As we reach the end of the academic year the annual awards ceremony celebrates all the hard work student volunteers have contributed to the local community.
- 587 Volunteers signed up for regular projects since Sept 2014
- 705 applications made to charities
- 303 Volunteers signed up for one-off projects
- 2376 Volunteering hours logged on the website by 119 volunteers
- 96 students took part in the Volunteer Management Programme. This involved creating, implementing and leading their own community events.
There are 7 awards up for grabs at the awards ceremony on Friday 27th March and with over 80 nominations submitted competition is more fierce than ever.
All shortlisted students must RSVP to email@example.com to confirm they are attending the awards.
The shortlisted nominees for each award are as follows:
Best New Volunteer
- Naz Altinok
- Geoffrey Safar
- Jacqueline Wong
- Saanya Jain
- Mariona Serra
- Kelsie Langley
- Mark Greaves
- Asgher Abbas
- Yuan Gao
- Christian England
- Jiatong Liu
- Miro Arabadzhiev
- Pranali Bhosale
- Chemara Dennis
- Artem Prytykin
- Maximillian Djamgarian
- Marlis Fornrumpf
- Nora Deshishku
Outstanding Achievement in Volunteering
- Ambar Nicole
- Amit Nakum
- Julia Drahoss
- Mark Greaves
- James Michael Mallon
- Chiinthu Sarvanathan
- Irina Ivanova
Leadership in Volunteering
- Ken Hy
- Hanish Chavda
- Christina Katsouli
Project of the Year
- International Festival Celebration – Jiatong Liu
- Alone in London – Sandra Vaiciulyte
- Project Wildlife – Ken Hy and Hanish Chavda
- Secret Santa – Diana Cleves-Martinez
- The School Exclusion Project – Eleanor Fraser
- Baby Blues – Laura Fabian
- Cultural Awareness Days – Justyna Wolczyk
Team Player Award
- Kavaljeet Potiwal
- Tanzyla Khan Tareen
- Yvonne Guillemin
- Temitope Olatunji-Bello
- Emma Whittingham
- Miroslav Arabadzhiev
- Synove Knudsen
- Banuya Mohan
- Valentina Aronica
Volunteer of the Year
- Siobhan Tatum
- Julia Drahoss
- Hamed Jabarkhai
- Lingshuang Xu
- Eleanor Fraser
- Mark Greaves
- Aysha Sajid
- Ngoc Anh Thai
- Pedram Tamkinfard
- Hazel Morgan
- Ken Hy
- Christian England
The official dates for Student Volunteering Week were from the 23rd February to the 2nd March, but at City, we wanted more projects available, so started a week early, on the 16th February. There was at least one event each day and being a member of the Volunteering Steering Committee, we were each assigned and given an opportunity to lead our own project; I chose the Community IT Support drop-in sessions at St Luke’s community centre.
The drop-in sessions involved helping Islington’s older residents with any IT, computing or gadget queries, including teaching how to print documents, setting up e-mail accounts, the differences between various internet browsers, tips on the best search engines to use and any phone difficulties. It was very rewarding to see how offering our skills would help the older residents of Islington for life!
Individually we were each in charge of promoting our event and helping to recruit volunteers, luckily my project filled up very quickly and many volunteers arrived on the day. The room got very busy, where some of the older residents were paired up with two volunteers each! A group of broadcasting students also attended the event, to interview myself on my opinion of the views that young people have about volunteering, as well as filming various parts of the day for their project.
It was a fun and rewarding experience and it was a great opportunity for everyone involved to meet new people, build confidence and develop some skills, whilst helping the local community.
Thank you to everyone who came to volunteer, the older residents at the drop-in sessions, the staff at the St Luke’s community centre and to everyone else who came to support!
If you have ever volunteered overseas it is bound to come up in any job interview you ever attend. It’s an experience you’ll never forget and is guaranteed to pack your story repository full of tales that demonstrate a variety of skills. It shows planning, teamwork, commitment to a cause. It testifies that you are willing to push yourself outside your comfort zone and give your time willingly to help others. The fact you’ve taken up this opportunity tells employers a lot about your personality, not least that you’re a motivated person with a global outlook.
However, you might find if you search online for volunteer placements abroad that you are hit with a huge mass of information. Hundreds of organisations offering thousands of different projects in a massive variety of countries in every corner of the world.
