By Daniel Keen, Finalist Care Volunteer at National Science + Engineering Competition 2015



This blog is part of a series of ‘Volunteer spotlights’, released during Volunteers Week, to celebrate and highlight the important contributions that our volunteers make to the BSA.

I have been volunteering for the British Science Association for three years as a Finalist Care Volunteer at the National Science + Engineering Competition (NSEC). I’m 21, and I'm currently working as an IT Manager at a local school, after starting out as an apprentice and working my way up.

I first became interested in volunteering when I competed at the National Science + Engineering Competition in 2012. During the competition my team's stand was visited by a number of Competitor Care Volunteers, who were extremely helpful! They were able to act as our bridge between us and the Competition, answering questions, and helping to keep our nerves at bay. Seeing what they did for our team made me want to return as a volunteer, to make sure that the competitors have an enjoyable time at the Competition.

I love coming back every year to volunteer at NSEC because each year is completely different! The calibres of the projects that compete get better year on year, and never fail to astound the whole of the Finalist Care team. Just when we think we have seen something amazing, another project comes along and completely astonishes us. There is also a great group of people that I volunteer with every year who are extremely kind, friendly and funny!

It is extremely hard to pick just one best moment as a volunteer because I’ve enjoyed every moment. If I had to choose one it would be watching the Awards Ceremony at the end of the Competition, as it’s great to see the competitors rewarded for all of their hard work. I am always on the edge of my seat when the senior category winners are announced, because you  know that everything is about to change, and the look on their faces is one of utter shock, amazement and happiness!

To any former competitors or future competitors that are interested in volunteering I would say don’t be afraid to sign up! You might be a little undecided about whether to do it; I know I was at first! But I can promise you that you will have one of the most enjoyable times of your life, make new friends, see some amazing projects and you might even meet a celebrity or two.

I know I will be going back again next year, and it would be great to see some new faces on the finalist care team. If you can’t make the national competition, why not get in touch, and help at one of the regional ones.

This years Finalist Care Volunteers with Ellie Chambers, Project Officer for the British Science Association and Finalist Care Volunteer manager for the National Science + Engineering Competition. 

We would like to thank Dan and the Finalist Care Volunteers for their continued support of the British Science Association. There are plenty of opportunities to volunteer at the BSA