Spotlight on Oliver Peachey

16 July 2014

Oliver Peachey

This week the spotlight is on Oliver Peachey, Administration and Partnerships Coordinator in the UCLU Volunteering Services Unit.

What is your role and what does it involve?

I’m the Administration & Partnerships Coordinator in the Volunteering Services Unit (VSU), working in one of the largest volunteering teams in Higher Education to establish, develop and promote volunteering opportunities.

I manage a wide range of partnerships with voluntary/statutory/community organisations, charities, social enterprises and local authorities that we’ve built up as a team over the past 12 years. I oversee the brokerage service that promotes opportunities with new and existing partners to the UCL community on a weekly basis - working with our partners and UCL staff to place volunteers into roles across London.

I also manage our team of part-time student Administrative Assistants whose invaluable contribution enables us to report in detail on who’s volunteering, where they’re volunteering and makes sure that every single volunteer gets the support and guidance they need during their time at UCL.

I’m also the London Chair of the Student Volunteering Network, the national peer support network for anyone employed by Higher Education or Further Education Institutions to support student volunteering activity. It’s a great opportunity to network and consult with colleagues across the capital and I’m proud to represent UCL and the London region in this capacity.

How long have you been at UCL and what was your previous role?

Eight years so far – I read my BA and MA in Ancient History here at UCL, working part-time in the VSU as a student from 2007.

I’ve also worked at festivals, in retail, finance, heritage (including two years part-time at the Natural History Museum) and spent a summer in insurance.

I went for a permanent full-time role in the VSU in early 2010 and moved to my current position in 2012.

What working achievement or initiative are you most proud of?

Getting my PRINCE2 Practitioner qualification and making good use of it in my role.

Tell us about a project you are working on now which is top of you to-do list?

I’m just about to start organising September’s volunteering talks in departments – this is our opportunity as a team to speak to students about the huge variety of roles they can get involved in during their time at UCL.

We’d like to speak at as many talks programmes as possible and only need 10 minutes, so if we’ve not been in touch before I’d love to hear from you.

What is your favourite album, film and novel?

I don’t really do favourites, but if I had to choose; Born to Do It by Craig David, Robin Hood Prince of Thieves and The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas would certainly be on the shortlist.

What is your favourite joke (pre-watershed)?

You can’t beat a Penguin biscuit.

Who would be your dream dinner guests?

I’d be so excited if I could get Alexander the Great, Will Smith, T. E. Lawrence and Diogenes together in one room for dinner – I’m not sure they’d get on particularly well but at least I’d be happy.

What advice would you give your younger self?

Read quicker and do more volunteering!

What would it surprise people to know about you?

I have a weakness for antiques and curios – our flat is full of them, including a stuffed red squirrel (called Malcolm), fossils from a trip to Lyme Regis and a tattered old book found by a ship’s captain amongst the ruins of Sevastopol in 1855. My fiancée is particularly tolerant.

Also, my middle name is Thomas, named after Tom Selleck of Magnum, P.I. fame.

What is your favourite place?

A valley in Petra near the monastery, where I proposed earlier this year.