As we settle into the second semester, the Volunteering and Mentoring Team wanted to take a moment to reflect on the amazing achievements of their student-led projects last semester. We support students to deliver a wide range of volunteering projects in the community and last semester we had five projects up and running, with a total of 85 students volunteering on these projects. Here is a summary of the projects and their achievements:
- Chester Student Dog Walkers match volunteers with dogs whose owners are unable to walk them on a regular basis due to medical reasons, illness or injury. Last semester there were 25 dog walker volunteers who helped 11 dogs get the exercise they needed on a weekly basis.
- Letters Against Loneliness volunteers send letters to care home residents in order to help combat loneliness and isolation and is running on both Chester and Warrington campuses. Last semester we had an amazing 24 volunteers help out with the project.
- The Welly Wednesday project organises monthly conservation and outdoor volunteer work days at various locations across Cheshire and North Wales. Last semester they delivered 3 activities, including hedgehog house building!
- Chester Healthy Eating Workshops (CHEW) create cooking videos to share tips on how to eat healthily on a budget which are then shared with various project partners who work with vulnerable communities. Three videos were filmed, edited and shared with project partners last semester.
- Finally, our newest project, Bonding Through Books, aims to spread the joy of reading to young children through its virtual book club for primary schools. Last semester they developed their first activity pack which has been shared with local primary schools.
We are very impressed with the achievements of our student-led projects and how well they have managed to adapt their activities to be able continue in the current circumstances, be that either virtually or in a new COVID-secure manner.
If you have an idea of a volunteering project you would like to help run, take a look here to see how to get started! And keep an eye out for the launch of the team’s latest volunteering project, good to grow, which will see student volunteers managing the university’s allotment.
Make sure to put Student Volunteering week in your diary, which takes place February 8 to 14 this year – the Volunteering and Mentoring team have lots of things for you to get involved with, from daily ‘give it a go’ challenges to Instagram lives with their student led projects.
The “Give it a go” challenges will be shared on the team’s website and via social media to encourage students (and staff!) to try out volunteering. These challenges will be actions that any student, anywhere can participate in, and the majority of them will take no longer than an hour to complete. The team will be sharing a challenge every day of Student Volunteering week and will be getting involved too, talking you through how to take part. Take a look at the week’s “give it a go” challenges
The theme for Student Volunteering Week 2021 is “Love your community” and during the week the Volunteering and Mentoring Team are encouraging students and staff to make a pledge on how they will love their community this year. Students and staff can gain inspiration for their pledge from their daily challenges, or they may already be supporting their local community, either way the team would love to hear from you! You can email your pledge to the team at firstname.lastname@example.org or submit it to their Instagram story.
The Volunteering and Mentoring Team will also be sharing lots of other content during the week to provide you with further inspiration, including volunteer stories and Instagram lives with some of their project leaders and volunteers.
Follow the team’s social media channels (Facebook, Twitter and Instagram) to keep up to date with the latest info on Student Volunteering Week and all things Volunteering and Mentoring @uocvolunteering