Tell us something about yourself
My name is Cheuk Ting, Fung. I come from Hong Kong, China. Here, at Westminster Business School I study BA (Hons) in International Business but I am also an exchange programme student. I have been studying a 3 years BA (Hons) International Economic and Trade degree course at Huaqiao University in Quanzhou, Fujian province, China. During my free time, I enjoy hiking and running Also, I like meeting friends, and travelling which leads me to better understanding of the world around me. In the future, I see my career progressing into a role of a digital marketing assistant.
Why did you decide to volunteer?
During my time in the UK, I decided to volunteer because I wanted to know and understand UK culture better. Doing it during my studies has been a great opportunity and it’s been possible because I have two days off during each week which are Wednesdays and Fridays. Thanks to this, I have extra time for doing meaningful things aside from studying. I am a very pro-active person and wanted to get the feel and understanding of UK business culture as soon as I arrived. In fact, I think that one of the best ways of learning and experiencing a foreign country’s culture is volunteering – contributing your time and skills to a meaningful cause. That’s why I am already thinking of other activities I could join that would be fun and help to enrich and fulfill my university life here in London.
Please tell us about your volunteering experience
Why did I join Alcohol Concern? I first found out about this volunteering opportunity from Berekhet, who works at the Volunteering Services team of the Career Development Centre. She informed me about this job and invited me to apply for it. In fact, I had volunteered many times in the past and took part in many volunteering projects, especially during secondary school in Hong Kong and my time at university. The type of work I did were: elderly care, teaching primary school students and helping out the disabled. Moreover, as I already mentioned, I wanted to be a volunteer also here in the UK. I researched the charities here, and around the same time, Berekhet sent the mail about the taking part in Alcohol Concern’s Dry January Campaign. Also, personally I am quite interested in health issues and helping people to realise the risks of alcohol, so it fit my interests perfectly. That’s why I decided to join in. Since becoming a volunteer at Alcohol Concern, I already learned so much also about the UK politics and government. I found a website called “They Work For You” which has a lot of information about the UK government and the MPs concerning various current topics and data. It is really useful for understanding what goes on in the UK.
What are the greatest challenges of your role
I think that the greatest challenge of my role is actually language related since English is not my mother language. Before starting my volunteering experience I was a little bit worried that I could misunderstand what’s required of me at work. But their staff have been really friendly! They explained my work duties to me very well and answered all my questions when things became troublesome. During my volunteering work, I got to know more about the UK as a country and learned more about the culture here. On the other hand, I found out that the British really care about their health and their life habits. They are willing to give up or reduce drinking alcohol in order to improve their quality of life. Not only that – they also consider their families’ and friends’ health and will help and encourage each other to go through Dry January challenge.
Tell us more about Dry January campaign
Alcohol Concern was founded in 1984 as the national charity working to help reduce the problems that can be caused by alcohol. They do this by helping people with information, advice and support with their questions about drinking and the problems that can sometimes be caused by alcohol. Dry January is Alcohol Concern’s flagship campaign which has been changing the conversation around alcohol over the past 5 years. Dry January is a chance to ditch the hangover, reduce the waistline, and save some serious money by giving up alcohol for 31 days. Additionally, it can definitely help in saving money, sleeping well and losing weight. Personally, I think I do not need to take part in the Dry January since I currently do not drink alcohol, and am not a fan of alcohol in any way. But in the future, if it happens that I drink alcohol – I will definitely take part in the challenge!
What message would you like to pass on to students who are considering taking part in the Dry January challenge?
Definitely take part in the Dry January challenge! It is really good for your health especially. Since you give up drinking alcohol for the total of 31 days, you become to see the positive effects of it on your body. Alcohol is very harmful and can affect your liver and even heart if you consume too much of it. During the Dry January, you will typically replace your usual alcoholic drink with a soft drink, tea or coffee. You will probably want to engage in other, extra activities that will keep you engaged – maybe a new interest or something you always wanted to try. Many people use this time of year to become more active, so it really helps them to live a much healthier life than before. If you are interested in taking part in the Dry January challenge, you can easily sign up through the Alcohol Concern website, which is also full of useful tips. Keep this in mind next year!
What top tips or advice would you give to students about to start their Dry January Challenge?
I think that the support you receive from your family and friends is of vital importance and probably one of the best things for you. Your close ones know and understand you well and when you are going through a challenge of giving up something you enjoy, they can give you best encouragement you need. They will stay positive for you and also help you feel positive throughout this time which will make you more confident in facing it. Finally, if you take part in the challenge – make sure you download the Dry January App, which is full of motivational messages and useful information and can enhance your experience too.
Thank you to Cheuk Ting, Fung, our current BA (Hons) International Business student, for this interview. To find out more about the programme please visit our website.