Wednesday, 2 November 2016

Rose Award Winners 2016!!

The Volunteering Team are thrilled to announce that our Kingston:Lebara Programme won the 2016 Rose Award for Engagement with an External Organisation /Business /Industry/Not For Profit/International Partner. We are incredibly proud of this achievement, and we think it captures and celebrates the dedication and hardwork that ourselves, SAIL and Lebara Foundation have put into our partnership in order to provide a high impact and successful international volunteering programme in India and Sri Lanka. A huge congratulations to the staff behind the project! 

The past three years have been incredibly exciting as we have watched our project grow from one cultural exchange in Tamil Nadu, India, into a detailed programme tailored to the mothers and children we volunteer alongside, and we have even piloted a Professional Skills Academy in Sri Lanka with success! We are even more excited to watch this programme continue to grow, adding in new elements and amending with feedback each trip. For example, this summer we added in a staff role to enable Kingston University and Student Union staff to volunteer alongside our students, offering additional skills, insight and knowledge to the workshops run. 

Next year we are looking into adding into more language lessons, to help enhance volunteer communication abilities with local the children and mothers they volunteer with. We will also be sad to see the phenomenal Tawnya Cheatheam (SAIL) leaving the project, as she will be moving a new job role. It has been amazing to work with her over these past 3 years, and we wish her the best in her new post. However, a huge hello and welcome to Rachel Williams who will be taking over from Tawnya, and joining the Kingston:Lebara family.

If you are interested in applying to the project, applications will open on 1st December 2016. We will be running information sessions at the end of November 2016. To register your interest for the information sessions, please email 

Say hello to our new Volunteering Assistant

Hi, my name is Elif Bulut, and I am currently a 3rd year Psychology student at Kingston University London. I am a 22 years old, Kurdish citizen from Turkey. I have been a member of the Union of Kingston Students family since 2013 and I am now officially part of the Volunteering team as a Volunteering Assistant.

As every individual, I have started to develop a vision, ideology and ways of building my future and make social changes. I am very proud to mention that, Union of Kingston students has always been there to make sure that I achieve my goals, improve my skills and gain experiences to build myself and others a better future.

Let’s just touch on the Volunteering department within the Union, and why I was so excited to become part of it.

Due to my minority ethnic and religious background in Turkey, I have always volunteered at local Kurdish and Alevi community centres. Since being part of the local community centres, I have realised that every individual has power over the world to make a change. I have volunteered the England Alevi cultural centre and Cemevi in Hackney and Croydon, and have taken part in so many different activities involving youth activities and events for our local community, such as festivals. My local Alevi community centre has now become a huge part of my life. Furthermore, I believe that in order to achieve social change and build better future for everyone, we must get together and work together.

Due to previous experiences, I was very excited to be part of Union of Kingston students volunteering department. As I have mentioned before, I love working towards positive social changes, hopefully improving others’ lives, and making the world a better place to live in (hopefully one day in peace J ). 

One of my other goals in life is to make sure that I always stand by those who need me and make sure to help be their voice.  With the Volunteering Assistant role I hope to help positively influence many other students within Kingston University, like myself, to become actively part of the team and work towards making positive change. Not only within our current communities, but also here to help students to gain more experience, improve their skills and help to help them to build a better future.

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