Hello from our student volunteer interns

Hi I’m Shannay, the current York Cares Right to Read Intern! Alongside
volunteering with this charity, I am in my final year of studying for an
undergraduate degree in Psychology at the University of York, with the hopes
of pursuing a career in Forensic Psychology.

The Right to Read programme aims to boost literacy standards in the city.
Employee-volunteers are trained to provide one-to-one reading support with
primary school children for an academic term. This individual interaction with
role models from the business world not only improves children’s reading skills
but has also proved invaluable in boosting their confidence and enhancing
their social development.

My role as the Right to Read intern is to help co-ordinate the administration of
the programme. Daily tasks range from recruiting employee-volunteers,
arranging training sessions to providing on-going support for volunteers during
their placement. A highlight for me is when past and current volunteers
express how much they’ve enjoyed their placement and want to continue for
another academic term. It’s great to see that the volunteers are finding the
experience just as beneficial as the children!

This has been a fantastic opportunity to get involved with! York Cares is such a
lovely organisation to work with, the team are truly welcoming and supportive
of all their volunteers. Personally, this role has allowed me to develop further
as an individual by testing my organisational skills as well as gaining experience
in project management, Salesforce and Canva. It has been such a valuable
experience to help facilitate such a meaningful project and see the overall
impact the charity has on the local community!

In May last year, I was looking on the university careers website about volunteering opportunities for students in the local area. I had been considering a career in the non-profit sector for a while so when I saw York Cares’ voluntary student intern vacancies, it seemed like the perfect opportunity to gain some work experience in my final year of study whilst also contributing back to my local community.

Over the last few months I have been busy doing a wide variety of things to help out across all of York Cares’ programmes, particularly helping with their communications. The best thing about volunteering on such a small team is that you get given real responsibility and the chance to be creative with tasks. I have been responsible for designing and scheduling York Cares’ weekly #CharityTuesday tweets that share the amazing impact of employee-volunteers- these have gone down a storm and it’s been great to see so many people responding positively on Twitter. I’ve also written blog posts, e-newsletters, helped create communications materials and all sorts of other things.

Volunteering with Cares’ has been great as its helped me to develop new skills to put on my CV and it’s also made a relaxed break from work in a stressful final year. I have really enjoyed working in a communications role and I am now thinking of pursing this after university, something I had never considered before volunteering. I would recommend volunteering to any student as it gives you a chance to learn new things and feel a part of the wider community outside of university.

Shannay and Rebecca both do a fantastic job and this #StudentVolunteeringWeek we want to say a huge thank you to them both for all that they do!