The SU Awards are the perfect time to celebrate the volunteering achievements of our students! Sam Martin shares how it felt to win Volunteer of the Year at the SU Awards 2017.
How does it feel to win Volunteer of the Year?
I am overjoyed to win volunteer of the year. It was great just to be nominated alongside the other incredibly hardworking and dedicated students. Those that I had spoken to on the night of the awards were all doing incredible work. For someone to be willing to give up their time and devote it to others without seeking a reward is a remarkable endeavour so it was fantastic to be part of this category.
What’s the most inspirational thing about volunteering?
Through being a volunteer I am able to get involved with projects and organisations that do incredible work promoting the rights and liberties of minority groups. I am able to meet lovely people and collaborate on causes that are close to my heart.
How has volunteering changed you as a person?
Being a volunteer opens my eyes to the hidden struggles that people face day to day. I used to feel that challenging experiences I’ve had in my life were a burden, a sad story that just needed to be locked away and forgotten. However I now feel that my knowledge and understanding of what I have gone through is a great help to others who maybe aren’t there yet or need a little help getting there.
What skills have you developed through volunteering?
I have learned to be a better listener, more open minded, supportive and courageous. Over the years volunteering has improved my self-esteem and I am more confident about what I can bring to a situation.
What’s the best thing about being a volunteer?
The people you meet and speak to. Both in the teams you work in and those that use the services. I have volunteered on helplines, face to face counselling, administration support, and each one of these roles has been an opportunity to meet new amazing and inspirational people that have added so much to my life.
Finally, what would you say to anyone considering becoming a volunteer?
Our time is all we have and all we can do is choose how to spend it. We all have something to offer someone else and there are very many people out there that have the potential to benefit from your time as you have the potential to benefit from theirs. In my eyes, volunteering is a mutually supportive experience that enables you to learn more about yourself and about the world. In my life it is these opportunities I have taken that do not have a price that are the most valuable.
Check out our volunteering page if you're interested in helping your community! And if you or someone you know sounds like the perfect candidate, why not nominate them for the SU Awards?