Chloe is a third year psychology student, and has been a volunteer for Rafiki since September. Rafiki is the Students Union's drop-in peer support listening service, where trained volunteers are there to listen to any issues you've been having, and help you find support services. Rafiki volunteers run the Art Club and an instant messaging service, if you'd prefer to chat online or try out some arts and crafts.
“I chose to do Rafiki because I want to be a counsellor in the future, and I thought it could be a way to see if I could do it. Also, I’ve struggled in the past, and so have a lot of my friends. I think about times when I needed someone in my first year, and now I want to be there for people who are struggling."
"The craft sessions are really great – we did ‘Kintsugi’ [the art of precious scars], which is breaking plates and gluing them back together. Sometimes people just come in to do crafts and not to talk, and I don’t mind either way."
"In terms of skills, I’ve developed my active listening. The Samaritans went through it in our training – knowing when to speak, when to nod, and how to make sure you’re not offering your opinion but just being there for someone. When someone comes in to speak to me, at first you think ‘what do I do?’, but then the training kicks in, and it flows. I’ve seen people who come back to speak again, and that’s great – it shows I must be helping."
"It doesn’t have to take a lot of your time to help somebody else. I’m only in for three hours a week. When you know you're doing something well it improves your confidence. Even if only one person comes in to speak to you, you know you’ve made a difference for them. You always work with someone else in Rafiki – in a team. That’s good. You can always speak to who you’re with, we debrief at the end and reassure each other."
“Chloe is dedicated and enthusiastic, she’s really good at supporting other students. She’s very caring to the students who come in and is an asset to the Rafiki team.” Alice, Student Opportunities Coordinator (Wellbeing)
15th November 2019