Freya's story

Freya is a student at Sussex University, and volunteers in the Fundraising Team for three hours a week alongside her studies. Volunteering is helping her develop the skills she needs to apply for a job in the Third Sector, and her time benefits RISE enormously.

I started my Masters degree in Contemporary History at the University of Sussex in September, and given that I was only timetabled four taught contact hours per week, I knew that I wanted to utilise my newfound free time by doing something that felt worthwhile. Therefore, in October I chose to apply to volunteer with RISE; on a personal level, feminism has played a deep role in the formation of my personal identity, and as such working with a charity invested in the safety, wellbeing and empowerment of women felt like the most appropriate way to channel some of my attention. My experiences in the past few months at RISE have reaffirmed my previous beliefs and demonstrated just how necessary feminism and the continued advocacy for women’s rights still is in the modern day.

Flexible hours

From another perspective, I have also been able to channel what I have seen and the interests that it has triggered into my university work, which has been beneficial! For example, I am currently in the midst of researching the Greenham Common Women’s Peace Camp and how solidarity was created between the women who protested there for one of my module essays. The symbiosis between volunteering and my education has been invaluable, and the flexibility from working one day (and limited hours) per week makes it ideal for all students in terms of accessibility. 

Freya's story
The skills and experience I have gained from volunteering will have a positive impact on developing my employability skills for the future.
Freya, 22

Alongside informing my academic studies, and despite not undertaking a volunteering role for this reason, I believe the skills and experience I have gained thus far from volunteering will have a positive impact on developing my employability skills for the future. I have gained experience in numerous different capacities, for example administrative roles such as transcription, data consolidation, and funding research; helping prepare information packs for charity runs; reception work, to name only but a few. These tasks have significantly helped to develop my understandings of how charities run, as well as improving specific, CV worthy skillsets. 

Third sector experience 

Furthermore, directly interacting with a charity that crucially contributes to the lives of those in the local community on such an important level has given me skills that would not have been taken from other forms of (paid) work for example. Volunteering demands time and often necessitates discretion, sensitivity and compassion, which are competencies I do not encounter in my part time supermarket job! In addition, I am hoping to apply to third sector work or similar graduate schemes once I complete my studies in January 2019, so my experiences with RISE will be vital in giving my applicable skills to such careers. 

Freya's story
It is rewarding and enjoyable to see how volunteering is able to make an important difference to the lives of others.

Over the past few years, public sector and statutory funding for charities has not kept pace with the rising demand for the services they provide; this is especially devastating for charities such as RISE, who provide crucial services to the community. 

Having an impact

As such, volunteer positions make a tangible difference to charities, through helping to relieve workload through completing administrative work, to helping promote the work charities do at Universities for example to make a difference to the future. 

Although it might sound arrogant, it is rewarding and enjoyable to see how volunteering is able to make an important difference to the lives of others, as any work that is taken off the hands of those who are in paid work for the charity means they can utilise their own time more valuably. I would recommend volunteering to any student who wants to make a difference, or even needs a CV boost. 

I love working with RISE, and hope to do so for a long time.  

Freya's story

We want you involved in our work. From giving out water at races, marshalling on walks, or delivering collection tins, we need your skills and energy!

Volunteer for RISE Freya's story
Freya's story