5 Reasons To Volunteer With KEEN
by Eleonora - Project Coordinator
KEEN is a volunteer-led society at the University of York, which provides inclusive and social sports sessions for 3-11 year olds with disabilities and additional educational needs.
We run weekly sessions in the Heslington West Sport Centre, every Sunday from 1-2PM. Here’s 5 reasons why students at the University of York should consider joining us!
1. Make A Difference
Give back to your community, help change someone’s life. At KEEN, you’ll be able to actively help shape the sort of world you want to live in by using your time and skills for a meaningful cause. From participating in our sessions, to helping us fundraise, there’s something for everyone. You’ll have the opportunity to be part of something bigger than yourself, and use your civic responsibility to improve people’s lives.
Speaking from personal experience, I can tell you that volunteering with KEEN will open your eyes to a whole new world. I have gained a new, deeper appreciation for life, and I have learnt so much from interacting from the children. It is an extremely rewarding experience, and not only for what it brings to the community at large, but also for you personally.
2. Learn New Skills
Whether it’s practicing your teamwork or developing interpersonal skills, you can do this and much more at KEEN! We offer many opportunities for our volunteers to pick up on new skills, and not only during our weekly Sunday sessions. There are also many activities which you can undertake as additional training with KEEN.
We organise Makaton training sessions every year for our volunteers. Makaton is a language programme which uses signs and symbols to support spoken language, in order to help those with speech impairments in communication. KEEN prides itself to be the only Makaton-friendly society at the University of York. This means that by getting involved with us, you could also have the opportunity to learn a new language!
If languages are not your thing, we also run First Aid courses. Having First Aid training is an extremely versatile, transferable skill. You will have the opportunity to learn some vital techniques, which might be the difference between the life and death for someone.
3. Enhance Your CV
Let’s not kid ourselves. We all know that one of the main reasons why students get involved in University societies is to show employers that they have been proactive in building useful skills for the future. Volunteering activities help create a positive impression on recruiters, and make you look more innovative and creative.
Employers love candidates how can show a wide range of soft skills, and volunteering will give you plenty of those! You will be faced with problems that will need solving, whether it’s a fight between the children or an injury, and this will push you to adjust to life outside of your comfort zone. You’ll learn how to deal with a mix of personalities, and improve your teamwork, leadership, problem-solving and interpersonal skills.
4.Boost Your Health
So, it turns out that volunteering might actually have benefits for your health! Not only does it decrease stress levels, but it can also improve your immune system, self-esteem, and overall life satisfaction. Moreover, volunteering can decrease depression and the feeling of social isolation by enabling you to meet new people, as well as improving your family relationships.
5. Have Fun & Make New Friends!
University life can be overwhelming, and the amount of pressure and expectations students face can have a negative impact on their quality of life. KEEN is an excellent opportunity to forget all about coursework and lectures for an hour a week, and go back to being a kid again. Who hasn’t dreamt about going back to the good old days in primary school and playing Duck, Duck, Goose again, after all?
And if that wasn’t an incentive enough to join us, you’ll have the opportunity to make new friends both in the children and in your fellow volunteers. Join a very tight-knit community and come along to some of our socials, we organise everything from meals in town to games nights!