Student Volunteering Week: Meet Francesca and Emma

Monday 8 to Sunday 14 February is Student Volunteering Week.

At Big C, we are fortunate to have volunteers from across the region who give their time, knowledge and expertise in our shops, Centres, main office and at Big C fundraising events.

For Student Volunteering Week, we interviewed two young volunteers who have been supporting Big C during their studies.

Find out more about Francesca and Emma below.

It helped give me a sense of structure to my life when I didn’t have University to do that for me.

Emma Holman

Emma Holman is 21 years old and a third-year Environmental Economics student at the University of York. She volunteers in a Big C shop during the summer holidays.

What was your motivation for volunteering?

To try and give back to my community. The Big C funds four Support and Information Centres across Norfolk, helping thousands of people every year who are affected by cancer. You never know if it might be you or a loved one which may need this help and support in the future.

How has volunteering helped you?

It helped give me a sense of structure to my life when I didn’t have University to do that for me. Additionally, it helped me to improve my communication skills as it involved working with other volunteers and members of the public, who were from different backgrounds.

What advice would you give to others interested in volunteering?

If you have time – just do it! You’re not signing your life away to a long-term commitment. If you ever have any worries of questions, the team at Big C are always more than happy to help.

Francesca Sobberton

Francesca Sabberton is 16 years old and currently in her first year at sixth form. She has been volunteering with Big C since 2019 at our shop in Beccles helping to sort through donations and tag, price and display them on the shop floor.

What was your motivation for volunteering for Big C?

My friend’s mum had just been diagnosed with cancer and at the same time I was also looking to do some volunteering. I was aware that the Big C was very active locally, so this seemed an ideal fit.

How has volunteering helped you?

Volunteering has allowed me to gain social confidence in meeting new people and interacting with customers. Alongside this, I have gained real life experience which has helped me massively in having confidence to try new things and I will continue to do so as I go forward in life.

What advice would you give to others interested in volunteering for Big C?

Go for it. It’s really fun and rewarding, and you’ll gain new experiences. I would recommend it especially for people my age

as the hours are flexible, the roles are varied and the other volunteers are very welcoming.

Due to Covid-19, unfortunately Big C has not been able to ask volunteers to return yet. What are some ways you’ve kept yourself busy during this time? And what are you looking forward to when we can have volunteers return?

I have kept myself busy with college work as well as exercise and just spending time with my family. I completed an online photography course and I am now trying my hand at jewellery making however I am looking forward to going back to the Big C shop and seeing what new things people have brought in to donate.

Although our Centres and shops are currently temporarily closed, we are still recruiting for volunteers at this time. If you’re interested in becoming a volunteer for Big C, fill out our Volunteer Application by clicking here.

(Please note that at this time we are only accepting applications and cannot offer a volunteer position straight away due to Covid-19 restrictions).