Skip to content

Saturday 5th December marks ‘International Volunteers Day’; a day where we celebrate the achievements of volunteers across the globe – including our very own here in the University of Chester community.

As this “year like never before” draws to a close, the University of Chester’s Volunteering and Mentoring Team find themselves incredibly lucky to be able to deliver their annual 12 Days of Kindness campaign – albeit in a very different way. With the help of a team of wonderful student volunteers, the campaign has been able to seamlessly shift from the more traditional face-to-face format to a virtual, yet social, platform.

Delivering a series of virtual events and an interactive photo competition, the 12 Days of Kindness fundraiser hopes to raise awareness and funds for West Cheshire Food Bank to help those in the local community facing ‘Holiday Hunger’ this festive season. In addition to this overarching fundraiser the campaign hopes to connect the University community, supporting those who may be in isolation at this moment in time and spreading kindness and the importance of wellbeing for all.

Already the 12 Days of Kindness Team has seen a success with the Christmas Card Writing sessions – delivered by the University’s very own Letters Against Loneliness project leaders – and there are still numerous chances for students and staff to get involved and help spread the word! With a Festive Netflix Party, a creative Christmas Crafternoon, and a jolly Christmas quiz still to come, there is something for everyone! As the campaign brings our community together in a fun, interactive way, all the team asks is that they get involved, spread the word, and simply donate what they can:

With £156 of the £500 target already reached, the 12 Days of Kindness Team are in no doubt of the University’s generosity; although this kindness is of no surprise when considering the staff and student’s willingness to get involved with their other initiatives throughout 2020. From the Chester Zoo fundraiser, to February’s Bushfire Bikeathon, the Volunteering and Mentoring Team are continuously pleasantly surprised and grateful for all the staff and students do to help others.

It’s not only with the fundraisers that the team sees such hard work and dedication with their projects. The student-led projects have also seen a massive shift in the way they deliver their services, but through sheer determination they have been able to make the necessary changes (where possible) to provide much needed support for all of those involved. As mentioned previously, the Letters Against Loneliness Team have managed to deliver virtual writing sessions and bring people together, despite the distance, through their pen pal scheme and partnership with Snow Angels. Other projects have also been able to continue through these times; as Chester Dog Walkers continue to welcome new members to their Dog Walkers’ family, Chester Healthy Eating Workshop (CHEW) have been able to continue their cooking sessions in the NowFood labs, Welly Wednesdays have been able to deliver social distanced conservation work, and Bonding through Books have been able to make a strong start to their project (despite only starting this year!).  

The Volunteering and Mentoring Team has also seen an increased interest in the Peer Mentoring scheme – with more applications for a mentor than ever before! Advocating the importance of staying connected during these times, our mentors have gone above and beyond to welcome our new students despite facing many changes themselves. The team’s School Mentoring scheme has also seen a huge change in format with the exciting introduction of ‘Student Scholars’ instead; an alternative, virtual project to help students get much-needed experience in an educational field, whilst also making a huge difference to young people from disadvantaged backgrounds who have faced big changes in their learning experiences over the year.

It is with pride that the Volunteering and Mentoring Team can share the successes of their volunteers, despite the ever-changing landscape we have all experienced over the year. The Team are truly excited to see where 2021 takes them, as they look forward to, undoubtedly, celebrating more of their volunteers’ successes. Whether we continue to be in a virtual world for much more time to come, or find ourselves with a little bit more opportunity to participate in safe face-to-face activities, there is no doubt that the University will continue to share their kindness and show their support for charitable campaigns and other future initiatives.


For all the links to the 12 Days of Kindness sessions please visit here.

Applications for ‘Student Scholars’ are still open till Friday 11th December 2020; for any questions please email

You can still take part in Christmas volunteering opportunities! For the full list, please visit:

For any questions about volunteering opportunities or student-led projects, please email

Applications for a Peer Mentor are open throughout the academic year! For any questions about the scheme, please email

Share this content