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Virtual Volunteering - Overcoming the challenges of the pandemic

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The effect that the COVID-19 pandemic has had on the University and its activities has been far-reaching and we have all had to get used to a new way of working, learning and volunteering!

The CUSU Volunteering Fair this year was, for the first time ever, all online to enable students to sign up for some valuable volunteering experiences.

Webinars took place throughout the week; organisations taking part included:

CUSU Volunteers - Zoom Craft Session, Dudley Lodge, Human Appeal, Shout, The Faith & Belief Forum, Oxfam Campaigns and the Life Path Trust.

As well as the webinars, a number of organisations posted films on You Tube telling students about their organisations and what they did and how students could help them with their work. The organisations included: British Heart Foundation, Barnardo's, Coventry Carers Trust HOFE, CUSU Volunteering, Mercia Therapy Centre and the Warwickshire Wildlife Trust, to name but a few.

Tracy Reay, CUSU’s Volunteering and Community Coordinator said:

“This year was a bit of a challenge for us. We are so used to sending students out to work in the community to give them some practical hands-on volunteering experiences, but this was just not possible as the COVID-19 pandemic changed all that.

“We were thrilled with the way the volunteering groups and organisations in the area assisted us by providing especially created films for You Tube or provided webinars to promote their opportunities.”

Although the numbers of students taking part was lower than in previous years, there were still 139 students who signed up for activities and 54 organisations looking for volunteers.

Click here to find current opportunities available

"There are a number of opportunities listed on the website which are not online, but until it is safe to take part in them, you can still sign up so that when we are able to go into the community again, we’ll have a good idea of how many students are interested".

"It is frustrating not to be able to offer outdoor activities at the moment and we are aware that students already spend a lot of their time looking at a computer screen, but don’t forget, all the online volunteering activities still contribute to the Leadership Awards".

There are 3 levels to the Leadership Awards: Bronze, Silver and Gold and these are given on the basis of how much you participate in various activities, such as volunteering, and the skills you have developed by taking part.

For further information about the Leadership Award, click here.

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