Monday, 15 July 2013

Behind the Scenes of Volunteers' Week 2013

I remember the day that Jemma Houghton and I (KUSU’s Volunteer Co-ordinators) sent out the publicity for the Volunteers’ Week 2013 – I hadn’t been that nervous for a very long time!

Volunteers’ Week is a national week lead by the NCVO (National Council for Voluntary Organisations).  This year Volunteers’ Week 2013 focused on saying ‘Thank You’ to the millions of volunteers who regularly contribute to society, and recognise the way that organisations celebrate the work of volunteers across the UK.

VW 2013 dog-walking
In previous years KUSU Volunteering had avoided planning any big events for Volunteers’ Week as June seemed to be such a busy time for KU students with exams, deadlines and packing up for the summer all having to take priority.

So our decision to try and run 5 days of taster sessions seemed like a rather brave and ambitious one! 

The two weeks leading up to 1st June certainly had both us KUSU Volunteer Co-ordinators on edge – would any students or staff have enough free time to help our chosen charities and community organisations?

As it turns out we had no reason to worry at all, an amazing 36 Kingston University staff and students took part in a range of activities!

VW 2013 jewellery-making
110 bracelets were made for poorly children at Kingston Hospital.

36 greyhounds at Wimbledon Greyhound Welfare were taken for a lovely walk in the sunshine – and had lots of cuddles!

The stock at Cancer Research’s shop got sorted and volunteers had fun dressing and accessorising manikins to display the latest fashion trends!

Bags and bags of Himalayan Balsam were pulled out - a vigorous invader of the Hogsmill riverbank with KUBAG!

And loads of you turned up to our workshop ‘Linking Volunteering to your Career’ to learn about how these and other volunteering activities give you skills that can help make you more employable.

VW 2013 Balsam Bash
We had an amazing time volunteering alongside all the students and KU staff – many of whom were in the middle of deadlines or running to and from their lunch breaks to help out!

KUSU Societies Coordinator Charlie Shaw and Retail and Venue Manager Lucy Marsh said  “Greyhound walking in Volunteers’ Week was a really worthy cause. It was loads of fun and the weather was great! We’d definitely do it again and would recommend it to everyone.”

Even more encouragingly all our surveyed participants later agreed that the taster sessions had inspired them to do more volunteering in the future.

So if you missed out on VW 2013 then don’t worry. We’ve got London Student Volunteering Fortnight coming up between 26th October and 8th November 2013 and we’re definitely going to be putting on a huge fortnight of taster sessions to keep you busy!  

Abbie Hurrell and Jemma Houghton
KUSU Volunteer Co-ordinators

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