Student Volunteer Week: "I definitely recommend volunteering", Poppy Cook
It's Student Volunteering Week!
This week all over the country students and employers will be celebrating the volunteer work that students do in their local communities.
My name is Poppy and I am one of the several student volunteers here at The REP. I have been volunteering within the marketing department for just over a month now and I absolutely love it. As a volunteer I go into the office for a morning a week and help the team. The tasks are quite varied and can range from assisting with distribution and reaching out to potential audiences, research, creating displays and even writing content for the website - the list is endless! I love the variety that comes with being a volunteer here, even if I am still getting to grips with the layout of the theatre and behind the scenes…I may have gotten lost one or twice. It's great to experience and work behind the scenes of a producing theatre – there is so much more going on than I ever realised!
However, volunteering opportunities don't stop at The REP itself; there are many more events that volunteers can get involved in outside of the office. Over the last month I've been invited to the dress rehearsal for Penguins and written a blog post all about it, been involved with The REP's choreographed moment in New Street Station to promote Brief Encounter and volunteered to be an ambassador for The REP through part of the Sir Barry Jackson Trust community tour of Elephant.
A friend of mine asked if it's actually worth the time and effort to work somewhere without being paid. Fortunately, I get generously offered lots of tea and biscuits and great ticket discounts, and although it may sound like a lot of time and effort, it's very flexible to fit around all my lectures and university work, and has many more benefits! According to the Student Volunteering Week website, volunteering benefits students as it:
- Improves student wellbeing - it's good to take a break from university studies and try something new!
- Develops students' employability - it's boosted my CV and given me new areas of experience.
- Contributes positively to civic life on and off campus - I'm helping a local theatre who is expanding its outreach in the wider community.
I definitely recommend volunteering while at university. It's easy to tailor around your own interests and hobbies and many organisations will be happy to accept a student volunteer, even if they don't advertise the position.
For more information on Student Volunteering Week and how to get involved click here
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