Bournemouth University Academics & Students – Working Together to Find Solutions
A cycle of research, followed by feedback, is one of the best ways to design and develop effective new tools and services that provide opportunites and positive impact.
Following initial discussions with BU students and academics it became clear that there is a desire to support and encourage volunteering, both within the University and the wider community.
BCP will enable students to locate local organisations that may have opportunities for them to volunteer. However, it was suggested that perhaps students could also post their availability and skills to see if an organisation would benefit from their time. During the same conversations it was felt that perhaps local organisations could also post their requests for volunteers.
All good ideas. Yet at the same time good ideas aren’t always practical and they may cause a duplication of existing services or even, unintentionally, create a feeling of seperation.
From the very beginning of our work on aDoddle.org, and now area-based community maps, it has surprised me how many people have expressed that they would love to volunteer, but were concerned that if they did, and if it turned out not to be a match for them, they would then feel bad about backing out! So rather than risk that happening they did nothing!
This shows that further conversations, feedback and research is needed and perhaps collaboration with an existing service in a way that benefits everyone. Perhaps a collaboration will help to create a ‘new way in’ to volunteering for students and communities alike.
People of all ages and backgrounds often discover that volunteering can have positive impact on their life at the same time as doing good. It really is a two-way relationship which should benefit both the person volunteering and the people, organisation or service that they are helping.
When thinking about volunteering you might find it useful to ask yourself some of these questions:
Why do you want to Volunteer?
Benefits of volunteering can include: