photo of nina dunne studentIt’s Student Volunteering Week this week! This is your chance to find out what volunteering’s all about, straight from the organisations. We have organisations coming on to each campus at lunchtimes this week and we’ve also got our Volunteering Fair this Wednesday afternoon – come chat to organisations at the Fair all about health and social care related volunteering – an essential for many students, whether it’s gaining experience for Med School applications or developing all those vital communication skills for working with vulnerable clients. All the details for this week are on our blog post.

So, what’s the point of volunteering? Student Guest Blogger, Nina Dunne, wants you to know just how rewarding volunteering can be. Here’s what she had to say about volunteering:

I volunteer one day a week in Brighton Museums assisting the schools programme. My role is varied, and quite often involves games and crafting. Most recently I have been assisting with the preparation of a Stone Age session aimed at Key Stage 2 students.

I saw the Schools Learning and Engagement volunteer role advertised on the Careers blog the week before my induction. I love museums and I am interested in how people learn so I thought this was such a great opportunity I had to sign up to Active Student.

Creativity is the most important skill in my role. Quite often my team is working on a limited budget so we need to create activities that will be engaging and sustainable. Before schools can book the museum sessions, my team work with teacher focus groups to get feedback. From the feedback, we modify the session to make the activities as stimulating as possible.

For the Stone Age session I had the opportunity to meet Blockbuilders and see the map they are designing and their rough ideas for the project. I am very interested in using digital technologies to aid learning so I found their work very exciting.

My next project involves a toy session aimed at Key Stage 1 students. It will be based in Hove Museum and the session aims to use toys to illustrate age. I am researching Victorian toys and materials used over time for this session.

It is very easy to get swept up in the fun of the role and I have often found myself going to a craft shop in my lunch hour looking for crepe paper to make props or going to the gift shop on the weekend to play with wooden toys (I have been practising yo-yoing this week).

As cliché as it sounds the people I work with in the museum are the main highlight of my role. I love being around people who are passionate about their specialist interests and, more importantly, dedicated to the accessibility and inclusivity of the museum. Everyone I work with is constantly looking for ways to engage and inspire more members of the public. And I also love when students enjoy their visit to the museum.

Volunteering has been incredibly rewarding. I enjoy spending time in museums and my role has helped me get through a difficult first term in university.