Brett Duffy is a third-year Science and Football student. He received a Student Volunteer of the Year award for his contribution to the LFC Foundation, the official charity of Liverpool Football Club.
Brett joined the LFC Foundation not just because he’s a massive Liverpool fan but also because volunteering is one of his passions. He’s involved in Open Goals, a programme that encourages children and families to make use of local parks to be more active and at the same time, develop new skills and spark friendships. Working with Open Goals has given him an opportunity to give back to the local community, gain valuable experience and meet people. It’s also provided him with a huge sense of belonging.
“Going to a match can give you a taste of the club, but volunteering can give you an introduction to the wider LFC family. And it’s no mistake that I call the club a family, because it is like an extended family of passion, pride and togetherness. The club are more than aware of the people who support them and in turn want to help support the community through its cultural influence. I wanted to help the club in whatever way that I could, so firstly, that starts off by being a fan of the club, but having the chance to support the community has been a privilege.”
Volunteering for LFC as a fan certainly has its benefits:
“From a personal perspective being a big red, I’ve been given opportunities to cross paths with a couple of the current players, a few of the former great players and crossing paths with Peter Moore – the CEO of the club – three times, including having the pleasure of spending 15 minutes in his company. Those times have been special for me.”
Volunteering for Brett has not only created long-lasting memories but the experience he has gained has helped him approach his studies, and life more generally.
“As someone who has mild Asperger traits, volunteering has allowed me to develop more confidence talking to people, as well as helping me to understand and feel part of a community within a new city, enabling me to make new friends and forge new relationships.”
He hopes by having made an impression at the Foundation he can grow with the organisation:
“My ambition is to work under the badge of Liverpool FC. Bill Shankly once said that without natural enthusiasm, you’re nothing, so as long as I can wear the badge doing something that I care about, then that would make me happy and that’s the least that I want. I also hope that I can continue with LFC Foundation in some capacity post university.”
According to Brett, every student can benefit from volunteering:
“I would encourage taking up a volunteer role that captures your interest because it can open up new possibilities for you. Whether you’re someone who has lived in the city your whole life or someone coming into the city for their first year; volunteering will open your mind and opportunities within the community, with the potential of finding something you may consider continuing or taking up full time, post university. Not to mention how great volunteering looks on your CV going into job interviews.”
Here are just some of the benefits of volunteering:
- It helps you build confidence
- You’ll gain a sense of wellbeing and achievement
- You can learn new skills
- You can make new friends
- It can help enhance your employment prospects
- It’s fun
- You’ll be recognised for your hard work
- It makes a positive impact
- You’ll gain a better understanding of the challenges that affect people and society
- You’ll work as part of a team and experience a sense of belonging
- It can provide a welcome distraction from stressful circumstances in your own life
- You’ll spend your spare time in a meaningful way