Most of the time, when we speak to students on campus about volunteering, the overwhelming response we get is this:
"I don't have time to volunteer."
Here at Winchester Hub, we want to give everyone the chance to volunteer at university. (Even if it is just for one day!) Our Give It A Go programme offers a variety of events suitable for people with irregular or busy schedules.
Benefits of volunteering
Here's five great reasons to volunteer:
Improve your mental health. It's a well-known fact that volunteering can have a positive impact on your self-esteem and confidence, but did you also know that volunteering can also help with depression and anxiety?
Give back to those around you. Volunteering is a great way to give back to your local community, and make the world a little brighter for others.
Gain new skills. As well as having emotional benefits, volunteering can also give you practical skills that are valuable to employers. For example, volunteering can improve your time-management, organisation, or collaboration skills.
Boost your CV. If your CV is looking a bit bare (or even if it isn't), it never hurts to include some voluntary experience that demonstrates your compassion for others.
Make new friends. Volunteering is an inherently social activity, where people can create meaningful, lasting friendships by working alongside one another.
Short on time
Despite all these great reasons to volunteer at university, many students feel they simply don't have enough time to spare to get involved. Luckily, we have the answer!
Our Give It A Go project makes volunteering easy, with a diverse programme of one-off and micro-volunteering events. If you don't feel you can commit to a regular volunteering project, Give It A Go events are the perfect solution to busy or irregular schedules.
At Winchester Hub, we think everyone should volunteer because volunteering has so much to offer. (Just check out the reasons above!) But we also know how busy student life can be. That's why our Give It A Go project are passionate about offering a fun and inclusive programme of events, which aim to get as many students to volunteer as possible!
Give It A Go events, by definition, are one-off opportunities, with no obligation to volunteer again, (though we'd love it if you did!) Signing up to a Give It A Go event is also great for testing the waters, especially if you've never done any volunteering before. Come and try out volunteering with us - you might find you'll enjoy it!
Don't have a whole day to spare? How about a spare ten minutes? Give It A Go also offer micro-volunteering events, which only ask for a few minutes of your time. For example, Give It A Go have run Random Acts of Kindness events, where we've asked people to do a simple kind act, like leaving a complimentary note in a library book, or signing an eco-friendly petition to make the world a better place. These small acts of kindness took less than five minutes, but they will have made a difference, albeit small, to the world around us. It's important to remember that making a difference doesn't have to take up all of your time. Whatever you can give still matters.
Other types of events offered by Give It A Go have ranged from painting community spaces or sorting donations at a local homeless shelter, to socializing with older people.
Community Action Day
During Student Volunteering Week 2020, Give It A Go hosted their annual Community Action Day, which was supported by Winchester City Council, Winchester Student Union, Osborne, and Winchester Bat Society.
Our volunteers got stuck into to cleaning up around Stanmore Park, planting new trees as they went. In total, 180 trees were planted by Community Action Day volunteers, and a few of them even made bug houses to increase Stanmore Park's biodiversity!
Read our blog about Student Volunteering Week 2020 here.
Highcliffe Litter Picking
In February, Give It A Go went litterpicking in Highcliffe, giving students a chance to clean up their local area, and tackle the plastic epidemic head-on.
The event lasted just two hours, with refreshments in the middle! If this sounds like something you'd like to get involved in, we'll be holding a similar event on 14th March, see our website for more details.
In December 2019, Give It A Go made some Christmas cards for the elderly residents of care homes in Winchester. These cards meant a lot to older people who would have received few or even no Christmas cards at all during the festive season.
This is an excellent example of how micro-volunteering can make a real difference! It takes less than ten minutes to make a card for someone in need, which just goes to show that you can have a positive impact on other people's lives in the time, even in the time between your lectures!
Sanitary Products Donations
9th-13th March, 9am - 5pm
In honour of International Women's Day this year, Give It A Go are organising a donation drive for sanitary pads and tampons to give to Trinity Winchester. Trinity support homeless and vulnerable people in the Winchester area, and these products are often overlooked in donations they receive. If you'd like to make a donation, please bring it to our office in WB116, during office hours.
5th April, 10-3pm
Join us for a day of fun, preparing a Sunday roast with the First Bite cafe team, and stick around for the quiz with the older community in Winchester. We'll be meeting in the Winnall Community Centre, for a day of fun and companionship.
Silver Sunday is on the first Sunday of every month, so be sure to save the date! And here's the best part: often there's enough to go round for our volunteers too! Get involved by getting in touch with Sorcha, our skilled placements manager.
Socks for Hospital Babies
20th March, 1-4pm
Are you a proficient knitter? Join Give It A Go for their drop-in knitting event for Mother's Day. They'll be making some baby socks to donate to the maternity ward in the Royal Hampshire County Hospital. Get in touch with Give It A Go coordinator, Feyi to take part in this event!
Can't make 20th March, but interested in using your knitting skills to benefit others? Join our weekly knitting group on Wednesday afternoons.
Give It A Go also have their own email newsletter, so if you'd like to be kept up to date about all the latest volunteering events on offer, why not sign up?