There are so many volunteering opportunities it can be difficult to choose the right project for you. When deciding on a project, it can help to think over the questions below:
HUSSO or Community Volunteering?
HUSSO deals with student-led volunteering so you will be working alongside other students. The student volunteers have ownership over the HUSSO projects, meaning that you will be closely involved in the direction the project takes and will have input into how i the future. Contact email@example.com for more details.
Community Volunteering covers projects that are run by external organisations in Hull. There are a large range of projects in this area. Some opportunities are with smaller, local groups and others are with local branches of larger, national organisations.
Realistically, how much time do you have to spare?
You will have many demands on your time while at university so be sure not to take on more than you can handle or you will end up letting people down and feeling very guilty!
Which groups of people would you most like to work with?
Children, families, older people, adults with disabilities, school children, people with mental health problems?
What fits in with your lifestyle?
If you like to go out on a Wednesday night, you might want to reconsider volunteering on a Thursday morning!
What skills do you have to give?
You’ll learn new skills through volunteering but ensuring you’re developing your existing skills and experience is just as important. Are you good with children? Are you a really good listener? Do you have excellent customer care skills? Can you speak any other languages?
What do you want to do in the future?
Any volunteering is a great way to get work experience, build up your CV and gain transferable skills. Voluntary work which is directly related to your future career will help you gain an insight into your chosen career and help you on your way to your ideal job.
Once you’ve chosen your project…
For community volunteering projects, just browse the projects and apply for the one(s) you want to do. Some may ask you to fill in an application form and attend an interview; others have a more informal process. Details on the application process for each project can be found in the project descriptions.
HUSSO has two application deadlines for volunteers during the year, one at the beginning of each semester. You can download an application form from the website or pick one up from the Volunteering Helpdesk on the First Floor of the Students’ Union.
Tips on applying for projects
Organisations are looking for dedicated, reliable volunteers, as they will invest a lot of time in looking after you and making sure you have the right training and support.
Make sure you fill in your application as though you were applying for a job. Organisations are not obliged to take you on so ensure you make a good impression and show that you understand the skills and qualities needed for the role. Check your spelling and grammar and if you supply an email address, make sure it is appropriate and professional. Remember, you will be judged on all the aspects of your application.
If you are unsuccessful in your application then it might be worth asking for feedback on the reason for this.
All roles that involve working with children or vulnerable adults will require a Criminal Records Bureau check that will reveal any criminal convictions you may have.
Having a criminal record will not necessarily prevent you from volunteering unless it is relevant to the voluntary work you wish to do.
Community Volunteering organisations which require a CRB check will tell applicants what they need to do. The Volunteering Hub will only carry out CRBs for HUSSO projects and some select Community Volunteering organisations. You will need to fill in a form, provide some ID and that’s all there is to it. You will not be allowed to volunteer for a HUSSO project without a recent CRB certificate. CRB’s from external organisations may be accepted for HUSSO volunteers at the discretion of the Union.
Some Community Volunteering organisations will ask you to undergo training before volunteering. Successful applicants for HUSSO projects must attend at least one training session before starting. The HUSSO training session will cover the type of people you will be working with, situations you may encounter and how to deal with them and an introduction to the activities you will be involved in. The session will also cover HUSSO policies and procedures and those working with children will also receive child protection training.