bristol area.  

I have signed up to volunteer with Zero Gravity this year, which is a mentoring platform for A-Level students. 

3 – Enhance your CV 

As is the goal of the PLUS Award, volunteering experiences can give you extra skills for your CV.

Employers will value volunteering experiences as it shows empathy as well as a range of skills, such as time management, communication and teamwork.  

You could use your volunteering experience to develop underutilised skills and make yourself a more competitive applicant going forward. What skills do you want to develop?  

4 – Give back and focus on others 

Being students, we can get easily caught up in our busy schedules. Sometimes it’s healthy to take a break (perhaps just a few hours a week) to focus on someone or something that’s not associated with our studies.  

My volunteering at FoodCycle was great for this as our guests were very friendly and it helped me take a break from studies whilst having a local impact.  

5 – Future opportunities 

Looking forward, you never know what further opportunities may come from your time volunteering. If you’re unsure about what you’d like to do after university, volunteering might even help you find a job or career which suits you!  

Whatever your reason for volunteering, by getting involved, we could all make a gigantic impact on Bristol. What’s stopping us?

Student Volunteering Week, happening from 13 - 18 February 2023.

Get involved!  

Get your volunteering hours recognised by the Bristol PLUS Award 

The PLUS Award recognises all extra-curricular activities undertaken during your studies at Bristol – including volunteering! 

The Award tells employers you have gone above and beyond your studies at Bristol and is a fantastic way to stand out from the crowd when applying for future opportunities. PLUS Award achievers also unlock the ability to gain further recognition through the Outstanding PLUS Awards.  

Attend an introductory talk and register by 12 February 2023.