Posted on 14/02/2011
Community Action volunteers Patrycja and Nathan
Two students from Royal Holloway, University of London have been selected from universities across the country to speak at the launch of the National Volunteering Week 2011 today (14 February) - which is celebrating its 10th anniversary.
Nathan Parsad, studying Politics and International Relations, and Patrycja Skurzak, a European Studies undergraduate, will be two of the four guest student speakers chosen to talk at the Volunteering England event.
Both students have played an active role within the Community Action Team since joining the College and will share their opinions and views on volunteering. Volunteering England is the national development agency which encourages the accessibility and impact of volunteering. National Volunteering Week (21– 27 February) is about bringing together organisations from all sectors to celebrate volunteering in Further and Higher Education.
Both undergraduates say they are delighted to be able to share their experiences on the national stage and are looking forward to representing the College and student volunteers in general.
As an international student, Patrycja credits volunteering with helping her to integrate into university life. She says: “It's not just in relation to language but also the community and culture. You feel a real sense of togetherness. I think it’s important for students not to get stuck in a box and become wholly focused on academia, but to diversify in order to expand understanding.”
Royal Holloway’s Community Action volunteering has been hugely successful and both Nathan and Patrycja emphasised the extensive work carried out by Community Action Manager Phil Simcock, and his team.
Nathan said: “There is a real culture of volunteering at the College. It is well placed at the heart of the clubs and societies.”
During his speech, Nathan hopes to share his experiences of volunteering to encourage other students who are considering it and wants to demonstrate the way it can help them in later life. He said: “Volunteering can set students apart when they reach the tough graduate job market, giving them more confidence and better skills.”
The pair credits the widespread success of volunteering within the university to the ability and willingness of both students and local residents to work together to create a community bond.
Phil Simcock, said: “It is wonderful to have Nathan and Patrycja involved with the 10th anniversary launch event and profiles nationally our ongoing commitment as a university to promote volunteering amongst our students in the local community.