Dr Leonardo Oliveira, Department of Law and Criminology, is often involved with promoting volunteering opportunities to our law and criminology students. We caught up with Leonardo to discover more about the initiatives he and his students get involved with, and to find out what advice he offers colleagues that want to get involved with volunteering.
1. Could you tell us a bit about yourself and your role within the Department of Law and Criminology?
My name is Leonardo, I am a Lecturer in Law at the Department of Law and Criminology, Royal Holloway. I am originally from Brazil, where I did my LLB and qualified as a lawyer. I practised law in Brazil for six years before coming to the United Kingdom where I did an LLM in International Trade Law and a PhD in International Arbitration. Since 2013, I have been a full-time academic in higher education.
2. We understand that you are involved with our Volunteering team. Could you tell us more about the volunteering and initiatives you get involved with?
In the Department of Law and Criminology, I am responsible for promoting volunteering work amongst the Law and Criminology students. With the Volunteering team we engaged our business partners to see if there were volunteering opportunities for law students in areas connected to the law degree.
Together with the CAB, we are offering a summer scheme to our students. This scheme gave our students the opportunity to work in the Housing Stability Project, which is a new initiative within the Research & Campaigns Unit of Runnymede & Spelthorne CAB.
We also have students volunteering with Browns Community Service. They focus on breaking trans-generational cycles and transforming the lives and wellbeing of socially excluded, disadvantaged and vulnerable people (18+) with complex and multiple needs. Browns give parent support service aimed at rebuilding families affected by convictions, a high intensity support service funded by Thames Valley Police, a counselling service and building family services (helping employability of those long-term unemployed with convictions).
3. What was one of your motivations for wanting to get involved with volunteering?
I believe it is important for our students to get work experience and if they can do it by giving back to the community, not only it will be good for the students but also to society.
4. What do you enjoy most about volunteering?
To see the student feedback after they have done some volunteering. To talk to them about what they learned and how they felt about giving back to the community.
5. On Wednesday 25 September we have our Festival of Volunteering. What advice would you give to colleagues who might be thinking about getting involved with volunteering?
Talk to everyone and try to see if there are any opportunities that are in line with how you would like to contribute to society.
6. What do you enjoy most about working at Royal Holloway and within the Department of Law and Criminology?
I enjoy working with my colleagues.
7. What has been the best piece of advice that you have received?
If in life someone gives me one hand to help me, I should grab that one hand with two hands.