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Amy Cotter is a Masters student studying MSc Social Policy and Social Research in the Institute of Education. She shares her experience volunteering as part of a research team working to develop charity partner, Mind with Heart’s wellbeing resources.

Amy Cotter

Getting back the survey findings was exciting! It showed the work paid off!

Tell us a little about your volunteering.
I was part of a team researching the wellbeing of beginning and trainee teachers to develop Mind With Heart’s wellbeing resources. We met as a team once a week, and did a few hours extra work a week. Together we contacted universities and academy chains, ran and survey and a focus group, and analysed findings.


How did you find out about the role?
Searching through the Students Union webpages. 

What difference do you feel you’ve made by volunteering? 
We have been able to provide evidence backing Mind With Heart’s approach to wellbeing.


Why did you want to become a volunteer? 
To gain extra experience of research.

What impact has volunteering had on you?
I have improved my ability to work in a team in different capacities, and it has taught me about running a research project.

What’s the best thing about volunteering?
Getting to meet and work with new people.

And the most challenging? How did you overcome the challenges?
Some of the research did not go as planned - e.g. fewer participants turning up to the focus group than planned. We made the best of this, and got good findings regardless!


Tell us about something memorable that’s happened to you whilst volunteering.
Getting back the survey findings was exciting! It showed the work paid off!

Would you recommend volunteering? If so, why?
Absolutely - it is a great way to meet new people and develop new skills - all whilst doing something worthwhile. I would particularly recommend Mind With Heart for anyone interested.

The Director, David, has been so supportive of our work - he will always try to make sure you are getting something out of the voluntary work, as well as the charity!

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