Living in the community

Volunteering stories

Get inspired by the contribution volunteers make

Vlad, Appropriate Adult Volunteer for Leicester City Council

Vlad, a volunteer Psychology student, Vlad, immersed himself in various extracurricular experiences as he wanted to gain new responsibilities and refine his time management skills. To achieve this, Vlad became a Course Representative for the School of Psychology, a Committee Member for the British Psychological Society and was elected to become President of the Leicester Students’ Union Psychology Society. In addition to this, Vlad also volunteers as an ‘Appropriate Adult’ for Leicester County Council, which involves supporting juveniles during police interviews.  Volunteering has provided Vlad with some incredible first-hand experiences which has further fuelled him to explore his passion within forensics.

When describing Vlad’s motivation to volunteer he says,"I have an extreme ambition to always keep myself occupied. I thought the best way to do this was doing volunteering as it is the best way to keep on my toes. Working hard and doing good for the world makes me both proud and happy as both my skills are improving and knowing that the time spent in volunteering is good for anyone. I would highly encourage anyone to volunteer if they want to provide their spare time to do something good!"

Emmanuella, The Big Sleep volunteer

Volunteer EmmanuellaEmmanuella gave up her bed and spent a night sleeping outdoors along with other ‘Big Sleep’ volunteers and fundraisers. Despite the cold and rain, inspiring volunteers like Emmanuella remained resilient and slept outside to fulfil their pledge to raise money and awareness of homelessness on behalf of The Bridge Homelessness to Hope charity.

Talking about her Big Sleep experience, Emmanuella says, “I learnt that it takes a whole lot of courage to be able to sleep outside in the cold and rain. I now feel so fresh and renewed with energy to continue my assignments and plans.” Having had time to reflect on her experience, Emmanuella is keen to set up something similar to The Bridge, Homelessness to Hope charity, when she returns to Ghana.

When asked what she would advise anyone who is thinking of volunteering, Emmanuella says, “give it a shot, it’s good for your mental health and it teaches you about humanity.”

Hanna and Layla, Big Sleep volunteers and fundraisers

As healthcare students, Hanna and Layla have always been passionate about helping others, so they opted to participate in a sponsored sleep out on campus, called the Big Sleep. The Big Sleep aims to raise awareness and vital funds for a local charity called The Bridge Homelessness to Hope, that offers support to homeless people in Leicester.

Both Hanna and Layla feel that they now have a deeper insight into the struggles of sleeping outside, especially in the rain. During the Big Sleep, they found it valuable to hear from someone who had experienced homelessness first hand.  

Summarising their participation in the Big Sleep, Hanna and Layla say,

  • “It inspired and motivated us to take part in more volunteering opportunities in the future and we definitely appreciated our beds more in the morning!
  • “It was an eye-opening experience and we encourage everyone to volunteer as much as they can as it’s a very important cause that people don’t know enough about.”

Kazz, Finance Volunteer at Vista

Kazz gained practical office-based experience by volunteering at Vista’s Head Office, where there are a range of different departments. Vista is a charity that supports people with sight loss. Upon reflecting on her experience, Kazz said it was fun and realised just how important each person is to supporting the charitable organisations’ mission.

When asked what he would say to anyone who hasn’t volunteered before, Kazz said: “It’s nice to do an activity once a week for your mental health, and also just be involved with society as a whole. Talk to everyone and anyone.

Don’t be shy to try new things. Don’t stress out if you miss a day. There is no attendance so feel free to go again even if you haven’t gone for a long time.”

Abu-Bakr, hospital volunteer

Abu Bakr headshotAbu-Bakr has been making a difference to vulnerable people in Leicester for the past 18 months. Abu-Bakr says that he has had the privilege of volunteering in Dementia Care settings at the Leicester Royal Infirmary. In his trolley ward service role, Abu-Bakr carried out tea rounds across various wards, allowing him to connect with patients on a personal level. Abu-Bakr says, whilst interacting with hospital patients; “We often discussed their favourite sports, foods, and their experiences in the hospital. This taught me the importance of approaching conversations with an open mind while maintaining a high level of professionalism.”

