Birmingham student with several volunteering roles says it’s ‘something everyone should do’ – In Your Area

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“All of the roles I’ve had have given me a different kind of perspective and different kinds of experience…”
A university student from Birmingham who took on numerous different volunteering roles during the pandemic says it’s something everyone needs to do.
19-year-old Ilerioluwa Ojikutu, who was born in Nigeria, is studying mechanical engineering at the University of Hull and has been volunteering for two years with the help of volunteer-platform Do IT.
Whilst continuing her studies from her family home in Birmingham, West Midlands due to Covid-19, Ilerioluwa spent her spare time tutoring for organisations including CoachBright, Learning By Heart and Tutor the Nation.
Ilerioluwa said: “I tutored children that might not have the opportunity to get tutoring in another form.
“It’s literally amazing, I love working with children. I did well in my GCSE’s and A-Levels and I can really support them in those ways. It’s a really rewarding experience.”
On top of this and her studies, Ilerioluwa also managed to volunteer in two more roles as an assistant at a research group and an administrator at a charity.
At the Smart Villages Research Group, she volunteered as an assistant, primarily supporting the fundraising team with writing grant applications for their projects.
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The organisation and their charity foundation are working to give underdeveloped countries, including Sub Saharan Africa, access to sustainable energy services, good education and healthcare, clean water, sanitation and nutrition.
She also managed to find the time to volunteer as an assistant accounts administrator for Nations Africa Centre, a charity supporting diverse communities, within Greater London, to live better and healthier lives.
Ilerioluwa said: “I really enjoyed all of the roles equally because they all bring different aspects. Working to set up energy grids in Sub Saharan Africa was really rewarding.
“I’m from Sub Saharan Africa so I feel like I’m giving back to my community in that sense.
“And then working as the accounts assistant/administrator, that’s also something that’s close to me as an immigrant with parents that were immigrants as well.
“All of the roles I’ve had have given me a different kind of perspective and different kinds of experience, so I can’t really say that one’s been way above the others, they’ve all been really great.”
Volunteering has been a positive experience for Ilerioluwa but her time as a volunteer also had an impact on the organisations she supported.
Naomi from Learning by Heart said: “‘Over the past year, volunteer tutors and management team members have given hundreds of hours of their time to make Learning By Heart’s mission a reality.

“With their input, we have provided over 300 hours of tutoring to the benefit of our students, school pupils and adult learners alike- which has helped many pupils achieve their academic goals and increased their confidence in their own abilities.
“It is testament to the outstanding work of our volunteer tutors that Learning By Heart consistently has a long waiting list of pupils wanting classes, and the quality of educational support they provide had us selected as a finalist in this year’s UK Learning Excellence Awards.
“In addition, the class donations they have received, always accompanied by messages of appreciation from pupils and parents, have now translated into over £2250 raised for CAMFED’s work in kick-starting meaningful education for women and girls in Sub-Saharan Africa. For this, I could not be more grateful’.
Now that restrictions are easing, Ilerioluwa admits she may have to cut down on volunteering a bit and concentrate on University life but hopes to be able to continue in some way.

Ilerioluwa added: “Volunteering is something that everyone should do.
“It’s really interesting, and you can gain so much experience. I’ve been able to learn so much from volunteering and being able to get involved with all these opportunities.”
Do IT is a networking platform that focuses on wellbeing, designed to help people build meaningful connections, do good things, and feel healthier and happier as a result.
Having started out as a UK database of volunteering opportunities, 20 years of experience, millions of volunteering opportunities and over 200k users per month later, the new platform now combines this database with a suite of apps to support organisations engage, recruit, build community, share knowledge and offer aid.
Helping its users to do things with purpose, and to discover their purpose, enabling a kinder world where social wellbeing is a priority for all.
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