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The many ways that University of Chester’s students volunteer and support their local community has been celebrated during Student Volunteering Week 2020. From Monday 10th February to Friday 14th February, the University's Volunteering and Mentoring Team organised a variety of events and activities showcasing volunteering.

Among the highlights were:

  • Nine providers visiting the University to chat about their volunteering opportunities. If you didn’t get a chance to come and chat, you can visit our website to search for opportunities from over 100 providers!
  • Seven students sharing their #volunteersofuoc stories on social media. We love hearing these inspirational stories and welcome you to send us yours at any time!
  • We screened one thought provoking film and discussion about the film ‘The Love You Give’ (which tells the untold story of volunteering in orphanages).
  • The Welly Wednesdays (a conservation volunteering project) volunteered at the Countess of Chester Country park and helped to re-lay the Nature Reserve woodland walk. 
  • We had two student volunteers takeover our Instagram! Kaylee Sprigmore and Courtney Smith from the Welly Wednesday group talked us through a day of conservation, and Zarwa Jafar who volunteers with CHEW (Chester Healthy Eating Workshops) showed us what is involved in volunteering on the project which supports Chester Aid to the Homeless service users.
  • We delivered the first Volunteer Marketplace at Warrington. Guide Dogs UK and RSPCA brought along furry friends Ellie, Fizz and Norman who got lots of fuss from students!

As well as the above, we offered micro-volunteering as part of the week (volunteering your time via a small, short task that usually makes up a larger project). Through collaborating with Green Chester (the University’s Sustainability Unit) and a local organisation, we were able to offer two micro-volunteering activities:

  • Social butterflies – this is a campaign by Age-Friendly Cheshire West to encourage groups/organisations to craft butterflies for display in areas which will reach the elderly, to demonstrate that people are thinking of them. We decided to make a large ‘University of Chester’ butterfly which was decorated with a collage and will be gifted to a local residential home.
  • Bee hotels – taking inspiration from the Seaborne Library Green Impact team, we offered a session to show students how to make bee hotels, to be hung on the University grounds as homes for solitary bees such as leaf-cutter bees and mason bees!

We absolutely loved getting to meet so many people throughout the week and can’t wait to see more staff and students get involved with volunteering!

If you’re not sure where to start with volunteering, get in touch with us! This is the perfect time as 17th – 21st February is Random Acts of Kindness Week and volunteering is the perfect way to give back and be kind!

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