Lampeter University student Carrianne got in touch with Hub Cymru Africa about volunteering after her first year of university, as a way of keeping busy during the summer break and to gain some experience and skills to help her with her studies.

She came across the organisation following a university trip to the Temple of Peace, and followed up with her university lecturer to ask to be put in touch with the organisations based at the Temple for volunteering opportunities.

“I asked for the contact details of the organisations I had met in April, because not only was the threat of insanity looming over my head with the prospect of three months of not making academic headway, but those email addresses were a hope that I could make progress and develop skills in my own time throughout the summer, between working in retail and keeping up to date with readings for my next academic year” she explains.

As a first-time volunteer, Carrianne quickly gained event experience, helping with the organisation and running of a Health Shared Learning event. She was entrusted with signing in attendees, controlling the lighting during the event and helping with the catering.

“Volunteering at that event allowed me to meet people with projects that I would otherwise only have been able to gain an idea of through websites,” she says. “I was privileged to meet these people and witness the passion they had for their work.”

Through her work with Hub Cymru Africa, Carrianne has discovered local groups that she would like to get involved with during her university term at Lampeter.

“Recently I volunteered at a shared learning event surrounding permaculture in Aberystwyth and not only was it amazing to see the kind of work that was being done in refugee camps in Uganda but it was also amazing to see the groups that were thriving at a local level such as the permaculture group in Lampeter that I hadn’t even known existed. Supporting the Permaculture event was an amazing opportunity, it allowed me to meet interesting people and it also gave me an insight into the dynamics of international development through discussing the forming and maintaining of partnerships and funding, as well as networking throughout the field.”

She credits her experience volunteering with not only allowing her to meet a wide range of people and projects, but also given her skills that she can take forward to future employment. “Not only has volunteering with Hub Cymru Africa allowed me to see first-hand the passion that inevitably leads to the positive outcomes of projects, but it has also put me in the office, working at a desk and compiling data from feedback reviews, and blogging about my experiences,” she says. “This has been a truly useful and all-round positive use of my time and effort over the summer.”

We welcome volunteering applications from people from all backgrounds, and can help identify a placement to match your skills and experience. If you’d like to speak to our team about volunteering, email enquiries@hubcymru.org.uk to start the conversation.