Monday, 19 February 2018

Student Volunteering Week 2018

Today marks the beginning of Student Volunteering Week 2018 which is running nationwide from 19th-25th February. 

The aim behind the week is to show students the benefits of volunteering whilst studying so in light of this, we’ve asked one of our lovely volunteers to tell us about their experience of volunteering for Missing People whilst they’ve been studying for an MSc at university. 

Why did you decide to volunteer for Missing People?

I had never volunteered before, but I had a day free each week and wanted to use my time and skills to do something positive.  I found an opportunity as an HR Volunteer at Missing People through the website – this was perfect for me as I was studying for an MSc in Human Resource Management at The Open University.  I had an informal interview for the role, heard about the work the charity does and found out that one of Missing People’s values is ‘be human’ – that sold it to me!

What does your volunteer role at Missing People involve?

Every week could be different, so there has been a huge variety of tasks – everything from filing, organising interviews, analysing survey or recruitment data and creating reports.  At the moment I am helping the charity move some of its learning and development from classroom-based sessions to online learning.

Has volunteering had a positive impact on your studies?

Postgraduate distance learning can be quite isolating, and you often have to get to grips with quite dry theory.  Weekly volunteering in the People Team at Missing People gave me an opportunity to reflect on how what I was learning about in my MSc might apply in the real world.  As part of my MSc I had to undertake some research for my dissertation, and I was keen that any research I did would not be a ‘vanity project’ but would benefit an organisation, so I was delighted that Missing People were as keen as I was to identify an area of research that would make a difference.  My dissertation was about learning and development, and Missing People staff very generously responded to a survey and interviews which led to useful insight for the charity and a ‘distinction’ for me!

How do you juggle your studies, life and volunteering?

As well as volunteering for Missing People and studying, I work for two other organisations.  I think I am very good at managing my time, and am used to juggling multiple commitments and projects.  I make a regular commitment to volunteer for the charity on a certain day each week – after more than two years it is just part of my weekly routine.  I have to plan ahead, however, as there are occasional weeks where either one of my jobs or my studies have a heavier workload which might mean I won’t be able to volunteer that week, or perhaps can only do the morning.  I give my line manager as much notice as possible about those dates so she can also plan ahead.

What do you enjoy about volunteering?

There are two things I enjoy about volunteering at Missing People:  the people who work there and knowing that my voluntary work supports those people.  The charity offices are very friendly and it is great to meet other staff and volunteers and find out what they do.  There are social events such as parties at the end of the year, in the summer and during volunteer’s week, great opportunities to meet others.  I also try to attend the quarterly ‘All Team Meeting’ to hear about the charity’s work and plans.  In the autumn I received a ‘Silver Star’ award for clocking up 500 hours of volunteering, and my work has also been recognised by the charity with a ‘Certificate of Achievement’.

Keep an eye out for more from our dedicated volunteers throughout this week! If you’d like to chat through anything regarding volunteering for Missing People, please feel free to contact us on or call us on 0208 392 4590. Alternatively, you can visit our website where we have all our current volunteering opportunities available for you to look at. Find out more about National Student Volunteering Week which is running nationwide from 19th-25th February 2018.  

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Someone is reported missing every 90 seconds in the UK. The Missing Blog aims to give a voice to all those affected by this issue.

Written by families and friends of missing people, supporters working to raise awareness of the cause, and volunteers and staff at the charity Missing People, we hope that this blog will offer a window into the issue of missing.

The charity Missing People is a lifeline when someone disappears. To find out more about Missing People and ways that you can support the charity visit

Call or text the charity Missing People for free on 116 000, 24/7 if you or anyone you know is affected by a disappearance.