Making Memories… Giving Hope

6 reasons to volunteer at CHICKS as a student

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Here at CHICKS, we rely on a constant stream of budding volunteers to help us provide the best breaks we can to vulnerable young people from across the UK.

On every week-long break, three Respite Break Leaders (CHICKS employees) are joined by up to six volunteers whose job it is to be positive adult role models, interacting with the young people and allowing them to develop and experience new challenges.

Volunteers on CHICKS breaks engage in all the activities the young people enjoy, as well as helping with everything from cleaning up to refereeing UNO matches!

But it's not just on break where our volunteers shine – we also work with lots of volunteers at local community fundraising events, as administrative support in our head office, and as part of the customer service teams in our South West shops.

Still not convinced? We've put together a list of just a few reasons you should volunteer at CHICKS as a student. Please contact us if you would like to get involved!

1. You will help make a real difference

Volunteer with a child at the rock climbing centre

First and foremost, everyone who volunteers at CHICKS makes a real, tangible difference to the lives of vulnerable children and young people from across the UK.

According to data published by the National Council for Voluntary Organisations, 95% of student volunteers are motivated by a desire to improve things or help people.

Whether you're volunteering on a break helping the children to make memories that will last a lifetime, assisting us in one of our shops to bring in vital funds, or running a fundraising event to raise awareness in your community, you are contributing a vital service that ultimately helps young people who need a break to access one.

We truly could not provide the service we do without the help of our volunteers, so if you want to make an invaluable contribution as a volunteer, CHICKS is for you.

2. There are lots of opportunities available

If volunteering on a break with a group of up to 16 young people doesn't sound like your thing, we have lots of other volunteering opportunities available.

Why not run a fundraising event to help raise money and awareness for CHICKS? This could be something as simple as a garden party in your halls of residence, or something bigger like a sponsored movie or gaming night at your student's union. Contact us if you need any help or resources, otherwise have fun with it and take photos!

If you're based in the South West, you can also volunteer at our head office in Buckfastleigh, Devon, where you can work directly with our Fundraising and Coordination teams on various areas of our work. Alternatively, donate your time at one of our shops in Devon and help process and sell donated goods to raise vital funds.

We know that students' schedules can be jam-packed, so we try to be flexible and provide different kinds of roles to suit as many people as possible.

3. Volunteering can fit around your studies

Volunteers with children at the adventure park

Because we run breaks all year round, you are sure to find a week that is perfect for you. The last thing we want to do is interrupt your studies ahead of a big exam!

Our breaks run every week from February to December, so whether you want to volunteer with us for a week or two in the summer, or break up what promises to be a long few weeks of lectures, we are sure to be able to accommodate you.

If you're volunteering in another capacity, there are opportunities available at all times; we're always looking for new additions to our shop and office teams, and we would love to work with you on a fundraising idea you might have at any time.

4. It's an amazing addition to your experience

Any volunteering opportunity is sure to help your employability, but the experience you gain spending a week at CHICKS will be incredibly valuable and useful.

Not only will you have given over 40 hours of time to helping a group of up to 16 young people make memories, but you will also have experience working as part of a team, reacting to shifting challenges and juggling multiple responsibilities at once.

Volunteering in a fundraising, office or shop capacity is a great experience, too. You'll be working on a wide variety of tasks for different teams, interacting with members of the public to help raise vital awareness and funds for the charity.

If you're looking to work in any capacity with children after you graduate, your experience volunteering at CHICKS could really help your future employment prospects. Even if you're not, the experience you gain is sure to help you in many ways!

5. It can help improve your mental wellbeing

Volunteer with children going down a slide

Anyone who's been to uni knows that it's easy to get snowed under by the pressure of looming deadlines, student debt and intense living situations.

While a CHICKS break is mainly meant to help the young people we support, the positive effect it can have on our volunteers is a very welcome by-product.

In addition to burning off those excess calories put on by quick pastry-heavy breakfasts on the way to 9am lectures, a CHICKS break can do wonders for relieving the stresses and pressures of student life. Spending the week with a group of young people making memories and new friends can do wonders for your mental wellbeing.

Plus, the feeling of knowing you are making a real, lifelong difference to vulnerable young people is sure to boost your motivation when you return to student life!

6. Plus... it's incredibly fun!

Above all else, CHICKS breaks are just really good fun! You'll get to take part in a range of activities, both at our retreat and off-site, as well as meeting likeminded fellow volunteers and a group of young people who will really benefit from the break.

If you're volunteering at our office or one of our shops, you'll be part of a team bringing CHICKS to the public, working hard to raise vital funds and grow awareness of the charity. You'll have the opportunity to be creative and meet plenty of new people!

We are hugely grateful for the support of all our volunteers, students and otherwise. We would love you to join our team and help us to help more young people.

If you'd like to volunteer at CHICKS, please head to our volunteering pages or contact us by emailing info@chicks.org.uk or calling 01822 811 020.

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