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On  3 June, UCL students and staff met with local volunteer recruiters and community organisations to design new volunteer roles that UCL students could relate to their academic studies. It was a busy, creative networking event with over 50 people sharing ideas on how to better link up students and charities.

So, what do you get from attending such an event?

First, you might realise how wide the range of volunteering opportunities is in London: community partners such as Age UK, Advice Services Alliances, Lauriston Lights and The Literacy Pirates were present. Together with UCL students and staff, they looked at what skills, knowledge and experience volunteers would like to get out of their volunteering and how they could meet those needs while fulfilling their own objectives. 

You might also be amazed by how volunteering can relate to your academic course. Students in the room offered knowledge and experience in areas like data analysis, public policy, UK law, the education sector, project management, primary research and graphic design skills. Taking these as a starting point, the groups designed new volunteer roles that UCL students will be able to sign up to in the future. Participants also got to discuss how UCL academic departments might better involve community organisations in their curriculum in other ways too.

Overall, you would be impressed by the dynamism of the voluntary sector and their enthusiasm to meet, discuss, and learn so they can make each year better than the one before.

Written by Anais Fiault - UCL Photojournalist.

Visit our Volunteering Directory to find out about our current opportunities - you can even filter it by interest category!

If you’re a PostGraduate Taught student and interested in combining your dissertation with community research, let us know, we have an initiative to help with that!