Two students painting a door frame

Volunteering student stories

Our volunteers come from a diverse range of backgrounds, have a wide variety of skills and experience and give their time for many different reasons. Read what motivated them to get involved.

Gain insight into organisations

Phoebe (UWE Bristol Art student) volunteered for Art + Power as an Art Development worker.

“As a second year Art student, I was initially interested in becoming involved as a volunteer with Art + Power. I am passionate about the empowering nature of art and wanted to help support this, as well as gain some experience within an arts organisation and a better idea of what I may like to go on to do after my degree.

"I found this a really great opportunity to learn about how an arts organisation is run, attending creative coaching meetings and helping to develop the creative development program. As part of this, I was involved in initiating a pop-up workshop fundraising event with the participants of Art + Power.

"I felt I got a lot out of this experience and found that everyone was very enthusiastic and supportive in making this happen. The experience helped to enable me to get a job as a pre-16 Student Ambassador with UWE Bristol and, upon completing my degree this summer, I will take on a job as an activity leader in an international summer school running art workshops.

"Art + Power really helped me to gain valuable knowledge, confidence and experience. They are a very supportive organisation and I’d definitely like to be involved more and support them in the future.”

Rachael (UWE Bristol Psychology student) volunteered at the visitor centre for the Prison Advice and Care Trust (PACT).

"The role includes welcoming visiting families and friends to the prison, including explaining the visits routine and making visitors feel welcome.

“I helped out at the PACT visitor centre and I learnt a lot about what goes on in prisons and how it affects the relatives of people in prisons. I gained a better insight into the prison system and also developed my interpersonal skills.”

Develop your career choices

Lusy (UWE Bristol Mental Health Nursing student) volunteered at a hospice.

Lusy studied for her degree in Mental Health Nursing in the beautiful setting of the University's Gloucester Campus. Her change in career from computer programming was inspired by volunteering for a hospice.

Hear Lusy's story.

Phillippa (UWE Bristol Education Studies student) was a Play Worker Volunteer at Ashley Down After School Club.

“I worked as a play worker. I helped get the children involved in the activities and keeping them entertained. The wanted to gain experience for my PGCE application. I gained organisational skills and it was a great experience to work with the children. As a university student, I liked to be a positive role model to the pupils.”

Develop your skills and CV

Jennifer (UWE Bristol Early Childhood Studies student) volunteered for the Bristol Playbus Scheme.

"I found it very enjoyable working with Playbus. My role was to help encourage the children to play. Often the children did not have facilities where they lived, so the bus travels to them to provide a safe play area.

"The people who work there are so friendly and welcomed me immediately. A lot of responsibility was given to me, and I was grateful because it meant that I was able to extend my experiences and face a challenge.

"I have gained knowledge about working with children alongside their families. My previous experiences did not cover this and so it was interesting to find out how much I enjoyed it. The experience has also opened my eyes to see that not all children have the chance to play, which to me is an essential part of childhood. I also got to see a lot more of Bristol other than the city centre.

"By carrying out voluntary work, I am able to gain an insight into various types of childcare and child services. I am able to work with a diverse range of children from different backgrounds and of different ages so am able to make choices about who I would like to work with in the future. It also looks great on your CV, so I would recommend volunteering to everyone, no matter what their interests!"

Josie (UWE Bristol Psychology student)volunteered for The National Autistic Society (NAS).

"I am a volunteer in the social group. I attend social meetings once a month and supervise the meetings along with the social event manager and other volunteers. My responsibilities mainly revolve around engaging with and listening to group members to encourage social activity. The group provides support for all of its members and allows them to develop skills and meet people they may not usually.

"Volunteering is enjoyable and it gives you a happy feeling of being wanted within the group. I gained vast knowledge of the characteristics individuals with autism typically show. I also learned to see each person as an individual, not as a label, recognising each personality.

Volunteering in a group with the NAS opens your eyes to many issues you may not have previously considered such as the difficulties in employment and services. Finally, volunteering is fun."

Find out more about volunteering

Volunteering opportunities

Take a look at the Volunteering opportunities webpage to see the options available.

Get guidance on volunteering

How to contact our Volunteering team if you have questions.

Follow UWE Bristol Volunteering on social media

Visit our Facebook profile to view the latest photos and updates from voluntary projects.

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