One of the best things about being a student (if you’re on a course that lasts for more than one year) is that you get a decent summer break. You might decide to fill those heady summer days with gainful employment (to hopefully help you pay down the student debt) or you could decide to go off travelling, or you might just decide to hang about at your Mum and Dad’s and catch up with your old school buddies.
It makes sense to do something that will add to your marketability once you’ve completed your study. That might be an internship or – if you’re lucky – paid work in a role that compliments your area of study. Or you could choose to volunteer. We covered volunteering in our Mind the Gap Year series – back in 2015, so this year we thought we’d stay closer to home and look at the opportunities for volunteering right here in London…
Volunteering can be a really rewarding way to spend time over the summer break. And if you consider the opportunities carefully you might also be developing skill sets that will set you up well for your chosen future career path. We used the really rather good do-it.org website to explore some of the organisations that operate near to our stores in Camden, Southwark and Wandsworth.
Volunteering Near Wandsworth
If you’ve been studying in central London whilst living in Wandsworth, you’ll probably be pleased you won’t have to face the summer commute every day over the summer break. But if you are staying put for the summer and looking for something to do, there are plenty of volunteering opportunities.
If you want to make a difference to your local environment, how about becoming a River Cleanup Volunteer? Taking place on the second Sunday in every month, the Wandle trust regular clean ups of the river that gave our Borough its name.
But if one Sunday every month isn’t enough, and you really want to have positive effect on your local surroundings then maybe look at the roles for the Facilities and Maintenance Support Team at the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust. They’re in Barnes, so it is a short commute, but easily bike-able if you want to keep your transport green. The role is all about making sure the facilities are safe and looking tip top for visitors. And the sorts of handyman/woman skills you might learn could well prove to be goldust later on.
Volunteering Near Southwark
You might studying for a career in the care industry or medicine – as a nurse, paramedic, physio or even a doctor – and looking for an opportunity to help people with disabilities, or you might just appreciate what a rewarding volunteering experience it could be.
Charity Sense are looking for volunteers to help out at their school holiday clubs in Tower Hamlets – for children and young people with disabilities and complex medical needs. They’re looking for volunteers to assist the professional team and ensure the children and young people attending have a fun and entertaining summer.
Volunteering Near Camden
If you’re studying a creative art or graphic design course at one of Camden’s nearby Universities or colleges, then volunteering experience at a Gallery could well provide a useful string to your bow in the future. The House of Illustration on Granary Square (just off the southern end of York Way and less than a mile from our Camden branch) are looking for Volunteer Gallery Assistants. It’s a front of house role, as a first point of contact for visitors to the exhibitions.
If you’re a budding graphic designer or illustrator you’ll appreciate the artwork on display and, hopefully, be able to wax lyrical about it using the skills you’ve learnt as apart of your studies. Find out more on the Do-it Trust volunteer opportunity website, or visit the Museum website for full details and to find out more about the exhibitions they are putting on – which currently span an eclectic mix – from Russian Criminal Tattoos to the Big Friendly Giant in Pictures.
If you are staying in your study-borough of Wandsworth, Southwark or Camden for the summer, you might be in need of a little extra space for some belongings. We can help with that with a student storage locker – or storage unit – if you need a bigger space.