Friday, 20 March 2015

Volunteering Celebrates International Day of Happiness 2015

Are you feeling happy? As part of the UN decreed day, Kingston University Students' Union took part in International Day of Happiness for the second year running, and wow, did we hand out a lot of hugs! Everyone's arms hurt the next day from handing out so many hugs and high fives! We think it is a measurement of not only dedication, but real success.

International Day of Happiness, is held on the 20th March of each year, and is designed to showcase the UN's awareness of the need for happiness and good well-being for the everyone to grow as a global economy. It isn't all just about money! For the global community to grow, we should strive for all to feel safe, secure and connected to our communities. Here at KUSU we think this is pretty important, and helping to spread a bit of happiness is certainly worthwhile.

This year we were lucky to have a bit of sunshine, in comparison to last year's rain, which always helps cheer everyone up. We took along our happiness tree, and set up in Kingston town centre. There we handed out free hugs, high fives, handmade jewellery, sweets and successfully added a lot of new pledges of happiness leaves to our tree. It is now looking somewhat less wintery.

Each pledge of happiness, is designed to get individuals thinking about what makes them happy, and what they could do over the next year to increase or spread positivity. It is tied to our tree, to showcase the growth of positivity each year, as the number of leaves increase. Pledges can be anything, as long as it is both personal but positive. They ranged from seeing family and friends more, to working towards passing driving tests.

Originally we had a goal to hand out about 100 hugs and high fives, and as many pledges as possible. However, we surpassed that with a total of around 500 hugs and countless high fives. We had many thank us for helping make them smile, and many of our volunteers decided to go on celebrating happiness, even when we had to pack up.

Happy International Day of Happiness.

The Volunteering Team xx

This week marked the celebration of Global Festival, with an entire week filled with events and stalls from each society, and even some volunteering projects. The aim of the week is to celebrate diversity here at Kingston University, and to embrace the amazing things our students groups do.
This year as part of the festival, KUSU’s BeeAware project, which aims to raise awareness of the declining bee population, hosted a honey tasting event to highlight what would be off the table should the honey bee die out.

The event proved very popular, with students and staff queueing to try some of the honey related items on show. The favourite type of honey proved to be the orange blossom, with the chilli honey being a bit too spicy for many. However by far the favourite item to try was the bee pollen, which is nice added to salads or smoothies. Bee pollen is thought to be great for energy with high protein and vitamin B levels, as well as helping with hayfever.

When BeeAware volunteers spoke about the many products that would be unavailable should the bee decline continue, such as cotton, lipsticks and almonds, many seemed genuinely shocked about the actual impact of bees. Fingers crossed this means that the group successfully added a few more to helping save the bees.

To find out more about BeeAware, follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

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