If you've been at the Uni for a year or more and would like to become a Peer Connector, we would love to hear from you.
We recruit undergraduates and postgraduates from all Schools of the University.
There are lots of benefits to you. You will:
- Meet lots of new people
- Develop communication, team working and organisational skills
- Increase your confidence
- Improve your CV and Personal Development plan, and become more employable with our valuable free training
- Gain personal satisfaction
Your experience can also count towards the national Saltire Volunteer Award.
How can I apply?
You can register to volunteer at any time during the year though recruitment usually begins in Semester 2 during Student Volunteer Week at the end of February.
Peer Connections also takes on new volunteers during Semester 1 who are involved in limited activities until they have done their induction and initial training.
You will be asked to come for an informal interview with the Peer Connections Co-ordinator.
Volunteers must give 2 references when they apply to join - a personal and an academic reference. This is to ensure that they are not putting their studies at risk and are able to take on the required role. The initial training sessions are also used to assess suitability for the role of Peer Connector.
What training do you get as a Peer Connector?
We offer you an initial compulsory Peer Connections induction and initial training courses plus additional non-compulsory workshops, occasional training opportunities with external agencies (e.g. health promotion) and plenty of potential social activities.
Specialised training is also offered if you'd like to get involved with:
- Peer Mediation
- Suicide prevention and awareness
- Peer-led health education programmes
Peer Connections Induction and Teambuilding
This is a 2.5 hour session for new volunteers. You will be introduced to Peer Connections and the different services within Student Services.
Peer Connections Initial Training
This covers interpersonal and listening skills, personal boundaries, confidentiality, personal safety, diversity, student issues and support for Peer Connectors. It usually takes place in early September although further training may also take place later in Semester 1 if demand is high. It consists of 2 linked sessions of 4 hours each, is free to Peer Connectors, and certificates of participation are issued on completion.
As well as the chance to do something different and help you with your volunteer work, these courses give you the opportunity to develop the key transferable skills employers are seeking.
Peer Connections FAQs - training dates included in this document
What are Peer Connections volunteers expected to do?
Working in small teams, Peer Connectors take on a variety of tasks:
- Welcoming new students
- Answering questions and showing students where to go
- Assisting at induction and social events
- Helping new students settle in
- Being approachable, helpful and friendly
- Buddying and Mentoring
- Meeting regularly with students who need further support or information
- Online buddying via email
- Acting as informal mentors - offering ideas
- Facilitating buddy groups for new students e.g. international students, students joining the university from FE College
- Organising and promoting
- Distributing publicity materials for Student Services in relation to services or campaigns e.g. health, volunteering.
- Assisting in the recruitment and induction of new Peer Connectors.
- Organising or assisting at social events for students.
- Contact with prospective students by email answering questions about life at University of Dundee.
With additional training:
- Peer education on life skills or health related issues
- Peer mediation service
- Suicide awareness presentations
What time commitment is required from me?
The time commitment is very flexible and you can choose what you want to participate in. Our busiest times are Pre-Session weeks, which can be hectic with many hours of volunteering and lots going on!
Most of the usual semester time activities require on average a couple of hours of your time a week. Some volunteers choose to do a bit more and occasionally less than this. Some commitment is expected.
Our Peer Connections co-ordinator will monitor your workload to make sure that you don't become overloaded. If you need to, subject to suitable notice and handing over of any responsibilities, you can also take "time out".
You are expected to attend an informal Peer Connections Team meeting once a month for about an hour and to keep in contact with the Peer Connections Co-ordinator – meeting regularly for short periods, for support and to monitor your progress. You should also check your email regularly (preferably daily).