Sheffield volunteering HEAR Guidance 2020/21


There are two HEAR roles with Sheffield Volunteering: ‘Sheffield Volunteering Community Volunteer’ or ‘Sheffield Volunteering Project Leader’. The criteria for these roles can be found by visiting, searching for ‘Volunteering’ then clicking on the relevant role.


What's Eligible?

The activities that can be included in the role of ‘Community Volunteer’ are:

  • Volunteering Ambassadors
  • Student Group Project Volunteer (e.g. Saturday Playgroup, Computer Club, Flourish)
  • Society/Sports Club Project Volunteer (e.g. BMS, Geog Soc, Rowing)
  • Volunteering with a local charity/organisation which is registered on the Sheffield Volunteering website this academic year (if you are unsure whether the charity is registered with us, email us to check!)
  • One-off volunteering activities
  • Schools Outreach Projects (i.e. Women in STEM, Language Buddies)

If you are a designated Project Leader for a Student Group, Society or Sports Club project, and you fulfil the criteria, you can apply for the ‘Sheffield Volunteering Project Leader’ role.


What is expected of volunteers to obtain HEAR verification??

We hope that all our volunteers will act in the spirit of the project, be reliable team members and fulfil the duties associated with their role. However, please note that Sheffield Volunteering reserve the right to refuse HEAR recognition to any student who has been involved in a complaint, policy breach or who has seriously failed to satisfy the expected commitment.

To obtain project leader verification you must also be a designated project leader for your project, adhere to your project leader protocol and uphold and abide by Sheffield Volunteering approved policies and procedures. You will complete the relevant application, screening procedures and training as required by Sheffield Volunteering and work in cooperation with your designated staff support (i.e. a Sheffield Volunteering Co-ordinator) to their satisfaction.


Reflective Account

One of the criteria for these roles is completion of a reflective account; this will be an online form that must be submitted by all students who want to receive HEAR recognition for either of these roles in 2020/21.

You will be asked to answer some questions about your volunteering experiences and the skills you have developed.



This is not an assessed piece of work. It is an opportunity for you to reflect on the skills, attributes and competencies that you have developed through your volunteering experience. This will then help you to articulate your experiences in interviews, on application forms and on your CV. You will be sent a copy of your reflective account so you can easily refer back to it.

Don’t be afraid to discuss situations that were challenging, difficult or perhaps had a negative outcome. Negative experiences are just as developmental as positive ones and can be drawn upon to demonstrate learning and self-development. What did you learn from the not-so-successful occasions? How did you turn a negative situation into a positive one?

You can only submit one reflective account this academic year. You can include multiple eligible activities that you have taken part in this academic year (see list of included activities above) or you can choose to focus on one.

The submissions will be cross-referenced against staff records to ensure consistency with the activities included in your reflective account. Please ensure that you do not include any activity which you did not take part in this academic year or that isn’t eligible (see list of eligible activities above).


In your reflective account, you cannot include:

  • Volunteering with a Charity/Organisation which is not registered on the Sheffield Volunteering website – make sure you check this. If you are unsure, email us!
  • Sheffield Volunteering Committee roles (including any volunteering undertaken as part of your committee role) – please use the Committee Member Completion form
  • Fundraising
  • Paid work
  • Volunteering undertaken as part of the Lloyds Scholars programme
  • University run activities (e.g. curriculum-based, residential mentors or University Ambassadors) 


Your reflective account will be read by an activity verifier. Please note that your reflective account will not be accepted if it:

  • Does not answer the questions
  • Does not fit the specified word limits
  • Is submitted after the deadline
  • Is not reflecting specifically on volunteering that has been undertaken through Sheffield
  • Volunteering this academic year
  • Is reflecting on an activity that you did not take part in 


When do I have to complete this by?

The Sheffield Volunteering HEAR Reflective Account form will open on March 1st and the deadline for submissions for 2020/21 is Friday 21st May 5pm. You will not be able to submit a reflective account after the deadline – if you miss the deadline, you will not be able to gain recognition for your volunteering on your HEAR.

If you have any concerns about meeting this deadline you must contact as soon as possible.


These are the questions you will need to answer in the Reflective Account if you wish to prepare your answers in advance of completing the online form…


Reflecting on your Experiences

  1.  How has your volunteering experience changed/shaped your view of the Sheffield community? (minimum 80 words)
  2. In the context of your volunteering role(s), please reflect on: (answer 2 questions, minimum 80 words each)
    • If you helped to organise/run any activities how did you contribute?
    • What was your most enjoyable experience and why?
    • Can you describe a challenging situation and how you overcame it?
    • What is your proudest achievement? Why have you chosen this?
    • What have you learnt that you would pass on to a future student in the same role?
    • How has your volunteering experience helped you to think differently about the challenges faced by the beneficiary group/organisation that you worked with?


Reflecting on your Skills

  1. Identify three skills/attributes that you possess/have developed as a result of your volunteering role from the list below. (minimum 80 words per skill)
    • Working with others
    • Information literacy / digital literacy
    • Interpersonal awareness / emotional intelligence
    • Flexibility, openness to change
    • Business/commercial awareness and professionalism
    • Self-direction
    • Cultural / global awareness
    • Confidence / assertiveness
    • Drive and determination / resilience
    • Numeracy