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Medical student Harriet Thompson standing in front of her poster to share her experience of volunteering with Barnardo’s.

News story

Medical student encourages everyone to take up volunteering

Publish date: June 1, 2022

An Edge Hill University medical student who has been helping at local charity shop Barnardo’s is encouraging anyone thinking of volunteering to give it a go to mark Volunteer Week.

Harriet Thompson is currently in her 2nd year of studying medicine and as part of the course students are encouraged to undertake voluntary work to understand more about the charity sector and learn new skills that they can use in their medical careers. 

Harriet said: “It’s all about broadening our perspective, seeing how community groups and charities interact with the NHS.

“A lot of it was about getting the chance to talk to people in the community and interact with different backgrounds and personalities, useful experience for helping patients in the future.” 

Harriet found the experience very rewarding and is encouraging everyone to give volunteering a go. 

“I chose Barnardo’s because it’s a really worthwhile cause but also because it is local and could fit around my schedule.

“I think the key thing is that voluntary work doesn’t have to be difficult or take up loads of time. Just working on the shop floor, chatting with customers, occasionally making someone’s day just by speaking to them and knowing that it was raising money for a charity felt great and it’s something anyone can do.” 

Harriet’s manager Jackie Iddon echoed her words and pointed to the multitude of ways in which people can help. 

Jackie said: “We’re always looking for an extra pair of hands, just pop on the Barnardo’s website to find your local shop and contact them to see how you can help. There are loads of other ways you can help too such as working with the children we help or raising money.

“Volunteering is really rewarding and can give your CV a real boost too. It’s a win, win.” 

Edge Hill actively encourages students to volunteer, recognising it can boost employment options and provide a great opportunity to give something back to the community, make friends and find out more about the local area. 

Through Edge Hill’s extensive third sector network, more than 200 organisations have benefitted from students interested in volunteering. The Careers Vacancy Portal lists dozens of volunteering opportunities and the Extra Edge employability programme rewards students for engagement in voluntary or part-time work. The Student Opportunity Fund operated by the University can even help students with costs for some volunteering activities. 

Volunteers’ Week takes place 1-7 June every year. It’s a chance to recognise the fantastic contribution volunteers make to our communities and to say thank you. 

To find out more about volunteering visit the Barnardo’s website

To discover more about our courses at Edge Hill, please visit ehu.ac.uk/study.

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