Commenting on his volunteering experience, Abu-Bakr says, “I have thoroughly enjoyed assisting the senior ward sister with distributing meals, refilling water jugs and engaging with patients to ensure their needs are met. Additionally, I was involved in buggy riding, where I transported patients from the fracture clinic to the X-ray department. This role has significantly enhanced my communication skills and taught me the value of patient care within the NHS.

Volunteering at the LRI has been a rewarding experience, allowing me to develop my interpersonal skills and contribute to the well-being of the patients.”

Anubhooti, Library Champion

Anubhooti Shrestha, a volunteerAnubhooti opted to volunteer as a Library Champion as she wanted to enhance her English reading skills but gained so much more than she anticipated. Anubhooti says the most enjoyable part of her experience was working with others who are equally passionate about growing, learning and researching. When asked if she benefitted from her experience, Anubhooti says, “Being a volunteer not only help us make a difference but will help us to grow individually and academically. I made very good friends from other departments and networked with people working in the library. I enhanced my reading, presentation, communication and team working skills.”

Samuel, Library Champion

Samuel Carter, a volunteerSamuel volunteered with the Library Champions because he felt that he wanted to add experiences to his CV while also doing something which benefits people, too. Samuel chose the Library Champions specifically because he felt that he would be able to contribute a lot to the scheme.

“I’ve always loved reading, and as a physics student I thought I could help get other science students to better engage with the library. I really developed my confidence through this scheme. I think that by doing the various tasks I needed to do I found that I already could do them. It showed me that I could be confident and say ‘Yes, I can do that’ or ‘Yes, I’ll take on that responsibility,’ and then follow through on that commitment.”

When asked what he would say to anyone who hasn’t volunteered before, Samuel says, “Volunteering is fun, helps others, and helps develop yourself too. If you have time, it’s definitely worth it!”

Frankie, School Reading Buddy

Frankie volunteered on a fortnightly basis for over 6 months to support children in a local primary school with their reading and offered additional classroom support, when required. Frankie also boosted her confidence and communication skills by creating a presentation to teach classrooms full of children about the Chinese New Year.

Upon reflecting on her volunteering experience, Frankie said: “After seeing the teachers and the Teaching Assistants handling over 30 pupils, I learned that teaching positions are very demanding, so I am glad to be helpful to the teaching staff, no matter how small the impact might be.”

Alicia, Warning Zone volunteer

Volunteering at Warning Zone has been a very thrilling and valuable opportunity for Alicia. Alicia first heard about the volunteering opportunity at an open day and she took the chance to apply as it looked like a great and fun role to explore, especially because it can be linked with her Criminology course. Alicia says, “I have learnt and gained very valuable skills that will be easily transferrable for my future career.”

Alicia says, that her experience at Warning Zone has been very exciting as every week it is different and she has had the chance to work with very polite and thoughtful children each week.

Looking back at her volunteering experience, Alicia affirms, “It is very exciting to see the children enjoy themselves and engage and immerse themselves in the various activities as well as highlighting the key information that is important for them to learn. The staff and other volunteers are unbelievably welcoming with a very strong work ethic and team spirit. It is wonderful to be a part of a team that supports and guides one another to the best of our abilities. I have been able to develop my communication and confidence skills further, as well as being able to work independently effectively and efficiently."

Anish, Warning Zone volunteer

Anish Mistry headshotAnish has been volunteering as a guide for Warning Zone, a local charity dedicated to teaching life-skills and safeguarding to children. At first, Anish felt slightly apprehensive to volunteer in a new setting with new people but in a short time Anish immersed himself in his role, with the support of friendly staff at Warning Zone.