It is hard to tell which organisations are reputable and it can be difficult to identify a project that is going to offer the best developmental opportunities for you and is ensured to be of benefit to the host community.
On Thursday 26 February this year we invited representatives from 6 carefully selected organisations onto campus to discuss their international opportunities with City students.
The evening began with each representative speaking for 10 minutes about the projects they run overseas. One speaker even joined us via Google Hangouts live from on-site at one of their projects in Peru.
After the talks we had a reception where students were able to chat with the representatives and ask any questions they had about getting involved.
The evening highlighted benefits of volunteering overseas as well as some of the potential risks and issues associated with it.
In this post I have summarised the advice from the event for anyone looking into this sort of opportunity.
The Organisations who attended
- – It is transformative for the volunteer. You’ll develop incredible skills, make friends for life and experience things that will stay with you forever
- – It is hopefully of benefit to the host communities – you’ll be helping them achieve something they wouldn’t otherwise be able to do
- – It facilitates cross-cultural understanding and relationships
- – It is a two-way exchange of skills and knowledge which contributes to sustainable development
Potential Risks and Issues
- – Voluntourism – this is an increasingly commercialised sector. While there are many organisations with the best intentions some are trying to make money by getting people through the door and charging a lot for the experience – A lot of this money will not reach the beneficiaries in country
- – This throws up a few ethical dilemmas with some companies sending over volunteers who become a burden on the host community
- – Communities can become dependant on foreign volunteers if the projects aren’t locally sustainable
- – If local people have the skills to complete the jobs volunteers are doing we may be taking employment away from these people
- – UNICEF found that children in orphanages in Cambodia increased by 65% in three years – “as a result of tourists’ good intentions Cambodia’s orphans have become a money-making tourist attraction”.
Top Tips when Choosing a Placement
- – Find projects with local community ownership to ensure sustainability
- – Be aware of the risk of displacement of local jobs and the cost to the host community
- – Ensure the project you plan to undertake is making an actual impact. It should feel like work, not just a holiday
- – Avoid projects which appear to be short term solutions to long term problems
- – Undertake a placement abroad with a mindset of sustainability, accountability and cross-cultural exchange
- – Choose an organisation that offers support, training and prepares it’s volunteers for the experience
Adopt a Learning Attitude
- “Many of us assume, because we come from wealthier places with better education systems, that we can come into any new place without knowing much about the culture or the people, and we can fix things… Development work is complex and takes time, and the people we are visiting have just as much, if not more to teach us than we have to teach them.” – Daniela Pepy, PEPY Tours.
Welcome to our brand new blog at City University London, which aims to showcase all the wonderful volunteering our staff and students have been partaking in!
It’s quite apt that our blog is launching today (23 Feb 2015) as it’s the first day of the national Student Volunteering Week…
City students take part in Student Volunteering Week
More than 200 students at City University London have signed up to volunteer during national Student Volunteering Week
City student volunteers will be taking part in conservation projects, offering free community IT support and organising events for local schools and elderly residents as part of Student Volunteering Week.
Coordinated by Student Hubs and the National Union of Students (NUS), Student Volunteering Week takes place from Monday 23rd February to Sunday 1st March and aims to celebrate the achievements and impact of student volunteers across the country.
Every year the University’s volunteering scheme connects around 1,200 students with events and projects in the local area.
Student Volunteering Week is a great chance to shine a light on the great work that these students do in their spare time.
The student volunteers will be running several community events for elderly local residents, including an over 60s lunch and social club at Vibast Community Centre, and a pub quiz and coffee morning at St Luke’s Community Centre.
They will also be running a Community IT Support drop-in session to help Islington’s older residents get to grips with phones, tablets, digital cameras and other gadgets. Held at St Luke’s Community Centre, the session will see students assisting with anything from setting up an email account and uploading a CV to accessing pictures on a phone.
Woodland conservation projects and community gardening days will see students cutting back plants, planting hedgerows and helping to clear London parks and woodland areas. These include the Russia Dock Woodland in Rotherhite and the Gunnersbury Triangle Nature Reserve in Ealing.
The student volunteers will also be hosting a Fairtrade workshop for children at Skinners’ Academy in Hackney and helping out at a garden party in Camden as part of the Urban Orchard Project.