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It’s never too early to start thinking about your volunteering journey, so we’ve put together a few things you can keep in mind, along with some student stories, to show you why volunteering is always worth it. It’s always good to plan ahead for the next academic year, especially if you’re expecting to be bogged down with deadlines, exams and your extracurriculars. So, do future-you a favour and start planning now - if you know you’d like to volunteer, here’s a few things you can do or think about before you come back to UCL.

As always, do keep browsing our volunteering directory, which you can filter by category to find your perfect opportunity; whether you want to discover London, bolster your CV, support your wellbeing or complement your academic studies - volunteering can help you do so, all whilst giving back to the community! You can even keep an eye on certain opportunities now to consider volunteering with at a later time.

Thinking you’ll be short on time next year? Remember to check out our One-Off Volunteering page where there will plenty of opportunities for you to get involved in (especially during the Welcome period) - perfect for you to dip your toes into volunteering, to find out what you like and to experience something new. You can read Aisha’s post on volunteering at the Chinese New Year Festival or Alexandre’s on the Walkie Talkie Tower Climb if you want to know what it’s like at One-Off events. 

One area of volunteering you can try is tutoring and mentoring, which is always a big hit with UCL volunteers. You can check out our tutoring and mentoring opportunities when you’re back at UCL, as organisations will start recruiting volunteers in Autumn and it’s always good to get ahead of the curve! 

You could also consider befriending roles - with a variety of beneficiaries (including older people, refugees and people with disabilities) there are plenty of people who’d love your company. Read Lavanya’s story on volunteering with older people and the mutual benefits that comes with befriending, especially when you’re a busy UCL student. Befriending roles may mean you need to get a DBS check, which is another reason why it’s good to get everything all prepared in advance.

And if you’re looking to make a tangible difference to the local community, you can volunteer with one of our Student-Led Projects. You can also become Project Leader, which allows you to run a project that will benefit people in the local community. Now is the best time to start planning ahead, so if you have a great idea for a project, check out this page and when you come back to UCL, we’ll support you with getting your ideas off the ground. To show you how fun and enjoyable it can be to run a project (or two!), here’s Lampojan’s story

We hope that this situation we’re all collectively facing has shown everyone the importance of caring for, and being considerate of other people, and that we shouldn’t turn a blind eye to those who need our support most. Volunteering is just one of the ways we can make a difference to others, and we hope you feel motivated and inspired to volunteer when you’re back at UCL. In the meantime, we hope you and your loved ones stay safe and healthy.