Graduate Blog

Why Volunteering is Good For You

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I’ve recently returned from volunteering at an international food festival in Sardinia, and I’m still flying high on cloud nine because it was one of the greatest times of my life.

A dear friend project manages ‘Eventful Bread’ – that promotes good, hearty yet healthy bread – and she was invited by the British Council to assemble a crack team of bread enthusiasts to represent Great Britain at the annual ‘Sagra del Pane’ festival. What materialised was a motley crew of hippies, musicians and ardent travellers, thus creating an unforgettable experience.

We baked traditional English bread and scones, allowed the locals to sample the rubbery delights of Red Leicester cheese, and offered them a warming cup of beautiful British tea when the clock struck five in the afternoon. When evening came we mingled with festival-goers, ate sumptuous Italian food and danced until the early hours with the wonderfully hospitable Sardinians. All in all, a fantastic trip.

I’ve mentioned this because I believe the benefits of volunteering to be indefatigable. It opens up new social avenues, enables you to meet new people and generally increases a good natured spirit in our oft-maligned world.

My mother has a famous maxim that she often whips out when one of her three darling daughters happens upon a promising opportunity: “You never know who you’re going to meet”. IT IS THE TRUTH! You just never know. You may meet a potential employer, housemate, lover, colleague or simply a new friend. All of which are a great boon to your own personal existence. It adds a new dimension, something exciting, something tangible, and something that could make all the difference to your life in ways unknown.

I would urge any young person to give volunteering a go, be it in a different country, with your university, or at a local church fête, because it provides your CV with one more feature. That tiny sentence could be the difference between employment, or losing out to somebody that took the time to get out of bed and make the most of their day.

Pray tell, what could be greater than helping other people? Isn’t that why we’re here, to ensure that we make an impact on the lives of others?

The stories you could tell….

About the Author

Sophie Greaves Sophie Greaves

Between the years 2008 and 2012 I read English Literature and American Studies at the University of Birmingham. Due to the nature of my course I spent one year studying abroad at the University of Wyoming, which was an amazing experience that gave me the confidence to live in another country on my own and the freedom to explore. Since then I have worked in the United States and the south of France, before moving back to the UK this year to pursue full-time employment. I currently work for The Clement James Centre, a charity in London that helps disadvantaged children explore alternative avenues into higher education. I truly believe that my time spent at university has enabled me to forge extremely positive social and professional relationships and I would urge any undergraduate to relish their time spent at university.In doing so, you will reap the rewards that post-graduate life has to offer.

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