I work in two part-time posts in two charities as part of Dundee Third Sector, one as a Youth Volunteering Worker at Volunteer Dundee and another as a Youth Support Worker at Alternatives Dundee. Both my roles involve working mainly with young people, staff and professionals.
At Volunteer Dundee, I deliver presentations to young people aged 12-25 to encourage them to get involved in volunteering and then supporting them in finding the right opportunity for them. Another part of my role is to deliver the Saltire Awards programme in the Dundee area and plan, organise and present the Youth Volunteering Awards.
At Alternatives Dundee, I offer listening support to young people aged 12-25 on a one-to-one basis and also in a group setting to empower young people to improve their self-esteem, confidence, resilience and decision making. This can involve exploring themes such as image, friendships and relationships, sex, and future aspirations in creative and meaningful ways, whereby young people feel confident and safe in sharing their thoughts and feelings on these matters.
I was already working part-time at my post in Volunteer Dundee and was fortunate enough to be able to continue this post after I graduated. Through a contact from Volunteer Dundee, I heard about the post at Alternatives Dundee, which just seemed like an absolutely perfect opportunity. This meant I could maintain my post at Volunteer Dundee, but use more of my counselling and psychology skills in a different post. Fortunately, I was successful in getting the post and I feel extremely fortunate that I get to pursue two different styles of working with young people.
My degree massively helped me to get where I am. As well as doing the key learning in psychology and counselling skills, particularly the COSCA Counselling skills certificate, completing this degree allowed me to develop my transferable skills, such as time management, organisation, and communication, as well as build confidence and my ability to work with others, which are vital skills needed in my posts. Instead of classes and assessment, I now use these skills in planning times to see clients, delivering presentations and groups, and meeting different people as potential partners in various projects.
Everyone here at Abertay wants you to do well and are always happy to support you.Amanda Leitch | Youth Volunteering Worker | Youth Support Worker | Volunteer Dundee | Alternatives Dundee
The psychology and counselling staff are absolutely incredible here. Unlike other universities, the staff take the time to get to know you and what your passions and interests are and they are more than happy to support you in achieving these aspirations. Throughout my degree, I felt supported and encouraged to explore my interests, especially through programmes such as the Summer Research scheme run by the Psychology Department, where you get to know the staff better and form really positive and meaningful relationships with them.
My lasting memories of Abertay is its community feel. From being a smaller university, you begin to get to know everyone and become really familiar with different things going on in your department, as well as the university as a whole. Furthermore, due to the nature of the course, you get to know everyone really well and, by the end, its like you are a team of people who are supporting and encouraging each other to the end of your University journey. It was just great to be a part of and its amazing to see what everyone has gone to on to do after four years together!
My main advice would be to get involved as much as you can in other opportunities available in the University and the Dundee community. There are so many exciting projects which really give you the experience you need to gain employment or go on to further education after university. You can gain skills and explore your interests in other areas, potentially not covered in your degree.
Also, don’t be scared to ask questions! Everyone here at Abertay wants you to do well and are always happy to support you.