Sophia Omarji

Volunteering is a great way to meet new people and make friends. When I arrived at Leeds, I looked at clubs and societies that I wanted to get involved in, and Music Impact in the Community was exactly what I wanted to do.

We go into care homes, community centres and schools in and around Leeds, working with groups such as the elderly, adults and children with physical and mental disabilities and refugees. We have a lot of fun, we do a lot of stuff together and it feels like a little family. It’s great seeing people enjoying music, which is what I’m really passionate about. I’ve met people from different courses and made new friends with different interests from across the University.

I’m aiming to be a full-time music therapist and volunteering is a great way to get experience to do this. Music psychology is a new discipline and we’re finding out more about the way the brain works, how it influences musical development and how people learn to play instruments. It’s great to have that background knowledge to support what you're doing outside your studies.

There’s so many valuable skills you can develop from volunteering, like organisational skills, time management and communications skills. And it’s a great opportunity to become more open minded – meeting lots of different people is a really valuable experience to have.