As the Bathurst community prepares to celebrate National Student Volunteer Week next week, The Neighbourhood Centre has taken the opportunity to honour local students who give back to the community.
Students involved in The Neighbourhood Centre's Youth Volunteer Program assist the Bathurst community in a variety of ways, including sports coaching, fundraising, event assistance and radio broadcasting.
MacKillop College student Chloe Tayler, who volunteers at PCYC Bathurst assisting the junior parkour class as well as a number of Neighbourhood Centre projects, said volunteering has been helpful in fostering personal growth.
"I don't feel it's widely understood how much you gain from volunteering as a student; there's a real sense that your efforts are highly valued by others," Chloe said.
"For example, we've been video chatting with senior citizens in nursing homes during COVID, and it's a great feeling to share a conversation with vulnerable members of the community who are unable to receive visitors."
Fellow MacKillop student Amanda Collins, who volunteers for every Mercy and Justice initiative and has devised her own project dealing with recycling, said volunteering has the potential to unlock doors to future opportunities.
"Volunteering is a good look for people wanting to promote themselves to potential employers in the future," Amanda said.
"The community exposure is definitely worth it, and I certainly recommend volunteering to any young person looking to step outside their comfort zone."
Youth volunteering also extends to Charles Sturt University [CSU] through the many students who run radio programs on 2MCE.
CSU journalism student Sophie Norris, who hosts the 'Feministory' program with fellow student Faith Hanstock on 2MCE, said the outlet allows students to share their passion with the local community.
"There's such a diverse mix of young and old presenters on 2MCE, and we often work together on programs such as the Talking Newspaper," Sophie said.
"It's a great way to get to know members of the community and forge invaluable connections."
National Student Volunteer Week runs from August 9 to 15. For more information, call The Neighbourhood Centre on 63324866.
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