#IVolunteerBecause – Sophia, Kingston University
Posted on: 2 March 2016
I like to see results.
There are a number of equally gratifying reasons for wanting to volunteer. I like to use the skills I have to benefit others and to put something good out into the world. Perhaps most importantly, though, volunteering allows me to see the effects of my actions. Whether in your local community or for a more high profile cause or organisation, volunteering is almost a sure-fire way to see and experience the fruits of your contribution.
I work at Kingston University and during Student Volunteering Week I had the opportunity to swap my office desk for one of a very different kind. I attended one of Kingston Hub‘s homework clubs in South-West London, which works with young people aged eight to sixteen. I was initially drawn to the event as it brought back memories of what was probably my first ever volunteering experience. In primary school, aged eight or nine, I would go into the one of the classes below each week and help pupils struggling with their reading. They would pick their favourite book from the classroom library and I would listen as they read, providing prompts when they struggled with the more difficult words. It was great to see them improve as the weeks progressed.
I was introduced to Student Volunteering Week through my interest in the Schools Plus programme at Kingston. I know that education has the ability to empower and build confidence and I wanted to share my love of learning with others, so volunteering at a homework club seemed like a perfect fit. Response Homework Club aims to provide a safe place for young people to get support with core areas such as English, Maths, IT and Literacy. They welcome help from volunteers to support the range of young people that use their service. As an English Language graduate, I was drawn to this particular volunteering opportunity as I could use my experience and skills to assist those who wanted help with English or literacy.
The students at Response Homework Club were lively, bright and brought a great energy to the event which made it easy to get to know them, build a relationship and help them learn. As expected, they were cheeky, opinionated and full of energy. The room seemed full of nervous apprehension before the first students started to trickle in, but before long it was filled with the buzz of a classroom. For the duration of the session I was paired an intelligent and very cheeky nine year old. As we covered a range of topics from nouns and prefixes to multiplication tables and three-digit addition, I was struck by her enthusiasm for each.
The students who attend Response homework club want to learn. After a full day of school, when they could be doing anything else, they come to get help with homework. For a couple of hours of my time, their enthusiasm and energy is reward enough. While I had to return to my office desk, I am happy I was able to give the young people at Response Homework Club a portion of my time and would encourage others to do the same.
Join Sophia and share your social action experiences with us using #IVolunteerBecause on Facebook and Twitter. You can catch up with the action from Student Volunteering Week using #SVW2016. If you’re interested in volunteering with us, get in touch with your local Hub.