UCL News


Students' Union UCL Volunteering Service is always looking for new volunteers. Find out about the opportunities on offer

7 November 2017

'The more diverse the communities that we listen to and audiences that we engage with, the more UCL will thrive'.

Belmont Kids Club Professor Michael Arthur, President and Provost

Last year Students' Union UCL Volunteering Service supported 2,133 UCL students into volunteering - our highest number ever - and they gave over 60,000 hours to causes across London.

These included helping out at the Belmont Kids Club, which supports children whose children living in a hostel for homeless families in Chalk Farm, mentoring refugee teenagers in Queen's Park, engaging in health promotion work and research into fire safety measures in local tower blocks in Newham, volunteering at small museums and heritage organisations such as the The Foundling Museum, Handel & Hendrix in London, and the Jewish Museum London, and befriending older, socially isolated carers in Camden.

The Volunteering Service also helped UCL students set up and run their own community projects. There are 70 such groups, including Politeach, which teaches British politics and democracy to primary school students, Friends of Refugees, whereby UCL students attend asylum hearings with unaccompanied young Albanians, and Active for All, a hockey session for disabled people in Camden.

In a 2016 survey 88% of students who had engaged with the Volunteering Service said they'd become better at communication with people, 82% said they'd learnt about how to bring about social change and 75% had made new friends.

But don't just take it from us. Here is what some of our student volunteers have to say (click on the links to read their stories):

'I feel volunteering from the very first year at university was the best decision I made. It has been the most validating experience I have had in London.' Arundathi Shaji Shanthini (2nd year MEng Engineering (Electronic and Electrical), volunteer with The Hackney Pirates and Action Tutoring and UCL Mathomaniacs

'I would say the best thing about volunteering is the knowledge that helping out an organisation, no matter how small, will benefit someone in the end.' Carla Griffiths (2nd year BEng Engineering (Chemical), volunteer with Stonewall

'Volunteering has made me really value other people's stories and how they see the world. It has helped me empathise with people I have never met before.' Martin Valls Garcia (4th year medic), volunteer befriender at University College London Hospital

'In my case I found that the best thing about volunteering was the sense of achievement you get from helping someone to succeed and maximise their potential.' Matthew Ansell (2nd year BASc Arts and Sciences), volunteer with Coachbright

We are always looking for new volunteers. Visit our website for more information, drop us an email, pop into our offices at 134-135 Gower Street between 9.30 and 5pm weekdays, or call us on 020 7679 7862.

Our next volunteering fair on 16 November is themed around mental health.