Student Volunteering Week celebrates the voluntary work students do around the UK and many students at St George’s volunteer in their spare time. Running from Monday 19 February to Sunday 25 February, here, two students share their stories.

Inayat student volunteering Cropped

calendar-icon 19 February 2018

Inayat Khan, Third Year, Biomedical Science

Inayat volunteers for Anthony Nolan, a blood cancer charity that aims to match stem cell donors with patients who need life-saving transplants, as part of his role as president of St George’s Marrow Society.
He started volunteering for the charity when he joined the society in his first year.

“I came along to fresher’s fayre and found out that they were looking for volunteers. I went to the training event (mainly because it had free pizza), but then realised what a great cause it was.”

After becoming a Cultural and Diversity officer in his second year, Inayat progressed to Marrow Society president in September. He feels the position has helped him with his studies as a final year Biomedical Scientist and would encourage others to reap the professional and personal benefits of volunteering as well. 

“I think that volunteering really helps me manage my time more effectively. I have to participate in group projects as part of my course so being on a committee and interacting with people from a range of backgrounds really does help”.

“I would definitely encourage others to volunteer. I think it’s a great way to meet new people, do some exciting things and potentially make a huge difference to people's lives. You gain a lot of skills along the way and it’s a great thing to add to your CV.”

Rebecca Anim-Boadu, Third Year, Biomedical Science

Rebecca created St George’s Dragons – a branch of the Paediatric Society who volunteer in Paediatric A&E and on the Lanesborough Wing for two hours a week at St George’s Hospital. The Dragons aim to raise the spirits of children who are about to enter or have just left surgery.

“I started St George’s Dragons as part of the St George’s Paediatric Committee. It took me about seven months to set up the scheme, during which I got funding and recruited seven other students as volunteers. It has been running for just under a year.”

Despite the initial struggle to establish the Dragons, Rebecca is now seeing her brainchild flourish.

“I enjoy meeting all the patients and their families. When patients visit the playroom or we bring toys onto the wards, they can just forget where they are and be their regular selves again – that’s nice to see. I get to work with young people of a range of ages and spend my afternoon colouring in and playing board games!”

“For me, getting to meet patients and families and hearing their stories really puts things into perspective so it does take my mind off academic pressures. Colouring does have a therapeutic element to it as well – it’s an excuse to be like a child again and that’s always fun. Volunteering also serves as motivation for me because it helps me remember why I’ve chosen to pursue a career path in this area.”

“I would encourage others to volunteer because you learn a lot from it. You meet new people every week and it’s great preparation for the world of work. It’s an opportunity to gain new skills and develop personally as well as professionally.”

To follow what’s happening during Student Volunteering Week follow #SVW2018 on social media.