As a full-time volunteer mentor, I was required to support year 11 students within classrooms Mon-Thurs and on a 1-1 group basis. I also carried out break duty at break time whilst running year 11 study club at lunch and after school. As a year 11 mentor, I also helped students with sixth form/college applications and interviews. The students often had SEN/Mental Health and Behaviour issues & therefore, required extra educational/emotional support.
I developed my public speaking skills as I feel a lot more confident speaking to a large audience in a variety of settings. I am able to manage my time more wisely as a result of working alongside completing placement year of university. I feel confident to use my own initiative when making decisions as a result of running my own club/sessions outside of lesson time. I also learnt how to develop my CV.
During my time at school, we were given the opportunity to explore different roles, for example- I was given the opportunity to work with the school’s counselling team which expanded some of my responsibilities. I was also given the opportunity to deliver my own personalised sessions after school which allowed me to take full responsibility of study club.
My Impact Officer Fateha Begum always went above and beyond when supporting us in schools and on Fridays. She constantly guided us when we needed extra support with tasks we were not familiar with or found difficult. She also provided us with a lot of emotional support when days became more difficult as I felt comfortable going to her when I felt stressed.
Staff were really friendly and a joy to be around. I felt like I could confide in them whenever needed. I have made lifelong friends with the people I worked with and genuinely believe it was due to the atmosphere we were provided with in the office.
At times days were a struggle, however, my team and the staff at City Year made it an amazing experience. I overall enjoyed my time working in the office and in school as I believe I have learnt skills I could use in the future. Volunteering is a humbling experience as it opened my eyes to a lot of things we often take for granted. I’ve made friends for life!
Be open minded when going into schools. Rely on your team and staff for support as days will become a struggle, however, it is honestly such a rewarding and worthwhile experience. Be open to taking on new roles and responsibilities as it will allow you to develop new skills you can use in the future.
Placement Year (10 Months+)