New Volunteer: Gina

Gina is an undergraduate volunteer who has recently started with Learning Links under the Families team. Gina’s research at university aims to expand what we know about the work the Families team do, and the best ways to conduct our practices. Here she is to tell you a little bit more about the work she is researching, why it’s important, and why Learning Links:

“I am a third year University student, studying Criminology in Winchester. For my dissertation project I was keen to study an emerging but very important area of Adolescent to Parent Violence and Abuse (AVP), particularly as research is currently very limited and therefore funding even less.

Contact details were passed on, with high knowledge about Learning Links’ ‘Non-Violent Resistance’ programme (NVR), which aims to support parents and carers resisting aggressive and violent behaviours in young people. I was immediately welcomed to become a part of the NVR programme, initially observing how the group works, week-by-week, and gain a deeper understanding of the impact the programme has on everyone involved, whilst providing me with valuable research for my dissertation project.

Alongside my dissertation project, the university urged students to undertake a work placement that was in an area of interest to ourselves. I was very keen to gain further experience within Learning Links, leading me to become a volunteer for the organisation. This is allowing me to gain valuable work skills and experience, working alongside a wide range of vulnerable individuals and groups with the possibility of future training opportunities within the organisation.

I am able to volunteer as much or as little as I am able, working around my university hours. Once my dissertation has been completed, a report will be produced for Learning Links, supporting the positive impact that the NVR programme has on the community, and in turn raise awareness of AVP as a highly important issue, whilst supporting further funding for such a vital programme in the area.

Already, Learning Links have given me such a positive and highly valuable experience, and I feel extremely privileged and lucky to have been given this opportunity with such an incredible organisation. My possible future pathways are endless and I am very excited to see huge developments, on a personal as well as professional level, whilst being supported throughout this experience by Learning Links.”