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Commonwealth Reflections…

A Blog Post by Nigel Royle – UWS Careers Adviser

The events have been staged, medals awarded, and the celebrations are over but memories of the Glasgow commonwealth games this summer live on in the volunteers minds as we reflect on those eleven amazing days. The volunteers of Glasgow 2014 can proudly say that WE WERE THERE.

From the time the games were awarded to Glasgow, UWS staff and students took an active interest in supporting the games for example through the student led LEAD 2014 programme involving students and school pupils from all over Scotland, a two year staff secondment to the Games organising committee, and significant academic research around major sporting games.

From several UWS students’ perspective, their involvement in the pre-games volunteer programme was transformative. UWS students Royce Thomas and Taylor Sexton had similar games journeys both starting as “Frontrunner” volunteers leading up to the games meaning they were in prime position to gain full time paid roles when they came up. They both played key roles in the volunteer management during the games themselves.

Taylor describes how “Confidence was a big thing for me….. the support was incredible… My confidence has increased significantly and it shows when you put your mind to something and want to achieve you can!”

Similarly, Christine McKelvie, an HR student, was a volunteer interviewer and gained experience directly relevant to her studies and no doubt helpful to her future career plans.

The volunteer workforce roles varied from people working with the press, sports officials, results technology, team liaison, ceremonies cast and city hosts to name a few. The workforce represented a microcosm of the labour market where students as volunteers could develop a whole range of skills to enhance their employability.

As the games drew closer more students and staff were selected for their games time volunteer roles. Some, such as those selected for the Host Broadcaster training initiative gained skills directly relevant to their studies in television production and live sports broadcasting. Attending events and seeing some of these trainees sitting at mixing desks or directing boom mics you would have thought they were seasoned professionals. This experience will add weight to their future job applications. Others like Chris Gentles, a Business Technology student were selected as volunteer team leaders and were able to develop their leadership and organisation skills.

As a spectator services volunteers my role was known as the face of the games. Our friendly smiles and lively banter kept the crowds in buoyant mood as they queued on their way into Hampden Park or climbed the steep hill from the bus stops up towards Cathkin Braes Mountain bike park. Our training was focussed on customer service with an emphasis on equality and diversity. My motivation for this role was to welcome people to Glasgow and just to be part of an amazing event. Watching Alistair Brownlee romp home in the Triathlon and seeing Jo Pavey and Eilidh Child take their silver medals were stand out moments for me but so were many of the laughs and fun we had as a team. One of the rewards many people are still talking about is lasting friendships that formed during the games.

The eleven days went by in a whirl of activity. If I wasn’t on shift I was a ticketed spectator at an event or soaking up the atmosphere at Glasgow Green, George Square or at the BBC on Pacific Quay. Everyone I have met who played a part in making the games happen seems to have a similar story. Chris Gentles echoes the sentiments of many:

“I am able to look back on those two weeks of my life as two of the most enjoyable/challenging weeks ever!”

Volunteering has the potential to transform, providing skills and experience and bringing people together towards a common goal, and developing lasting friendships. The Commonwealth Games will not happen again in Glasgow in our lifetimes but the legacy will hopefully mean a generation of us are hooked on the experience of volunteering. In the words of one young spectator writing about the volunteers’ crucial part in the games

Through the volunteers…

“the games full spirit will live on
something a new city will be built upon”

clyde

Make the most of your time at university

It’s extremely important to make the most of your time at university, not just because you will want to leave with a good degree, but because when you graduate and are looking for a job, employers will be looking for well-rounded candidates with a set of transferable skills, such as:

  • communication
  • team work
  • absorbing and analysing information
  • organisation, planning and time management
  • working under pressure and meeting deadlines
  • problem solving

So, while it’s important to do as well as you can academically, being at university isn’t just about getting a degree. Employers are also interested in the variety of skills you can pick up in other areas, such as:

  • taking part in student activities
  • getting involved in clubs or societies, the student association, or becoming a class rep
  • work experience
  • volunteering

Make sure you get involved in as much as you can and remember that in these competitive times it is vital to get some work experience during your time at university, related or unrelated to your course, through paid work or volunteering.

