Let’s look back at a busy volunteering year!

We are very happy to look back to 2015-16. It has been a year full of fantastic volunteers, meaningful projects, discoveries, friendships, learning… With more than 2500 members, 10,100 volunteered hours over 45 projects, University of Warwick students have had a large impact on the communities around campus.

Thank you to all the students and staff who have volunteered this year, and thank you to all our partners who help making student volunteering possible.

One-offs

The big highlight of the year was the launch of our Give it a go! campaign, a range of one-off volunteering opportunities with a short term commitment.

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We have taken part in Canal Clean Ups in Coventry and Rugby with the local Canal & River Trust. Canal Clean Ups are sometimes quite physical, sometimes competitive but always fun. Bikes have not been the most surprising things students have picked up from the waters.

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In November, volunteers helped Howes Primary School in Coventry run a Harry Potter Week for the pupils. They ran a Horcrux Challenge and a Kidditch game (a scaled down and safer version of Quidditch for children).

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Planting spring bulbs, creating wild flower meadows, clearing a woodland footpath and planting trees: volunteers have helped Friends of Canley Green Spaces caring for and protecting the local environment. Thousands of flowers and over 400 tree saplings have been planted on wild grassland in Canley.

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We have launched ActiviTeas, a tea-and-games afternoon at Queensway Court, a residential home for the over 50s. The sessions have been so popular that it will become a regular student led project next year!

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In December, we teamed up with Chapter 1 to host a festive afternoon at one of the residential lodges for vulnerable people aged 21-35 years in Leamington. Together, volunteers and residents baked some Christmas treats and helped make decorations for their home.

School projects

In term 2, students are busy visiting schools to deliver support to the pupils, from playing games to improve pupils’ math skills to teaching them Chinese, French or German, from providing one-to-one reading support to leading afternoon sport activities, all these projects contribute in increasing pupils confidence.

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This year, Technology Volunteers have also brought Scratch and Arduino out of the schools with Coder Dojo, a family friendly event in Coventry Transport Museum.

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We really enjoyed seeing the cakes & pastries from Bake It Up! With the help of our volunteers, pupils from Westward Academy and Sydenham Primary have got creative in the kitchen.

Community projects

Through a range of student led projects, Warwick students are increasingly involved in their local community.

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Crafts in Hospital  was launched as part of the Santander Create a Project Competition, and is one of the most popular projects. This year, volunteers have created craft kits to make birthday and seasonal cards, bracelets, bookmarks and gift bags which have all been delivered to University Hospital Coventry to help alleviate patient boredom.

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Kenilworth PHAB has organised many themed nights in partnership with University of Warwick societies. Members of the club are pictured here learning some dance moves with Warwick Salsa.

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Shoebox Appeal volunteers have collected and distributed over 50 boxes for Christmas.

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The Tocil Wood Conservation Project has helped this year again taking care of the environment on Campus with regular sessions.

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Many stories have been shared during Buddy Club visits to Willowbrook, a residential home for the elderly. They will run a Caribbean party at the end of the month to celebrate!

Warwick Volunteers Events

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Our annual Volunteering Fair in October has been a great start to this academic year. With both student lead projects and community partners represented, University of Warwick students were sure to find the volunteering opportunity(ies) that suited them. Save the date! The next fair will be held on Friday 7 October 2016

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During Student Volunteering Week, volunteers shared the reasons why they volunteer, in addition to taking part to a range of activities organised for the occasion, including a tea party for local refugees organised by STAR, improving access to a local woodland and a tea and games afternoon at a residential home.

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The Warwick Volunteers Celebration Event in March was the opportunity to promote and recognise the impact of volunteers in the local community.

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Project leaders and members of Warwick Volunteers Exec committee have already started planning next year activities during their training weekend in April. We are excited to see what 2016-17 will offer!

Have you volunteered this year? What’s your highlight of the year?

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