As we celebrate Volunteers' Week, our current volunteer, Norman Rae, shares his experiences of volunteering with HDS.

How I became a volunteer

The role for which I volunteered was to help to organise the academic journals in the HDS library. This was particularly suitable for me as I had a qualification in library studies, and I could work away on the task quietly on my own, which suited me due to my suffering anxiety. I started in April 2020. HDS library


After just two sessions the first lockdown began. However, the staff at HDS have offered me the chance to assist with a range of work online, from organising course applications to collating student feedback. This has allowed me to continue to be involved and broken the monotony of being stuck in the house. Furthermore, I have gained insight into the different functions of the organisation and developed or advanced a variety of skills.

Experiences of volunteering

At all times my experience of volunteering with HDS has been a positive one. From my initial introduction, through my brief work in the library, to my online tasks, staff have been friendly and supportive. They have taken account of my needs, explained the requirements of tasks, and answered any questions that I have had. Although it did not turn out to be what I had imagined at the start, volunteering has still given me a connection to the outside world and a sense that I am doing something worthwhile. I would not otherwise have had this during the isolation of the last year. Hopefully, in the months ahead, I will be able to return to volunteering in person as originally intended.

With thanks to Norman Rae, one of our current volunteers, for this article.

I recognise and appreciate our volunteers give up their time in order to provide HDS with valuable support.  I am thankful to all our volunteers for all their hard work and dedication in helping HDS reach our goals. Every volunteer working at HDS is very much part of the team and a valued member of staff.” - Graham Monteith, Chair of the HDS Board of Trustees