In October, Volunteering and Employment launched their first ever ‘Volunteering Get Involved Week’ and it was a huge success.When you embark on something new, you never know whether or not it will take off but they need not have worried because the level of support they received was phenomenal!
Several hundred students visited the stalls or took part in volunteering activity and also registered and signed up for future volunteering projects. Overall, around 400 students engaged with the team during the week.
At the volunteers fair, approximately 40 organisations were represented in The Hub and students were able to chat to them to find out about their organisation and what was going on in the community so they could make a more informed choice about the kind of volunteering work they would like to do.
During the week, there was a ‘Make a difference’ day and approximately 30 volunteers took part in an activity at Coombe Abbey with the Warwickshire Wildlife Trust to help with conservation work. By all accounts, our student volunteers loved the whole experience. It was helped, of course, by the weather being ideal for the kind of work they were doing and the group all made friends and hat a lot of fun working as a team and toasting marshmallows on the fire – it was a perfect day to get away from the Uni for a day!
Some of the volunteers working at Coombe Abbey for the Warwickshire Wildlife Trust.
Another activity during the week of events was the Post Pals/Micro volunteering event which saw 10 student volunteer team members leading some ‘Hub based’ projects. These included designing cards to send to seriously ill children and they also did a number of online activities in order to fundraise for various charities.
Student volunteers creating cards for seriously ill children
Another highlight of the week was the ‘skills workshop’ where students were helped to identify the skills they had or wanted to develop in order to choose a suitable volunteering opportunity. This was an ideal way to match skills with volunteering projects which would aid the students’ experience and employability prospects.
Volunteering while at University, is a good way to gain experience in other areas and shows a commitment on your part to do things for others using your existing skills. Employers will always be interested in any activity you undertake outside of your degree studies and that is why the University run add+vantage modules in volunteering.
Since the event in October, the Volunteering and Employment team are now in the process of sorting through the student requests they have had about volunteering and trying to match them up with existing community groups as well as meeting with new groups to look at future projects.
If you took part in any of the activities during the Get Involved Week, thank you for your support and for helping to make a difference to others in the community.
Written by Ali Bushnell