Discover the positive impacts of volunteering
"I will always recommend volunteering to those who have the time and desire to try something new and exciting, as I did. Being new to Portsmouth, I needed a good way to spend my free time and get to know the area, and thanks to the University's October Volunteering Fair, I found it."
Manuel Bruna Rojas is a second year student studying BA (Hons) Applied Languages and an avid GoodGymmer. Read on below for Manuel's experience of volunteering, and how it benefitted the community and enhanced his skills and experience:
"With GoodGym I helped with a number of activities - aiding the community through painting walls, fences or floors; planting trees, helping out at the food bank, litter-picking at parks or at the beach, and much more. Volunteering provides the opportunity to spend your free time in a productive and helpful manner whilst also being able to experience new things, have fun, and get to know some very wonderful people."
Thanks to volunteering I have picked up new skills, learning more about my strengths and what I am good at as well as knowing what I can do best. I am more confident in myself and more confident in new environments and around many new people. I have socialised and made many good friends with common interests, most of who for any volunteer will likely be able to help you if you ever need their knowledge and expertise, be it for job advice or recommendations, practical help, or tips and tricks of different trades in general. With GoodGym most regulars are older and certainly wiser with some things than I and have definitely impacted my life in a positive way.
Before GoodGym I never thought I was capable of any of these things such as being able to meet so many new people on a regular basis and have to interact with them, but I persevered and have made many wonderful friends with common interests. Volunteering has also developed my awareness, helping me understand both myself better, my capabilities and my strengths, and it has helped me be aware of current issues around me and become sympathetic and understanding of important global issues such as all the litter on the beaches and its negative environmental impact on the world. I feel healthier both physically and mentally, I feel more energised and ambitious and generally better prepared for adult life and tough challenges than ever before.
Above all else, what I have developed the most through my volunteering with GoodGym has been my confidence. Thanks to all these new experiences I am now more confident in myself, more confident in my own values and opinions, and have gained an edge in terms of future employability due to all the many benefits I've listed."
"So try something new and exciting. I have volunteered for years and will continue to do so. It is a selfless and generous time-flexible activity. Dedicate your spare time and help yourself through helping others. You will not regret it."
-Manuel Bruna, UOP Applied Languages BA, 2nd year - Avid GoodGymmer