Love sport? Chair of a society? Or just getting involved with something new? We're going to be picking one DMU student each week as our ‘Student in the Spotlight’, to celebrate their successes, achievements and discover a bit more about them and what they're up to!
This week we’re joined by Lauren Deacon, another of De Montfort Students' Union (DSU)'s most dedicated volunteers who lends her time to both Leicestershire Police and breast cancer awareness charity CoppaFeel. Let’s find out a bit about her!
Why did you get involved in volunteering at DSU?
The reasons why I got involved in volunteering was to enhance my employability skills and give me more confidence as I considered myself quite shy. Specifically in relation to volunteering with Leicestershire Police, I am interested in a career within victim support, so by volunteering with the police it enabled me to gain an insight and flavour of my career aspirations.
In relation to CoppaFeel, I first came across the charity by watching their documentary of Kris' story (the founder of CoppaFeel) and I felt that younger generations are naïve to the fact they could develop breast cancer, and I saw Kris as a spitting image of myself and my twin sister. So I felt it was important to represent CoppaFeel on campus increasing the awareness of breast cancer to students and enhancing my employability skills.
Lauren won the prestigious Volunteer of the Year Award at The SULETS DSU Volunteering Awards 2016.
What have you been doing when it comes to volunteering at DSU?
I am a Community Volunteer with Leicestershire Police where my duties focus upon community relations such as crime prevention events. Additionally I was a Uni Boob Team Leader representing the national breast cancer awareness charity on the DMU campus.
What has been the best part of your volunteering activity?
The best experience I have had whilst volunteering was when myself and the Uni Boob Team at DMU had the opportunity to go to London and watch 'celebrity dodgeball' where the likes of Tom Fletcher, Mario from Towie, Russell Howard and many more where there raising money for CoppaFeel.
Although this has been the highlight I would say each time I volunteered whether it was doing boob-related bake sales or crime prevention events with the police, I have enjoyed making a difference, whether that be informing the elderly of crime prevention techniques or talking to students about the C-word in a fun and light-hearted manner. Volunteering makes a difference, no matter how small or how big and to be a part of that is priceless.
Also being nominated for Volunteer of the Year was PRICELESS! Plus the fact my twin sister won this as well for her volunteering work with CoppaFeel at the University of Northampton was just incredible! You should have seen my mum's face; she said it was on the same level of my brother having a baby and cried with happiness with pride in us both!
What would you say to anyone thinking about joining volunteering at DSU?
Volunteering has given me the best opportunities in terms of career directions and making connections and enhancing my employability skills. In specific to CoppaFeel this has given me the opportunity to make a difference on campus, which has been light-hearted and fun.
In reflection I think that volunteering helps build who you are during your time at university, to do something away from your studies which could make a difference and enhance you as a person, is an opportunity which cannot be missed.
What is next for you?
As mentioned previously I would love a job in victim support so with my connections through Leicestershire Police, I will hopefully be applying to a victim support network which works alongside the police. Additionally I have been applying to be working with vulnerable young adults to gain experience. But first I am going to enjoy some travelling and a stress free couple of weeks.
To find out more about volunteering at DSU, click here.