Thursday, 23 February 2012

Impact Conference 2012

Yesterday Farha updated on the volunteering she’s been involved in which led to her attending the Impact Conference. Here she updates on what she thought of the conference.

So what was the Impact conference and why did I go??
Volunteering is something I am very passionate about, and I applied to attend the Impact conference because I want to use this passion productively by ensuring there will be more opportunities available for students in the near future. My ultimate aim is to help promote these opportunities to make more students take them up. It is a fantastic way to learn and gain skills, and a shame that students are missing out.

The Impact conference took place in Oxford this year, and students and staff from over 40 UK universities came together to spend a weekend discovering, discussing and debating about volunteering. There was a range of seminars and workshops and many stalls promoting various local, national and international volunteering and charity organisations, such as Fairtrade. For me personally, it was a good opportunity to network and being given a choice of which seminars and workshops to attend, meant that I went only to those that interested me. My favourite workshops were about ways to fundraise, marketing and publicity, and another about "going green" and creating great environmental projects. I also went to an interesting debate entitled "Rewarding volunteering: is 'incentivised volunteering' in higher education institutions a good development?"

Farha and fellow KU Student Volunteer Emma
The best part of the conference had to be the Saturday evening where everyone gathered at the Student Hub in Oxford and a £150 project prize was awarded to one of ten students who bravely presented their socially innovative project idea to a panel of judges. There were some brilliant ideas and so many of these students were deserving of the financial boost of £150. It was fantastic to see so much passion and energy from the volunteers, and even better to have an insight into their ideas and be inspired to create my own.

What has Impact 2012 encouraged me to do next?
At the conference, I found out about a project called "OxGrow", which is based in Oxford and is open to anyone. OxGrow's basic aim is to grow their own organic foods utilising and encouraging climate friendly growing techniques. What I really liked about this project was how it has created a multitude of benefits without actually meaning to. It has created intergenerational cohesion, generated awareness of issues concerning the environment and our planet, and has influenced community bonding. This project inspired me and when I returned from the conference, I spoke to KUSU Volunteering to discuss how this can be replicated here in Kingston. I found out that it is completely feasible and I will soon be in the process of applying for funding from KUSU in an attempt to make the project go ahead :-)

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...