The Covid-19 outbreak with the resulting restrictions on social life, and disruptions in health services really left a mark on our society. Mental and physical health took the centre stage with new communities emerging to tackle issues arising.

I remember sitting back home during the first lockdown, reading the news about key workers heroically managing the front lines, aching to help. The bad news? We are still in the middle of a pandemic. The good news? We can help!

On Thursday, in the South Cloisters, many of UCL’s charity partners are coming to offer you opportunities to be involved in the response to various problems surrounding health and wellbeing. Are you someone seeking a career in Health, Medicine or Wellbeing? Or would you just like to do your part as we recover our communities from the pandemic? Are you empathetic and love that warm feeling you get when you know you helped another person? Come along and find your cause!

The Fair

We have over 10 charities and UCL Student-led Project representatives coming to speak to you about their mission.

One of them is St John Ambulance -  an organisation where you can learn the art and craft of being a first responder: from first aid skills all the way up to ambulance level. Invaluable opportunity for medical students, as well as for anyone seeking to attend concerts or sports events free of charge (as a first aider, of course)!

For those more interested in researching and raising awareness, there are plenty of other causes to support. Whether spreading information on how to prevent and detect skin cancer, or playfully engaging and challenging people with autism, there will be a place for you to leave your mark.

Combatting the mental health epidemic is just as important as restricting Covid infections. Make a Smile’s name speaks for itself. You can further the wellbeing of children who are dealing with long-term conditions. Make their day by running joyful activities and learn valuable skills in the meantime.

What’s in it for you?

Gaining valuable skills and enhancing your CV is among the most important benefits. Finding a community and being part of the change is definitely another!

One of our past volunteers rightfully said ‘Volunteering 'contributes to a collective sense of wellbeing’, therefore confirming that by helping those around, we really are indirectly helping ourselves too. She was part of Age UK Camden as a Dementia Wellbeing Volunteer. In her role, she supported elderly people with dementia to help combat feelings of isolation, especially during a time where social distancing is in place not only physically, but often interpersonally. Through the sheer act of conversation, she has made someone feel included and cared for.

If you cannot make the Cloisters, the online fair will be just as engaging!

Covid made us realise that our strength lies in being united, so join a cause close to your heart now and help a community thrive. As winter is approaching, we have every reason to be hopeful as we adapt to our new way of life – one where communities care and look out for each other. See you there!