Volunteer stories: Kirsty Ayers
To mark Volunteers' Week, we're shining the spotlight on this year's Alumni Volunteering Awards nominees and winners. Today, meet Kirsty Ayers (MSc Speech and Language Sciences).
2 June 2020
Clinical placements are a fantastic way for students to gain valuable work experience. Unfortunately, the Coronavirus pandemic meant clinical placements for final-year Speech and Language Sciences students had to be cancelled.
Not wanting these students to feel like they'd missed out, UCL alumna Kirsty Ayers - who holds an MSc in Speech and Language Sciences - has been offering specialist advice and guidance to finalists whose training schemes fell through.
I chose to volunteer my time to help final-year students because I recognised how missing out on their final few months of training due to COVID-19 could have a huge impact on their self-confidence and readiness to work."
She said, “When I was a student at UCL, I found the information delivered in last few months of the MSc invaluable for applying and securing my first NHS post. Therefore, I wanted to help out in any way I could to ensure that current students had the same opportunities that I did.”
Because of her invaluable contribution and proactive approach, Kirsty was nominated and shortlisted for an Alumni Volunteering Award.
Not only has her support benefitted students, but Kirsty herself has found the experience extremely rewarding.
I enjoyed reconnecting with lecturers and alumni from my graduating year, and making new connections with the final year students, the future clinicians!"
“Collaborating with other alumni to discuss how we might best help the current final year students gave me the opportunity to reflect on my first year of work in the NHS. This made me appreciate how far I’ve come and how grateful I am to UCL for providing me with a strong foundation of clinical skills to build on.”
When asked what she would say to someone considering volunteering with UCL, Kirsty said: “If you would like to stay connected to UCL throughout your professional career, this is an excellent way to do it! Any support you are able to offer will be warmly received.”