What Volunteering at The OU Students Association Has Meant to Me

Volunteers day 2021 - Student Nichola Connolly shares what volunteering at the Open University Students Association means to her.

When embarking on my first experience of volunteering, with The OU Students Association, I was determined to do one small role of volunteering, which started with helping at a graduation ceremony in 2019. It certainly did not stop there, and I soon found my passion for wanting to volunteer more, as I had enjoyed my first experience of volunteering with The OU Students Association and how much I had gained in so many ways. 

I am very much involved in different aspects of volunteering with The OU Students Association, such as being an Online Meet-Up Host. My current volunteering role is on The Student Association Leadership Team as the Faculty Association Rep for Wellbeing, Education and Language Studies (WELS). This was something I did not believe possible a few years ago and has been made possible by the support and encouragement I have been given through my other volunteer roles, both from other volunteers and the Association Staff team. 

Volunteering with The OU Students Association has meant so much to me. It has allowed me to develop so many skills, especially confidence and presentation skills.

 I am no longer daunted when it comes to presenting as my other volunteer roles have enabled me to overcome my fears in relation to speaking publicly, whether that be virtually or in person. 

Above all, volunteering has allowed me to develop relationships with other members of the Association volunteering team, at university level and with Association Staff. I have also gained a sense of belonging and community through volunteering, that I doubt would have been possible without volunteering. I would consider other volunteers I have met along my journey to be lifelong friends.

What started as dipping my toe in the water to see what would become of volunteering, has grown into something extraordinary that I could have never imagined when I first started. I am so grateful for the opportunities that volunteering with The OU Students Association has brought me and feel extremely fortunate and proud of what I have gained from volunteering with The OU Students Association. 

Hopefully there will be plenty more opportunities for volunteering in the future.

If you too would like to get involved, visit the volunteering pages of The Association’s website. 

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