Caitlin – Making a difference to our town whilst earning her degree

The work of volunteers plays a vital role in making our town a unique and vibrant place. We are delighted to be sharing with you a collection of volunteering stories to highlight and celebrate some of the work done by charities and volunteers.

Caitlin has recently graduated with a Human Geography degree from the University of Reading. She talks about her various volunteering experiences and the importance of engaging with your local community whilst being at university away from home. Some of the things include working as the intern planning the Reading Town Meal, being a festival volunteer for the Mencap Are You Listening? Festival and various charity events organised by the University of Reading Korfball society. 

Caitlin describes how her favourite moments during volunteering have been getting involved with the local community and meeting people outside of her university bubble. She describes how easy it is as a student to get caught up in the student lifestyle and not engage entirely in the town you now call home. By volunteering locally you see the town you are in through a completely different lens as it’s extremely important to appreciate your surroundings. Whilst at university Caitlin joined the Korfball society with which she volunteered at various events such as a litter pick for RAYS and collecting donations and bag packing for Daisy’s Dream. 

As a student, Caitlin describes how volunteering has allowed her to develop many skills such as organisation, communication and management all in an environment that can be a lot less stressful than in a work environment. Attending an RVA course on volunteer management prepared her for her role in organising the Reading Town Meal but also provided transferable skills for future roles. Caitlin states that, while she has recently been applying for jobs, the skills she developed through her various volunteering experiences have made a heavy feature simply highlighting the importance of volunteering for personal development. Volunteering also makes you aware of new career opportunities that you may be interested in and, as a result, Caitlin is now searching for jobs related to environmental charities. 

We want to say a huge thank you to Caitlin to all the volunteering work she has undertaken whilst studying here in Reading

Inspired by Caitlin’s story? Take a look at www.rgneeds.me to find the role for you!