Second year student Georgi Smith took the plunge into the world of volunteering as part of her Common Good Award and has used her creative skills to create hygiene packs for refugees in a collobarative effort with two different organisations.
“I was looking to provide some support to those coming into the country because I felt that it would be a pretty scary experience for them, especially on top of a pandemic. I figured hygiene packs would support them in adapting to the new way of living and result in there being one less stress for them to worry about.
I was initially involved with a social enterprise company called, Greater Good Wood. I got in touch with them because I noticed online that they held similar opinions to me and really wanted to help others.
On top of this, I wanted to get a charity involved and that’s how I came across Refuweegee. They’re a small community-based group and I felt they could benefit more than an international charity.”
The project proved to be a lot of work for Georgi but thankfully it was equally rewarding and allowed her the opportunity for some self-reflection.
“It took me a long time to make the masks because I was juggling it with Uni work and looking after my three-year-old. It was probably about three months in total to get everything packaged up. I was relieved actually, because I think I under-estimated how long it would take me but I was determined to finish it and delighted that I got involved.
I made 100 face masks in total from fabric, so that they can be reused. I’ve also created home-made hand sanitiser using natural oils. On top of this, Greater Good Wood made up keyrings with important numbers on them, such as 999, 101 and details for the charity Refuweegee. We then packaged everything up so that they had two masks, one keyring and a sanitiser.”
“I was really keen to give something back during the pandemic. I’m lucky to be sitting in my house, with a roof over my head and no real concerns about where the next meal is coming from or anything. I just wanted to help others who didn’t have that luxury – it felt really nice.”
As a result of her hard work, Georgi has now completed two of the four certificates needed to collect her Common Good Award. Over the next year, she plans to continue working towards the final two certificates through further personal development as a Class and Department Representative.
Georgi has seen first-hand the benefits of supporting others and is keen to encourage students to get involved.
“Volunteering is a great way to meet new people and also to get to know skills you didn’t actually realise you had. I didn’t know I was organised until I was trying to juggle everything at once.
Just being a part of the community and a part of something overall is really important because it helps you and it helps others.”
GCU – BSc (Hons) Radiotherapy and Oncology:
- Year 1
Scottish Higher: Standard entry requirement: BBBB (incl English and two Sciences) Nat 5: B (Maths)
- A level: BCC (excluding General Studies, but incl two Sciences with one at B) GCSE: C/4 (English, a Science and Maths)
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