When asked about his volunteering highlights, Anish says he gained much more than new valuable skills and that he “also learnt that volunteering brings you a different kind of happiness and thrill after fulfilling your responsibilities. I enjoy discussing stories and experiences with children who visit Warning Zone, whilst also joking with them so they don’t feel too stressed when interacting with me. The most rewarding part is seeing children laugh amongst themselves.”

Upon reflecting on his overall volunteering experience so far, Anish says, “The best part of my time here has been enjoying the fun with the children and making sure they are happy whilst knowing they will be more safe. I can't thank Warning Zone enough for giving me this valuable opportunity as I'm always looking to improve as an individual each time I volunteer.”

Gunjan, Warning Zone volunteer

Headshot of GunjanGunjan volunteered for Warning Zone, a local charity dedicated to teaching life-skills and safeguarding to children in an engaging and interactive setting.

Volunteering has benefited her in many ways. It has helped her to enhance her leadership skills and interact with people of all ages. Volunteering has also provided Gunjan with a platform to discover exciting career paths and gain valuable practical experience to build her CV.

Gunjan feels a real sense of pride through her volunteering and said: “The most enjoyable and rewarding part of my experience was working with children and seeing them learn about safety. I enjoyed teaching them and helping them to understand key messages around being safe online. I was also proud to be part of the Warning Zone team and to contribute to their mission of making the world a safer place.”

Krishma, Warning Zone volunteer

Krishma headshotPrior to volunteering for Warning Zone, Krishma was sometimes quite shy, however after meeting new people and volunteers every time she volunteered has made her feel much more confident and she can now feel more comfortable stepping outside of her comfort zone.

Krishma gained a lot through her volunteering experience and says, “I’m currently a university student and chose to volunteer as something to do on the side. I love going in and it is something I look forward to every week. The staff at Warning Zone are all so welcoming and volunteering here has definitely helped me expand on employability skills, such as teamwork and public speaking.”

Volunteer case studies | Everyone has a story

Corrigan holding the Frank May Cup, photographed with the President and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Leicester, Nishan Canagarajah

One of my favourite experiences while at the University of Leicester was being a Library Champion. I got the opportunity to learn a variety of new things, work on projects with a lasting impact, meet interesting people and engage with the University in a way that was different from my program of study. It was an amazing experience and I believe the skills I gained will help me in future endeavours.

Corrigan Goodwin, Winner of the Frank May Volunteer of the Year 2022 category

Inspire others with your volunteer story

If you would like to share your story of your volunteering experience and how volunteering has helped you please email

How can volunteering help you and others?

Caitlin Wake, 2021 Graduate told us about her volunteering experiences and how they enhanced her experiences while at the University of Leicester.

“My volunteering experience has been immensely invaluable, rewarding, and enjoyable!

My first taste of volunteering at university was participating in ‘Make a Difference in schools,’ whereby I volunteered in local primary schools to help children make various crafts related to the Diwali festival. I also took part in ‘Make a Difference in the Community’ which involved volunteering in local care homes to support and help their residents in making Christmas themed crafts. I really enjoyed these experiences and they led me to decide to train to become a Peer Mentor, as I wanted to be able to offer longer term support to others and this seemed to be the best way as a student to go about doing this.

Volunteering has allowed me to acquire a variety of skills by allowing me to take on duties and responsibilities that I did not have before.”

These are the amazing benefits of volunteering:

  • Volunteering can help you to make new friends and meet likeminded people
  • Volunteering is a valuable way to develop and enhance your skills and boost your employability prospects
  • Volunteering looks great on your CV and on applications
  • Volunteering is good for your mind and body – it’s beneficial for your mental and physical health
  • Volunteering has an enormously positive impact in the community

No previous experience is needed to volunteer. You just need to be able to offer a bit of your time and be willing to make a difference.

If you would like to receive email notifications about new volunteering opportunities, or have any questions about volunteering, please email to be added to our mailing list.

Back to top