This week is Student Volunteering Week, so we asked our volunteer George Stone to explain why he chose to work with BHESCo.

George is a second year politics student at the University of Brighton, and has become an invaluable member of the team since joining us in October 2018.

Over to George…

I have been volunteering for BHESCo as part of a University of Brighton placement, which allows students from various social science courses to gain experience in community engagement.

As a student who is perpetually frustrated by the lack of opportunity to apply my studies into helping the community, this was the perfect chance for me to gain invaluable career skills in a job sector which I envisage myself working in in the future.

It has also given me the chance to contribute to a fantastic cause which supports thousands of people in the Brighton & Hove area.

Hosting an energy advice desk at the Open Market

As a politics student, I am constantly searching for ways to apply my knowledge and ideas in a useful way. By supporting the work that BHESCo do, I have been able to utilise my ideas and try to help them achieve their goals, which include making energy more affordable and sustainable in the Brighton & Hove area.

By taking this placement, I have met new people with similar mindsets to myself in terms of environmental and political issues. This has given me a chance to network and expand my knowledge, a chance that I would not have had if I chose to do a regular university module instead.

Working with BHESCo has engaged me with a social issue which I had very little knowledge or awareness of before, and I have learnt a great deal about the issues people face with fuel poverty and cold housing.

Discussing energy saving ideas at One Church

The experience I have gained during my placement, from knowledge to software skills, is sure to help me in the future when I finish my studies and begin to search for a job in which I can give back to the community.

It’s been great to be given such a variation of tasks; I have assisted BHESCo in a range of ways, including attending events where people are directly helped, blogging, graphic design and reporting work amongst other things.

I would recommend volunteering in your community to anyone, but in particular for students it can be a great source of fulfilment and experience, and you’re sure to meet new interesting people who you can earn a great deal from!

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