Meet the Together Volunteer: Mei-Ru

We take a look behind the friendships being created from Together by Student.com – an intergenerational volunteering initiative.

Today we meet Mei-Ru, who is currently studying at university in Sheffield and has made a brilliant friendship with local care home residents at Sheffcare through Together by Student.com.

So tell us a little about yourself…

My name is Mei-Ru and I am currently studying at the University of Sheffield.

Why did you sign-up to take part in Together by Student.com…

To me, an international student, taking part in a volunteering work is a special experience and I could learn more about local culture from this activity by communicating with people.

What has been an unexpected benefit of taking part…

I got so much happiness in residential home from learning how to make handmade item and  knowing more about traditional games. For example, I made pompom, played dominos and bingo – these made me feel novel, and could get myself more used to the local environment.

What was the most challenging element of taking part…

Language is the most difficult thing for me. Because I am not a local person in the UK. However, people communicate with others not only via talking. Instead of using language, we could participate in a game or activity to understand others and get close to them.

What advice would you give another student who might be worried about getting involved …

No worries to take part in this voluntary work. In fact, it absolutely could make plenty of value to you! From voluntary work, you could choose something which you are better at or more interested in in order to help you find your own value in it.

What has been your favourite moment of volunteering …

It makes me very happy to meet the residents from Sheffcare. Because having no pressure of salary, I could be the real me and put my passion for the work. In addition, I think every individual needs company of others. No matter how old, humans become more optimistic from positive interactions. What’s more, the benefits are not only that the residents could get some company from volunteers, but also that it improves their physical and mental wellbeing. Whenever I think of these benefits to the elders, I would feel satisfied because I would also want the same interaction if I were them.

If you could share one piece of advice to anyone feeling lonely, what would it be and why…

Just do your best and do not need to think too much. Feel from your heart when you communicate with others. Then, you will no longer feel lonely anymore because you will find that the world is always by your side.

If you are a student and have booked your student accommodation through Student.com, you are eligible to join Together by Student.com. Head to www.student.com/together to register your interest and read more about it.