What are your main resposibilities as a volunteer?
So this year it's been a bit different with all this committee responsibilities. It's sort of been all in one. So there's been lots of different things to do. The responsibility of an internal director is very volunteer focused, so I'm sort of communicating with the volunteers on a daily basis, quite a bit admin organizing, sort of the behind the scenes work and the rota, just making sure the service is running smoothly day to day. This year I've been fortunate enough to kind of get a little bit of a taste of like other committee roles as in and like more on the external side, just because we were merging in with the three universities. So we all sort of helped out with each other's roles.
Why did you choose to volunteer for Glasgow Student Nightline?
It was quite a while ago now. I think Steward touched on that as well. You start volunteering as a Nightline volunteer, listening volunteer, and that really interests me. I studied psychology, interested me from that point of view in the mental health support side of things. And I was really interested in coming to listen, volunteer and taking on the training to sort of learn the skills of active listening and stuff. And so that's probably why I did it. Initially I saw a freshers fair and it caught my attention and then once I got involved in it, I just, you know, just the passion for it just grows. And so I became part of the committee in my second year and then onto internal director for my final year
What have you enjoyed most during your time as a volunteer?
Enjoyed most, definitely how much I've been able to interact with the volunteers who are meeting loads of different people that you wouldn't necessarily come across, you know, in your course or in sport or other societies. And so I think that's been really great. So I've been able to get to know different people being involved in the training side of things. So learning the active listening skills that I mentioned and then being able to pass them on to other people to make sure that the service continues and is going strong. And I also think this year, again, like I think we were very lucky to be in the year that merged with other Nightlines. We managed to meet people from other universities and I got connections like around Glasgow and also yeah, being involved or being part of the reason that Nightline's going to be stronger in the future for Glasgow has been really great.
How much of an impact do you feel your volunteering has made?
Yes. I think it's made quite a big impact. I'm quite proud of the work that Stewart and I have done this year. I think that we've managed to sort of take an idea that was sort of floating around and it was started worked on last year. And we've managed to, you know, we've both been very similar mindset, managed to grab that idea and sort of run with it. And I think that was and is going to benefit Glasgow Nightline in the long run. I think not only having Glasgow University students benefiting from a service, but across students across the city. And yeah, as Stuart sort of touched on, just having that service there being open as much as possible. So it was great to run remotely during COVID, but being able to take that and then go back into person, which is what Nightline's really about being that listening service and just having it there. And so that students know that there is someone to talk to if they're ever in a situation that they need to and that can be for so many different reasons. And whether you're lonely or it's mental health reasons, it can be someone to chat to. It can be something more severe. And it's sort of a very open space for students. I think that's had a big impact on all the universities, hopefully.
What would you tell a student who is thinking about volunteering?
Yeah, definitely go for it. I think there's so many different opportunities and like Nightline has been such a huge part of my own university experience and I've really appreciated being part of it. But there's also so many other opportunities there that I've looked at and gone that would have been just as amazing. That would have also made a big impact. There's so much, so many different things going on, which makes me think that there's there is bound to be something that's going to be suitable to yourself. So even if it's if you're not interested in an anonymous listening volunteer, there is other opportunities. From a Nightline point of view, absolutely. Go for it. It's really rewarding. You meet a bunch of great people, all like minded and are really enthusiastic and passionate. And as you are about volunteering and you know yourself, your own sort of time capabilities within your own studies, obviously that is your priority and I think that and certainly with Nightline, I'm sure with other volunteer services there is, you know, the ability to sort of do your bit or do as much as you think is manageable. And I think that's a really great thing about it, sort of flexibility and how you can manage your own time to make sure that in, you know, you're managing to do volunteering as well as all your other commitments.
If you could sum up your volunteering experience in one word, what would it be?
It's so hard this year. It's been a bit of a whirlwind and it's been stressful times, it's been fun and like we're all really passionate. But I think ultimately I would sum it up as rewarding, and that's from working as part of the committee and the reward I've received, hopefully the impact and the reward from the students that are volunteering and our volunteers and I've gotten to know hopefully it's been rewarding for everyone involved.