• Luke's Volunteer Story
Luke volunteering at a film studio

Luke is at the University of Huddersfield studying Film Studies.
Listen to his story as he explains how volunteering is helping him learn new skills and gain experience related to his course & career aspirations. 
In addition, the podcast also covers: 

  • The type of volunteering he has been doing
  • Some of the additional skills he has learned
  • Some of the experience he has gained
  • How the skills are helping him
  • How it has helped his mental health & wellbeing

post covid. The number of people volunteering has fallen, which means there are lots of opportunities for teens and young adults to gain valuable experience and make a difference in their local communities. People volunteer for lots of reasons. They enjoy it

They get a sense of personal achievement. They meet new people and it improves their mental health and well being, and they gain confidence in new skills. There is a thriving community of young volunteers in West Yorkshire, and we've sat down with them to get the inside knowledge and why they do it, where they do it and how you can get involved, too

My name's Graham Sykes and I run the youth agency Youth social and author of the book Destination Adulthood. I've been joined by Luke from Halifax. Hey, do you want to tell us a little bit about yourself? My name is Luke

I'm 21 now. I'm a student at the University of Huddersfield doing film studies, and I've been doing volunteering for six months now. What volunteering roles have you done? A fair bit

So I've been doing festivals where I've been stewarding, handing out leaflets showing people where the toilets are things like that. We've also done a lot of workshops, so things like sight awareness, dementia awareness and first aid, learning skills and knowledge that can help you while you're working in a festival. One of the things that's been quite great about volunteering, I I'm doing a film cast

So I'm interested in doing film stuff is I had the chance to work with a lot of independent creatives in Huddersfield. I helped out with filming musicians for K Year of Music. So we went around Huddersfield filming all these talents, and I was behind the camera and I was filming stuff, too, and that was a great experience

So the things that you filmed did they make the final cut? Then? Yes, they did. Excellent. Oh, that's great, isn't it? Uh, what made you want to volunteer? The main reason I wanted to volunteer was it was a great opportunity to gain skills and learn things related to my course

There was also a great chance to fill out my CV and have lots of experiences that I can put on to make me stand out. Also, I had a big two month break from uni, and it was a lot better use of time than playing games and some of those skills that you might gain through volunteering. How do you think they will help? Perhaps in the future

Like I said, I've been doing a lot of stuff with local filmmakers and creative types, and I've learned a lot about what equipment they use and how to use it and their techniques and their methods. And that is a bit of a head start that I think would help a lot going into the media industry, which I plan to do. So how did you get into volunteering? The University of H has a careers and employability team, and what they do is basically send out an email every month or so with opportunities for students to gain more skills and experience

I was looking to gain more skills and experience, and I found future creative on an email, and I had it look good. OK, so you saw that you thought, Yeah, fancy a little bit of that. What did you do next? I sent an email off to them

I was invited to a welcome meeting which was local. I went to it and it just sort of happened from there. So talked about the careers and employability team email

Did anybody else help you get into volunteering or we're promoting opportunities or promoting volunteering? To you? It was mostly independent. Me getting into it. What we need to help is that covered travel expenses and lunch expenses, and that was really useful for me to not go broke and be able to do all these wonderful things

And was that something that you might have been worried about beforehand or before? You sort of thought about volunteering. Was that cost element? Definitely. Yeah

So as volunteering in influenced your health and well being in any way, Uh, yeah, definitely. Before I started, I wasn't as confident. I was spending a lot more time inside indoors, not doing much and for volunteering

I've become more confident. It's got me doing a lot of stuff that I wouldn't do otherwise meeting a lot of people and making a lot of contacts in industry. So those new things that you've been trying and does that include doing podcast It is this something that you perhaps wouldn't have done six months ago

Have you had any opportunity to use any of the skills that you've learned whilst volunteering. Yeah, so the skills I learned they've become very useful. I've been doing a film replacement for the university

A lot of it has been outside in public, in crowded places. And having experience in that situation through volunteering has helped me so much in those situations. Like before, I'd have been panicking, but then now I'm calm

I'm together. I'm with it, you know, able to get the job done. And that's just invaluable

So when you leave University, do you think volunteering is going to help you with your job prospects? Yeah, definitely. So, through volunteering, I've been able to network a tonne. I've met lots of skilled, talented people in the industry that I'm trying to get into

I've made a lot of contacts. I've put my name out there, and also I've received a lot of knowledge and experience working with industry specific tools and equipment. So what has been your favourite experiences so far? As of all so, one of my favourite experiences, we went to Paradigm Creative Studios in Huddersfield, and it was me and one of the volunteer and together with someone from Paradigm

We made an entire five minute advert in a single day and we went through the entire process filming, editing. There was some animation we did voice over. It was great to see and experience all that and to have a hand in it

And by the end we had a two minute advert that we could truly say that in the of a volunteer had made ourselves so. Finally, if anyone listening was considering volunteering, what would you say to them? I'd say Just do it, especially if you're going with someone who will cover your costs. You're absolutely losing nothing and gaining just so, so much

I've been volunteering for six months now, and it's only ever been a good time and I've only ever had fun. So you should do it well, thank you so much for coming in and sharing your experiences. And we wish you the best of luck in the future

Great. Thank you. If you're aged over 16 and interested in becoming a volunteer, visit the N CV o

org dot UK website where you can find your local volunteering centre. Alternatively, search Google for volunteering in your local area.

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