Volunteering with us gives students valuable experience

Wendy, Development Worker in Ulster, reached out to students who could benefit from Girlguiding volunteer opportunities

I get to work with different ages of children. Planning and doing such a diverse range of activities really helps give me the experience and knowledge I need for my college course. - Laura, 18, Early Years student

When I decided that I wanted to reach out to students, I emailed the lecturer who teaches Early Years studies at a local college and asked if I could visit and talk to her students about volunteering with Girlguiding and how it could help with their course.

Highlighting skills gained from volunteering

During the session, I showed the students a video clip about guiding and highlighted the skills that could be gained from volunteering, including team work, programme planning, leadership skills and budgeting.

As part of their course, the students have to gain experience working with children under seven, so I explained how volunteering with Rainbows would enable them to do this, and that they would also be great role models for the girls. I then handed out lots of information about local units, the days and times they meet and their contact details.

I’ve been invited back to the college to talk to another intake of students and have also got some work lined up with a local secondary school. For my next visit, I have some interactive activities planned so I can show the students the kind of activities they could run in guiding groups.

Positive results so far

As a result of my visit, Early Years student Laura, 18, started volunteering with 1st Rathfriland Rainbows. She says, 'I get to work with different ages of children. Planning and doing such a diverse range of activities really helps give me the experience and knowledge I need for my college course.'

Unit Leader Elaine Gillespie says: 'Having Laura join our volunteering team has been fantastic. Our Rainbows seem to really relate to a younger volunteer - there's often a scramble to get the spot next to Laura in our Rainbow circle. She has brought a freshness and enthusiasm to the group as well as new skills. She even held a line dancing lesson for the girls!'

Get students involved

Student volunteers learn skills they can apply in their courses at university, and afterwards in the world of work. Read our advice on how to give them opportunities with Girlguiding.