Soamopriya was nominated Volunteer of the Month for her volunteering with the Make a Smile Volunteering Project.
Congratulations to Soamopriya Som! Our Volunteer of the Month!
Soamopriya Som was nominated as Volunteer of the Month for her work volunteering with Make a Smile. We asked Soamopriya a few questions about her work with them!
What does a typical day of volunteering look like for you?
"As the President of Make a Smile Kings, my volunteering involves a lot of behind-the-scenes and administrative responsibilities as well as attending events! Generally, I start my day off by organising our volunteer databases to approve new volunteers and ensure they receive key information through our welcome email. During my commute to university, I check our social media to ensure any submitted queries have been answered and double-check whether our room booking for our weekly training session has been approved yet. Once I am on campus, I coordinate my experiments in the lab so I can pick up and drop off costumes to and from volunteers ahead of our weekend events. During the evening, I tend to work on fine-tuning details on potential fundraisers and reach out to sports and societies members to explore possible collaborations."
What's been your favourite memory of volunteering?
"I have made so many incredible and enriching memories during my time volunteering, it is impossible to pick just one! I have to say though that my highlight of every event with Make a Smile is experiencing the delight and joy on children’s faces when we first walk in dressed as their favourite characters. In addition to this, watching how Make a Smile has grown at King’s has also been quite a memorable experience and it brings me great joy when I hear how much volunteers have enjoyed their experience at an event. "
What is your main motivation to volunteer with Make a Smile?
"Make a Smile provides quite a unique volunteering experience, where they visit children in hospitals, with disabilities and in care dressed as their favourite characters to provide play therapy and companionship. I greatly admire the fact that Make a Smile makes experiences like visits to Disneyland or character parties accessible to every child irrespective of their circumstances, for no cost at all. "
What have you learnt from your time volunteering?
"Although this may sound cliché, the main lesson I have taken away from my experience in volunteering is that no matter how small, our actions can actively make a positive difference.
Often people may associate making a difference with large scale fundraisers (e.g running marathons) but committing small acts of kindness such as donating unused hats or gloves to rough sleepers is just as valuable and impactful."
What would you say to anyone thinking about volunteering?
"Go for it! Volunteering provides brilliant opportunities to meet new people, improve your mental well-being and further your personal development while helping you make a positive impact on the lives of others. Additionally, volunteering is a great activity to join as you don’t need any special skills or previous experience to take part – just a genuine desire to help!
As a new student at King’s, volunteering with Make a Smile has helped me form connections with students throughout King’s, members of KCLSU and even local businesses, so it’s truly a great way to enrich your student experience and become more familiar with the King’s community"
A big thank you to Soamopriya for sharing that with us! To find out more about Make A Smile please follow this link! If you know a volunteer you'd like to nominate to be recognised as volunteer of the month please go to this form!