Take some time to volunteer or reflect

Would you like to volunteer in your local area?

According to a review by the What Works Centre for Wellbeing which included 158 papers and reports, there is a growing body of research on the links between volunteering and wellbeing. Volunteering is associated with enhanced wellbeing: this includes improved life satisfaction, increased happiness and decreases in symptoms of depression. Why not take advantage of University policy on voluntary public service activities and volunteer in your area? This allows each staff member 3 days per year of paid leave to undertake volunteering activities and is set down in section 4.4.5 of the Staff Handbooks under Voluntary Public Service:

There are opportunities to volunteer across the University's Gardens, Libraries and Museums (GLAM), find out how to get involved here   

Oxfordshire Community & Voluntary Action (OCVA) provide advice, information and training to, act as advocates and representatives of, and build partnerships with charities and companies across Oxfordshire. They have provided a useful information sheet on the five ways you can volunteer. Click on their logo for volunteering opportunities you can get involved in. 

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The National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO) will signpost you to country-wide volunteering opportunities.

Would you like to reflect on the events you have attended?

An article in the Harvard Business Review states that reflection can provide opportunities to grow as a professional. Why not then take the time to reflect on one of the events you have attended during Thriving at Oxford 2023 and identify key skills and actions to take forward in your working life? 

This is a simple reflective model you could use to get you started:

Driscoll's What Model
This model was developed by Driscoll in the mid-1990s. Driscoll based his model of the 3 What's on the key questions asked by Terry Borton in the 1970s:

By asking ourselves these three simple questions we can begin to analyse and learn from our experiences.

Firstly we should describe what the situation or experience was to set it in context. This gives us a clear idea of what we are dealing with. We should then reflect on the experience by asking 'so what?' - what did we learn as a result of the experience? The final stage asks us to think about the action we will take as a result of this reflection. Will we change a behaviour, try something new or carry on as we are?

It is important to remember that there may be no changes as the result of reflection and that we feel that we are doing everything as we should. This is an equally valid outcome and you should not worry if you can't think of something to change. 

This page gives a list of other reflective models you can use. 

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