Odion Ibadin is a 3rd year law student from Nigeria and for the past few years, she has been one of the University’s most prolific student volunteers.
“It all began in my first year when I saw the variety of volunteering opportunities that were open to me,” said Odion.
“I got my initial volunteering experience at Zoë’s Place Baby Hospice. It is a charity that really meant a lot to me because of what it stands for. The team there are a dedicated bunch of people who put their heart and soul into fundraising. They offer support to families of sick children which ranges from respite care to bereavement support and their commitment to the children and families is second to none. I was genuinely moved by some of the stories I heard”.
Odion wasn’t sure at first whether or not she had what it took to be a fundraiser because talking to people and persuading them to give money to support the charity was out of her comfort zone, but she found it gave her confidence when she explained to donors what the money was going to support.
“People in Coventry have a fondness for Zoë’s Place and wanted to help because of the good they do.”
Having had a positive experience of fundraising, Odion got the volunteering bug and signed up for Make a Difference Days at the Ryton Organic Garden, Coventry Food Bank, Myton Hospice and is soon to be helping out at the Warwickshire Wildlife Trust!
“That’s what I love the most about volunteering as on an average day, I am in my own bubble but volunteering enables me to experience different opportunities at my convenience.
“It’s also amazing that I get to learn new skills that I didn’t think were beneficial to my course but they are!”
“Every bit of volunteering I have done has been genuinely new to me and I have been to places that I would not have visited if it wasn’t for the MADD projects. I am also impressed with the experiences I have had and how they continue to improve my life skills.”
Odion also volunteers as a translator for Thare Machi Education in Leamington Spa. They educate people in different countries on many topics including how to stay healthy. She also became a member of the University’s Student Volunteering Team earlier this year.
“You will not believe how many friends I have made, all thanks to volunteering and my colleagues are so creative, inspiring, resourceful, hardworking and dedicated. I have been blessed to work alongside such great people who will be my friends for life.
“When we promote the volunteering community on campus, I get to meet friendly students who are enthusiastic about volunteering. Because I have found volunteering so rewarding, I am excited for them because I know what they have in store and I want them to experience as many things as I have.
“To students who would like to volunteer but haven’t yet, because of one reason or the other, I would say do not limit yourself, regardless of the course you study or where you are from.
“Volunteering has a lot to offer you which we call the 5 C’s: Coventry, Community, Communication, CV and Companionship.
“Lastly I would like to quote John Bunyan: ‘You haven’t lived today unit you’ve done something for someone who cannot pay you back’.
“So believe in yourself and volunteer”.