We chatted with Ria to find out more about her employee volunteering experience which has been supported by Volunteering Works.
Tell us about your employee volunteer role
In my employee volunteer role as maths mentor, I work with a group of individuals from Harris Academy for around an hour in the morning every week to go through maths problems for their GCSEs. I tutor them as a supplement to what they’re doing in class. For some of the students, this is their 2nd or 3rd attempt at completing their Maths GSCE, so they just need a little extra support and encouragement.
They come to me with anything they haven’t fully understood from their classes, and we go over the material again. As we approach exam season, we have also been doing some practice exam questions.
I have also previously volunteered at a few one-off sessions such as a Dragons Den Day.
What is the most enjoyable part of volunteering?
One my favourite parts of volunteering is seeing student growth – I have worked with the same students for the entire academic year and as a result, have been able to see their progress with maths and watch also their confidence improve. It’s been really rewarding and enjoyable.
What skills have you developed when volunteering?
When you are teaching, one of the most important things I’ve noticed is how clear and concise you need to be, especially when working with students who may not necessarily enjoy the subject. This corporate volunteering role has really improved my communication skills and ability to explain things to other people – which has been useful in my day-to-day life at work.
The sessions are early in the morning – 7:45am can be tricky at the best of times, let alone to study maths! A lot of the time, you need to also have a lot of patience and keep a positive attitude to encourage the students to engage with you!
Does your employer offer volunteering initiatives?
When I first joined Deutsche Bank, I didn’t know that volunteering was something that I could get involved in – so I was pleased when I heard about all their CSR and volunteer initiatives.
It takes away the barrier that a lot of people have when perhaps they want to volunteer but they may not have the time to go out to find the right opportunity. It’s easy to sign up to volunteer and colleagues are understanding if volunteering occasionally cuts into your time. Deutsche Bank also offer 2 volunteering days off in the year if you’re interested in taking part in a full day CSR activity. It is one of my favourite things about working there!
How would you sum up your employee volunteer experience?
It’s been fantastic! Inês at Volunteering Works, who organises most of the activities I take part in has been great to work with, and the experience has been seamless especially going from pre-pandemic in-person sessions to virtual sessions.
It’s been easier to get involved with a wider range of activities when they are virtual, so I appreciate that option. I am excited to be going back into schools again soon and to take part in in-person volunteering in the next academic year.
Alongside being a maths mentor, I also regularly volunteer personally for a charity that encourages and supports girls into education and careers in STEM.
I really like volunteering and it’s important to me to give back to the community while I have the time and energy to do so. I hope to continue to do this, and encourage others to pick up volunteering too.
Get in touch to find out how we can support your business with employee volunteering programme.