Which volunteering programme are you on & what does your role involve?

I’m currently volunteering as a level 2 coaching scholar for the University’s men’s 4th football team. This role consists of planning and delivering 2 sessions per week, as well as managing the squad on a match day in BUCS fixtures. The role is made so much easier as the group of players I have taken on are faultless and buy into the sessions completely each time.

How much time do you commit to volunteering per week and how do you manage this alongside your studies?

Roughly 8 hours per week. This is comprised of planning and delivering two training sessions as well as travelling and the managing the team on match day. Although fairly time consuming, coaching football runs well along with my Sport Science and exercise degree. When you’re passionate about making something work, you’ll always find a way.

What made you want to volunteer?

I wanted to get experience coaching and managing an adult football team in a result driven environment. The social aspect is also very appealing, as I’ve met numerous people who I could now call good mates. As well as the opportunity to learn from the other 3 coaches working alongside the other university teams.

What is the best thing about volunteering?

The feeling when you win on matchday. It makes all the time spent planning, delivering and thinking about how the team can best operate worth it. The feeling is unmatched, and it drives me to put maximum effort into sessions over the next week to feel a similar feeling the following week.

What are the challenges?

Balancing commitments along with keeping on top of my studies and other jobs. This is helped by allocating time to specifically focus on management and coaching of the boys. A simple weekly routine has helped to stop becoming overwhelmed by all my commitments.

Would you recommend volunteering to others?

Absolutely, this is arguably one of the best experiences I have had while studying at university. The ability to gain such an experience as well as attaining qualifications as you do so is ideal.

How does it feel to win Volunteer of the Month?

Immensely proud to have my work acknowledged and rewarded, especially when I met so many enthusiastic coach scholars at the welcome meeting in September. The 4th team have started the season incredibly well and I’m so excited to see where we end up at the back end of Semester 2. A huge thanks to Lauren and Suzzi who helped get me into this position, I really appreciate the opportunity.

Jake Donohue


If you are interested in finding out more, check out all of our volunteering opportunities.