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The Volunteering and Mentoring Team within Student Futures are here to help you make the most of your time at the University of Chester, through volunteer opportunities within the University, and in the community.

What opportunities are available?

We have over 100 providers registered and uploading activities on our website, so whether you’re interested in conservation projects, working in a charity shop, coaching children, befriending elderly people, putting your social media skills to good use, or helping at one-off events, we’re sure you’ll find the right opportunity for you… and if you don’t, there are other ways to get involved!

Want to set up your own volunteering project? We support a variety of student led projects and can offer training, advice and funding to help you get started.

Want to be a mentor? We recruit, train and support Peer Mentors and School Mentors. Get in touch if you want to find out more about these excellent opportunities.

How will my volunteering be recognised?

All student volunteers are eligible to register as University of Chester Volunteers on our UCV scheme. This allows students to record volunteering hours and apply for awards in recognition of their volunteering commitment and achievements. Once you start logging your volunteer hours through your volunteer profile, you can start applying for our University of Chester Volunteer (UCV) awards. These awards will appear on your Higher Education Achievement Record, and provide you with points towards the Chester Difference Award, plus, an invitation to the annual Volunteer Celebration Evening! This event rewards the achievements of our registered volunteers and is a wonderful celebration of the excellent work that our students and staff contribute to the local community.

Why should I volunteer?

There are so many reasons to volunteer whilst you are at University- here are our top 5 reasons why you should volunteer:

"I didn’t do any volunteering until coming to University, but I wish I had! It’s so rewarding knowing that you are making a difference to someone’s life, or to the environment. Volunteering also looks great for employers as it shows you are willing to go the extra mile." – Joe Moodie, Conservation Biology Student and Welly Wednesday Project Leader

  1. Do something different and stand out from the crowd
    Studies have shown that employers really value volunteering. Many of our volunteers have gone on to have brilliant careers and have spoken to us about how volunteering really helped to boost their career path.
     
  2. Develop skills and life experiences
    There are a huge range of volunteering opportunities available from charities in and around Chester. You may even benefit from volunteering in a field completely different to what you first thought!
     
  3. Get involved in your local community
    Volunteering is a fantastic way to make a difference, whether it’s helping out at a local youth club one night a week, or organising a clean-up on your street, small actions can make a huge difference.
     
  4. Try a one-off for a fun experience!
    If you would like to try volunteering but you are unsure if you have time, why not try a one-off volunteering opportunity? We regularly update our Facebook page with one-off opportunities with local charities.
     
  5. Gain recognition for all your hard work
    Once you get started volunteering, we’ll help you to record your volunteering hours and work towards our University of Chester Volunteer (UCV) awards.  Our UCV awards appear on your Higher Education Achievement Record (HEAR), and can count towards the Chester Difference Award – all of which look great on your C.V!
What if I have an idea for a project?

If you can’t find something that appeals to you on our website, and you have an idea for a community project, we can help you set this up!

Whether you have a full project in mind or just some initial thoughts, it all starts with an idea. Do your research, make sure the project is realistic, needed and unique, then tell us all about it! We support a variety of student led projects and can offer training, advice and funding to help you get started. Some projects that have been support recently are Welly Wednesdays, Chester Student Dog Walkers, and Communitea.  

Also, as part of our agreement with Santander Universities, we are able to offer funding to support volunteering projects or establish new volunteering projects through the ‘Do Good Fund’. These funds allow students to apply for grants of up to £500 to fund a community initiative. This is a great way to show your innovation and leadership skills!

What else does the volunteering team do?

The Volunteering and Mentoring team are regularly organising events and opportunities for students to get involved in. We host an annual celebration evening, which rewards the achievements of our registered volunteers and is a wonderful celebration of the excellent work that our students and staff contribute to the local community.

Student Volunteering Week takes place in February and is another highlight of our calendar! We host a variety of events and activities showcasing volunteering, such as ‘give it a go’ activities, film showings and stalls!

Every October, we host our ‘Do Good Feel Good Fair’ in collaboration with our Wellbeing team. The fair gives students the opportunity to come along and meet with a variety of charities and take part in a host of activities to improve wellbeing, such as cuddling up to our ‘Pawl Pals’, having a ride on our smoothie bike and create some crafts!