University College London Union

Volunteers' Stories

Last year, almost 2,000 UCL students participated in volunteering through the VSU.  Read on to find out about what some of our students have been doing.

Christina Kamposiori

Christina Kamposiori is a PhD Student at the UCL Centre for Digital Humanities, Department of Information Studies. She has been volunteering at the Science Museum as a Record Management Assistant for the last 3 years and at Kenwood House, English Heritage as an Explainer for 1 year. 

“Developing new contacts and networks has always been one of the most important and interesting parts of my volunteering experience… Enthusiastic people who love culture are always needed in this sector. So, if you feel strongly about it, go ahead! The experiences you will gain will raise your confidence and help you develop new skills.” Read more.

Tom Hague

Tom is an MA Transnational Studies student who volunteers weekly for the Hackney Pirates in East London.  “It’s fun, creative, imaginative and makes a big difference. It’s also well-organised, friendly and very convenient for students: you sign up online whenever you want and the coordinators are really accommodating. You’ll meet some great people, hilarious kids and hopefully change someone’s life for the better!” Read more.

Ksenija Fedoreno

Ksenija Fedorenko has been volunteering at UCL Academy as a mentor. In her blog she explains how she found her time in the role. “The best thing about being a volunteer is having the opportunity to help people.” Read more.

Elspeth Bisson and Harriet Williams

Elspeth and Harriet studied Medicine at UCL graduating in the Summer of 2014. During their time here they volunteered with C4WS Homeless Project, helping prepare meals and set up/tidy up sleeping arrangements. “Volunteering with C4WS has been such an important part of our student experience of London. We are very grateful to the charity and the guests for making the experience so rewarding.  We hope we have shown our appreciation by the money and awareness Harriet and I have raised for the charity at UCL.  We have volunteered with UCL on many other schemes and believe the VSU is a fantastic facility that students could all get involved with.” Read more.

Nikolaos Souslous

Nikolaos is a 1st year BA History student at UCL. He has been volunteering with JumpStart since his second term, organising and preparing workshops for children at The John Roan school. “I was instantly astonished by the spirit that governs the JumpStart project, as it is one of the most innovative student-led activities that I have undertaken during my time at UCL. I realised that what really matters is to provide for society in any way possible, even though the project might not seem relevant to your studies or career aspirations.” Read more.

Nicoletta Enria and Elena Girelli

Nicoletta and Elena are project leaders for the UCL Language Club student led project. “UCL Language Club provided us with opportunities for personal growth which is what we are most grateful for and proud of. Having taught Italian at St George the Martyr Primary School last year with the UCL Language Club, we felt passionate about leading the project and were determined to continue the club after its 7 successful years of running. We wanted to expand the language club and create a sense of unity within it.” Read more.

Jennifer Marie Carpenter

Jennifer is a BA Archaeology and Anthropology going into her 3rd year. She has been volunteering with North London Cares a few a days a week. “It is great fun and so interesting to hear stories about another era. Also, one way or another I always go home in stiches! I would of course recommend North London Cares! It is so much fun and I think the community that North London Cares has created to support our older neighbours is so important and worthwhile.” Read more.

Caroline Rundell

Caroline is a first year medical student here at UCL. She gives 2 hours a week tutoring AS Science through Generating Genius. ” I have never looked forward to volunteering as much as I do with this program. I have told many of my friends about it, and there is the unanimous response of ‘wow, that’s such a worthwhile cause’. For the first time, I am volunteering because I want to and because I wholeheartedly believe in a projects’ aims.” Read more.

Zhanelya Subebayeva

Zhanelya is a 3rd year Computer Science student. For the last 5 months she has volunteered 1-2 hours a week with The Liver Group Charity, working on their web content and social media presence. “The best thing about volunteering with this charity is that I am part of a team whose main goal is to create a Bioartificial Liver Machine, which will temporarily replace liver function, giving the liver those critical few days necessary to heal itself. This is a hugely important project, which will have a significant and positive impact on society, and I feel very privileged to be involved. ” Read more.

Marilena Hadjittofi

Marilena currently volunteers befriending patients on the Red Cell Haematology floor at the UCH Macmillan Cancer Centre.  She’s a a third year Psychology student and volunteers at the hospital once a week. “I would recommend this project to anyone that wants to help people and also get involved with a great organisation such as Macmillan. Volunteers have a lot to gain, they meet a lot of new people and make new friends and most of all, you never feel like your time is wasted and it’s a continuous process of learning and improving your skills. The role is very well supported and supervised, not just by the Macmillan service but also by the Clinical Psychologist at the unit.” Read more.

Harvey Ellerby

Harvey is a first year undergraduate studying Finnish and East European Studies.  He volunteers weekly with ReachOut! as a Mentor at Carlton Primary School in Camden.  “It is definitely something I look forward to every week. It is very rewarding to watch my mentee progressing academically and on the sports field on a week by week basis. It is also beneficial to have something stable in your weekly life as living in London can be quite stressful at times. I feel like I’ve made friends with new people, not students only at UCL, but also those at other institutions such as King’s College London and Queen Mary.” Read more.

Oliver Page

Oliver is a 3rd year Medical and Psychology Intercalated BSC student. He has been volunteering as mentor for the past month at the Refugee Therapy Centre, where he gives 3 hours of his time a week to help his varied client base with their individaul needs. “The best thing about this project is that it is all about helping an underprivileged, often overlooked sector of our society. Refugees are in need of a lot of support and need to feel empowered rather than overwhelmed by the new culture they are involved in. I would definitely recommend this project to anyone with a few spare hours a week as it is thoroughly worthwhile. I think that there is a lot to be learnt from mentoring refugees - both them from you and you from them.” Read more.

Sarah Martindale

Sarah is a Biomedical Sciences student. She volunteers with the UCH Macmillan Cancer Centre where she acts as a Welcomer and Guide for the centres patients. ” I would thoroughly recommend volunteering at the cancer centre as I feel I have made a positive impact on the lives of many patients. There are fantastic opportunities for personal development and the volunteering department are very open to listening to suggestions and volunteers are encouraged to suggest new roles they envisage could be needed.” Read more.

We’ve got lots more stories of volunteers on projects, check out our stories index to read more.