What is Student Volunteering Week?
Student Volunteering Week ran from 10-16th February 2020. We look back at how we marked this week.
"Entering its 19th year, Student Volunteering Week aims to celebrate the impact of student volunteers and encourage students to engage in civic life. Student Hubs and the National Union of Students (NUS) are supporting the Student Volunteering Network (SVN) to deliver the campaign."
A week to celebrate the amazing students who use their limited spare time for the benefit of others. A great deed that can help the community, peer and importantly oneself; from gaining skills and responsibilities, meeting new people all whilst providing opportunities to gain a sense of purpose, direction and personal growth.
What did the Coventry University Students' Union get up to for this week?
In 2019 we challenged our students to log 1,000 hours of volunteering within the week- this included volunteering completed through other departments and through our collaboration with local charities and social enterprises. We smashed the target with an impressive 1,963 hours!!
For 2020 we decided to fill the week with as many of our amazing Make A Difference Days (MADDS) as possible. MADDS are one-off volunteering opportunities, with just a couple of clicks, any student or staff can sign up to take on a set amount of hours alongside others. Together, the team tackled one of our local charities' needs. We provide all the expenses, transportation and organisation, all students needed to do was meet up for the transport and have a great day making that difference!
"So what exactly did we get up to?"
Monday 10th, Wellbeing Walk!
On Monday we invited staff and students to come along and take part in a Wellbeing Walk, the short walk led the group from the Hub, through the Cathedral, past Godiva Statue, through the Transport Museum and then back through the Cathedral Ruins back to the Hub.
Tuesday 11th, Chat Central + Zoe's Place - Craft Morning!
Tuesday we split ourselves into three different activities! The first being our collaboration with the local volunteering group Chat Central, who help connect the local community and members suffering with isolation and loneliness by joining in with activities. Together with student volunteers, we assisted in creating fundraising activity sheets for Zoe's Place as well as creating cards for Post Pals!
Tuesday 11th, Myton Hospice - Super Sorters!
Up next we had our Super Sorters sent out to Myton Hospice's Distribution Centre. Volunteers helped go through the massive amounts of donations and help the centre prepare these for their shops.
Tuesday 11th, Good Gym - Weekly Run!
In the evening we invited students and staff to join in with Good Gym, a national volunteering and wellbeing group who meet once a week to run to, take part in an activity and then return to the starting point. Good Gym also organises their own activities at weekends and are always looking out for new members! The team offers amazing opportunities and a system that rewards volunteers for their participation by hitting milestones as members.
Wednesday 12th, Park Service Rangers - Alleseley Castle Mound!
On Wednesday, students took part in a conservation opportunity. Assisting the Park Service Rangers with their work at Alleseley Castle Mound. After a short briefing volunteers were tasked in using a range of machinery and tools to clear out a part of overgrown shrubbery and trees, helping create a space for more wildlife.
Thursday 13th, 5 Acre Farms - Community Farming!
On Thursday we took students to 5 Acres Community Farm, an organic vegetable farm. Volunteers helped with the spring jobs needed to keep the farm operational, tilling, planting seeds and assisting with sorting of the produce that goes to helping people in the Coventry and Warwickshire areas.
Friday 14th, Warwickshire Wildlife Trust - Conservation Work!
On Friday we split into two teams; the first team helped out with Warwickshire Wildlife Trust - clearing shrubbery, debris and more from wildlife areas. The group also assisted with planting hedgerows and fences, this work is fundamental to maintaining the peace between the areas of wildlife and domesticated livestock. Even a small team of volunteers in this line of work can exponentially help the Wildlife Team, as much of the work needs to be carried out by multiple people.
Friday 14th, Coventry and Warwick Volunteers - John White Community Centre!
The other team was assisted by the great team over at Warwick Volunteers in redecorating the John White Community Centre. The centre is a community hub, offering space for a disadvantaged area of Coventry. The centre was in desperate need of new paint in the large sports hall and our collaboration project meant that we had more than 20 volunteers for several hours to fix this issue! Within a few hours, the centre was looking revitalised... Much like many of the T-shirts worn to protect the clothing of our volunteers!
A short video just to say thank you to all the volunteers and coordinators who helped make the week amazing!