Friday, 4 March 2011

Student Volunteering Week 2011

National Student Volunteering Week took place from 21st-27th February. To mark it KUSU Volunteering organised a week of activities and taster sessions to give Kingston students an idea of the sort of things we get up to all year round. We had a crazy busy but great week catching up with some of our current volunteers and meeting some new faces. Thanks to everyone who got involved! Here’s a run down of what we got up to. 


Across Monday, Tuesday and Thursday over 20 volunteers got together to take part in ongoing project Knit For Babies. Volunteers came together to knit (or learn to knit!) hats for premature babies at Kingston Hospital.  It was so popular an emergency run was made for further supplies... it isn’t often you get to panic buy knitting needles! 


On Tuesday evening the exciting team from IYAF (International Youth Arts Festival) came to talk about volunteering with the festival. It takes place 1st-18th July, and is designed to showcase really high quality work by young people. It covers both visual and performing arts, so will involve painting, film, graphic design, dance, drama, sculpture, mime, puppetry, carnival, circus skills… it’s set to be a fantastic event. Perhaps the best thing about it is that it’s all about getting young people into the creative arts, so there’s tons of scope to get involved in the organising and running of the festival. 

Wednesday morning meant a trip to Hersham Hounds. The kennels are home to former racing greyhounds who have retired from the track, and are waiting to find new homes as family pets. We took the dogs for a walk round their field - with the peace, quiet and all the trees it’s like being in the middle of the countryside, though you’re only thirty minutes from Kingston! We’ll be heading back there to help paint the kennels at some point in the next few weeks.

On Wednesday afternoon a group of intrepid KUSU volunteers working with Cathedral Camps came together to learn about the history of a beautiful old building in the centre of Kingston and give it a bit of a spring clean. We spent a very relaxed afternoon learning about ancient relics, polishing ornate carvings, brass and chairs and eating homemade biscuits.  The staff at All Saints Church were so pleased with our efforts we’ve made the Parish newsletter!    
On Thursday evening we ran an information session on how to run your own project. KUSU Volunteers can access funding and support to make their ideas happen and be in charge of their very own community project. Some great ideas came out of the session and we look forward to working with those who came.

On Friday we headed to Roe Vale to talks about Micro-volunteering. For those not in the know about this new craze in volunteering circles this means quick online volunteering. Most popular was the ever classic Free Rice and Answer4Earth, where you answer questions and end up planting  a tree with your correct answers. We’ll be doing a blog post soon to explain more.
Tragically on Saturday we had to postpone our Pond Clearance at Kingston Hill because the builders unexpectedly cordoned it off! It won’t get neglected though because KUBAG: Kingston University Biodiversity Action Group will be back to get stuck in later in the year. In the mean time they’ll be getting on with planting wildflower meadows! 

A pretty packed week I think you’ll agree. To check all the photos head for our Facebook page. All that’s left is for us to tidy the office and start planning our next events!   

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