05 December 2019

'Why I volunteer'

Kathy King, English Literature and Creative Writing, on the benefits of volunteering

"When you find the right cause, the stars align.  You'll find yourself carving out a few extra hours of daylight to figure out how you can help"

Kathy King studied English Literature with Creative Writing at UEA, graduating in 2011. Kathy now helps to run the UEA Women’s Alumni Network Group and, on International Volunteer Day, she shares three reasons why she’s happy to volunteer her time for the group:

 

There’s nothing like December (and its lack of daylight) to remind you how few hours you have to spare during the work week. At times it can make something like volunteering seem not a little bit insane. Pro bono commitment? What could possibly be worth that (non) payout?

Well, since we know you’re so busy, we’ll keep it short and sweet to save you some time. Here’s three reasons we volunteered our time to found, and continue to run, the UEA Women’s Alumni Network.

It’s inspiring

All too often our daily job lacks the spark we’re looking for in our professional lives. The UEA WAN provides a support network of inspiring women that sometimes don’t feel so inspiring on their own, but to each other, are absolute marvels. Seeing the amazing things other women get up to drives us to do more. And even better, sometimes seeing yourself in the eyes of other women makes you realise you’re actually already doing “more” than you think.

It’s communal

In a city like London, community is huge, but can be incredibly challenging to both seek out and engage with. The UEA WAN provides a supportive, communal group of other women linked just enough by their similar experiences of the Ziggurats/the Square/Norwich in general that it’s like having a little piece of home tucked away in Central.

It pushes you

Real talk? Volunteering your time IS hard. Sometimes it’s exhausting just sussing out a date that works for every committee member. But is it worth it? Absolutely. Forcing yourself to nail down time to spend with other women, figuring out how best to support even MORE women, is easily more rewarding than it is challenging.

Volunteering is like a workout for the spirit – it’s not always easy to find time for it, and you have to be in the right frame of mind. But when you find the right cause, the stars align, and suddenly you’ll find yourself carving out a few extra minutes or hours of that daylight to figure out how you can help others too.

 

Kathy King studied English Literature with Creative Writing at UEA, and graduated in 2011.