London Met students give back to the community

Four London Met students currently volunteer for Family Mosaic, a housing association providing affordable homes throughout London.
Date: 20 February 2017

Four London Metropolitan University students volunteer with Family Mosaic, a large housing association providing affordable homes and care and support services.

Syeda Chowdhury and Simona Lungu, BSc Health and Social Care students, Selina McCogg, a BSc Youth Studies student, and Monika Fowdar, a BA Sociology and Social Policy student, started volunteering with the organisation after a representative from Family Mosaic delivered a guest lecture at the University.

Speaking on her work/life balance, Syeda said: “I manage this volunteering role well as I volunteer one day a week. I go to my classes three days a week so I am able to balance things at my own pace.”

The volunteers undertake two roles at Family Mosaic; Outreach, which involves engaging with the wider community to inform about the work Family Mosaic do, and Health Navigation, which helps customers to identify and make changes in their lives.

“Family Mosaic have been working with volunteers to conduct a research project around an innovative new system which aims to help people over the age of 50 be more independent at managing their health and wellbeing,” said Grace Dowswell, Volunteering Coordinator at Family Mosaic.

“Volunteers gain experience in outreach with vulnerable people, conducting risk assessments and health and wellbeing assessments, research, person centred planning and motivational interviewing. We’ve structured the project to maximise mutual benefits for both our work and our volunteers.

“We are able to reach and support countless more people with the help of volunteers, while doing everything we can to provide an enjoyable volunteering experience with plenty of room for growth and development. We offer employment skills based training and supervision, a professional reference after three months of volunteering and a guaranteed interview for an entry level job with Family Mosaic after six months of volunteering. I really enjoy watching the volunteers grow in confidence and skill and how much they seem to enjoy the role.”

This week is National Student Volunteering Week, a week dedicated to showcasing innovative projects and events that promote student volunteering. It is run in partnership between Student Volunteering Network, Student Hubs and NUS.

Neelam Thapar, Head of Careers and Employability at London Met, said: “Volunteering is an excellent way of developing your skills, confidence and practical experience whilst making a difference to charities that need support. There are so many good causes to choose from according to how much time you have available.

“It helps you learn new skills that can develop your career as well as giving you the opportunity to meet people. Potential employers really value what you have learnt from volunteering and it can make your application stand out from the crowd.”

For more information on volunteering opportunities, please see London Met’s volunteering page.