Name: Maddison Taylor
Course: Primary Education, 2nd [final] year!
Volunteer Award: Rep of the Month
What are your main duties and how do they benefit others?
I am the Mental Health Rep on the Chelmsford campus. My first responsibility is to listen and speak to students in the ARU community to explore their concerns regarding student wellbeing and plan appropriate campaigns. The second responsibility is to actively signpost students to appropriate student services to support their mental wellbeing if required. I enjoy collaborating with students on new ideas that they would like to see in the student community. This role is beneficial as it allows students to raise their concerns through appropriate channels and implement positive changes they would like to see at ARU.
What have you enjoyed most about volunteering?
I have enjoyed volunteering with ARU as it has been a unique opportunity to meet new and like-minded people. Volunteering has increased my confidence, particularly my public-speaking skills, and also has provided me with lots of new experience to add to my CV. It has been a great way to be involved in the student community and I feel like my time at ARU has been spent supporting the wellbeing of my peers.
What skills have you learnt and used during your volunteering?
During my role, I have learnt how to be a good listener. I have also improved my communication and leadership skills. All of these experiences will benefit me in my future career and practice.
What are your future career aspirations?
In the future, I would like to be involved in the education sector as a mental health practitioner or primary school teacher. Volunteering provides me with a unique opportunity to practice my teamwork and communication skills. Volunteering in this particular rep role has provided me with invaluable experience of working with young people.
What inspires you to volunteer?
I am inspired to volunteer as it is important to 'give back' to the community. I am passionate about equal opportunities and supporting my fellow students' wellbeing during their time at university is something I hope to continue to do.
What is your favourite volunteering memory?
So far, it has to be my first meeting with the counselling and wellbeing service. It was so great to meet so many people who were passionate about student welfare, and this was the first time I felt I was making positive steps towards improving life in the student community at ARU.
Why do you love volunteering?
I love volunteering as it is fun! It is enjoyable to work with new people and also make new friends.
Do you have any last thoughts or comments?
This month, I have been involved in the Samaritans charity Jog 30k fundraising challenge. I am delighted that I am already past my 30k milestone and heading for 50k of running this month. Samaritans is a charity very close to my heart and I am excited that the money I have fundraised so far will be used to help train staff, volunteers and fund potentially life-saving calls.