Register with our Vacancies and Events site here: www.uws.prospects.ac.uk

Find out about getting involved with the Student Association here: www.sauws.org.uk

For more information and ideas, check out the National Union of Students Guide: Working Towards Your Future

Volunteer Opportunity – Shoulder to Shoulder Erskine

Mentoring Support for Ex-Service Men and Women and their Families
TimeBanks’ new Shoulder to Shoulder Erskine project is working in partnership with the charity Erskine, to offer one to one volunteer support for ex-Service men and women (veterans) living in Glasgow and Edinburgh who are recovering from mental health issues – and to help their families adjust to civilian life.

Volunteer mentoring can be a powerful tool to reduce the risk of social exclusion in veterans and family members, to signpost them to services and build supportive social networks; therefore strengthening the family unit as a whole.

As a volunteer mentor you will have the opportunity to meet other mentors and engage in a rewarding volunteering programme. You will help in the recovery of veterans and help their family members to lead independent lives, to identify goals and build confidence.

We ask that mentors provide support once or twice per month, over a period of three to nine months. You don’t need any special experience – just time, patience and an understanding of the issues that are most important. TimeBank provides full training and you will be required to join the PVG (Protection of Vulnerable Groups) scheme – you need to be 21 years and over to be a mentor.
If you’d like to volunteer as a mentor, you can complete our online application at:
http://timebank.org.uk/shoulder-to-shoulder-scotland
Or call Ali, the project co-ordinator on 0141 814 4510, mob: 07437 437 867 or email ali@timebank.org.uk

Volunteer Week – Competition Time!!!

To Kick off Volunteers Week, 1st June – 7th June, we are giving three lucky volunteers the chance to win…. A Hudl Tablet.

 

All you have to do is like us on Facebook  – Volunteer Renfrewshire or follow us on Twitter @Stephen_Engage

Upload a  Selfie of you in your volunteering role with the hashtage #unselfieren.

For every selfie of you, an unselfish volunteer in Renfrewshire, posted up to Facebook or Twitter with our hashtag, will give you one entry into our prize draw at the end of the month.

 

 

#Freshers’14 Volunteers Required

 

 

SAUWS 2

SAUWS’ is looking to recruit a group of bright, enthusiastic and friendly students to help deliver the #Freshers’14 week of activities in September 2014.

 

If you like getting involved in events, meeting new people and working in a fun environment then being a Fresher’s Volunteer will be perfect for you.

 

Freshers’ Volunteers will help set up & promote #Freshers’14 events & activities, as well as helping SAUWS plan our events calender. In return we’ll give you a free #Freshers’14 pack with a freshers t-shirt, hoody and loads of other freebies for the week!

 

To apply to be a #Freshers’14 Volunteer return a completed application form to commercialmanager@sauws.org.uk by Friday 30th May. Contact commercialmanager@sauws.org.uk for more information on the role.

 

Thank you for your time, if you’ve any questions please get in touch.

http://www.sauws.org.uk/getinvolved/volunteering/volunteeropportunities/

Barnardo’s Summer Internship Scheme

 

 

Applications for Barnardo’s Summer scheme have just opened and they have roles based in Scotland.

Volunteers’ Satisfaction Survey Intern (Data Analysis) Edinburgh

Communications & Website Design Intern – Motherwell, North Lanarkshire

Children’s Services Intern (Project Africa) – Kilmarnock, East Ayrshire

Locality Communication & Marketing Intern – Arbroath, Angus

 

Barnardo’s internship scheme offers some brilliant opportunities to gain an insight into the charity sector and Children’s Services e

For more information about the scheme please visit www.barnardos.org.uk/internships

Closing Date for the Internships 6th May 2014

Your World….Your Challenge….

International Citizen Service (ICS) is a UK government funded development programme that brings together 18-25 year olds to make a difference in some of the poorest communities around the world.  Led by VSO, it’s delivered in partnership with respected development organisations.  So you know you’re in good hands.

ICS volunteers spend 10-12 weeks working alongside local volunteers on community development projects in Africa, Asia or Latin America.  It’s your opportunity to gain sought after skills and experience, helping you to inspire change back in the UK.

Take on the ICS challenge.

Apply now at http://www.volunteerics.org

For more information contact Kirsty McMahon.  Email: kirsty.mcmahon@challengeworldwide.com

 

 

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