Very soon, the Student Volunteering Network will be opening appplications for its 2019/20 committee roles.
Being a part of the SVN committee can have a massive impact in your daily job and will give you the opportunity to support others in the sector and develop specific areas of expertise.
Volunteering Managers and Coordinators across the country have benefited hugely from this experience and shared their views with us.
Have a look below and consider applying for this years' roles for an opportunity to support others in the sector whilst learning at the same time.
Ben Robinson (VIce-Chair) - [Community Volunteering Officer, City University of London]
I originally joined the SVN National Committee as a general member without a designated role back in 2015 because I didn’t feel that I had the authority to justify taking up a “leadership” role, but I wanted to understand the sector better and learn from others. I have since taken up technical roles and been a Vice-Chair since 2017, supporting others within the committee and the network in learning and progressing within the sector.
My involvement with SVN has been rewarding, both personally and professionally. It has helped me to understand best practice within Student Volunteering, and it has connected me with people and training opportunities from all over the UK and across Europe. It has also been a real boost to be able to share the knowledge I have gained with others. If you are thinking about membership in the network, or taking up a role on the National Committee – just go for it. You can join as a general member and then align yourself to a particular portfolio later, or you can take up a specific role that appeals to you… but - much as we so often tell our students - you really should just go for it.
Fiona Walsh (Comms Team) - [Student Hubs, Southampton Hub Manager]
Being a part of the Student Volunteering Network team supporting Comms has been fantastic this year. It's a great way to connect with other like-minded people doing great work at universities across the UK. The role has been good for my professional development too, allowing me to learn more about how other universities structure their volunteering, contribute to communications strategy of the network, and share experience from Student Hubs' perspective.
I'd recommend the committee roles to anyone passionate about doing more in the sector. It's a excellent way to stay connected, keep developing new skills, and learn from a lovely bunch of people!
Luke Russell (Impact and Research Team) - [Royal Holloway University of London, Volunteering Coordinator]
I have been on the committee with a few different roles for three years now, and it has been a really great experience. As well as working with colleagues at other universities, it is a lot of fun to visit other campuses and find out how volunteering works around the country! My role as leader for the Impact and Research team has helped me develop my analytic skills, as well as impact assessment! In the past I have found the role really useful as a way of learning about the challenges other members have encountered and the ways they tackled them!
Mariana Rocha (Comms Team) - [University of West London, Volunteering and Civic Engaement Manager]
I first got involved with the SVN in 2014 when working at the University of Portsmouth Student's Union and needed support and advice regarding interntional volunteering. Via the mailing list I got support from everyone around the UK (literally!) and since then I knew I wanted to be a part of the Student Volunteering Network in the future.
In 2016 I applied for the role of Network Development Officer and then moved to the Comms team where I now get to manage the SVN Social Media platforms, the newsletter and update the website. Being a part of the network has given me so much more than I ever expected it would. It has allowed me to gain new skills, knowldege but more importantly, it allowed me to make connections in the sector across the country that I would have not done otherwise.
Hands down one of the best learning experiences I've had so far. The gift that keeps on giving.
Nia Crouch (Network Development Team) - [University of the West of England, Volunteering Team Leader]
I signed up to be a Network Development Officer for the Student Volunteering Network Committee two years ago. I was new to HE and wanted to learn as much as I could about student volunteering. Not only has it been great for this but it also provides a personal network of people across the country to go to for help and advice. It has helped me gain confidence in my role but also in the wider landscape of volunteering, so much so that I presented at the National Conference last year- and loved it!
Rosie Harvey (SVN Chair) - [University of Southampton Students' Union, Student Engagement Manager]
The Student Volunteer Network Committee has provided me with endless opportunities. I have been a member for three years (previously Vice-Chair [Finance] and now as Chair) and every year brings something different. I have had the opportunity to present at conferences and contribute to international research but the best part have been making links with colleagues all over the country. I’d highly recommend it to anyone!