Student Volunteering Week (10th -16th February) is a national celebration of volunteering, where universities and further education institutions across the country actively organise and encourage student volunteering.
At the University of Winchester, Winchester Hub, the Careers department and Winchester Student Union work together to plan a full schedule of volunteering events during this week. Here is an overview of what Hub volunteers have been getting up to recently:
Community Action Day
The Community Action Day has a vital staple in Winchester Hub's SVW event calendar throughout the years. This event is often supported by Winchester City Council, Winchester Student Union, Osborne, and Winchester Bat Society.
A group of dedicated volunteers helped out at our Community Action Day, where they weren't afraid of getting their hands dirty in the name of social action. 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!
Volunteering and Community Champion Awards
The Volunteering and Community Champion Awards was a collaborative event, primarily organised by Winchester Student Union. This event was an inspiring and uplifting evening, as we got to hear about the work other volunteers and organisations are doing in the local area, and recognise them for their merit.
We're very proud to say that our entire student committee was nominated for at least one award category!
A big congratulations to:
Alice Jarvis (Student Executive) for winning the Student Change Agent Award
Steve Hallett (Social Enterprise Coordinator) for winning the Environmental Volunteering Award
Carmen Dolores (Youth Theatre Coordinator) for winning the Creative Volunteering Award
Bethany Hocking (Fundraising Coordinator) for winning the Awareness Raising Award
LinkAges Tea Party
This year's LinkAges Tea Party was a 1960's themed event which featured a quiz, lively conversation, and of course, tea and cake! This event is an attempt to bring both students and elderly residents together to combat the growing problem of social isolation, particularly among elderly people.
This event was immensely popular this year, as we were inundated with so many volunteering applications! Needless to say that a good day was had by all!
The Tri-Table Trials
The Tri-Table Trials are another SVW tradition, where students are tasked with completing three short challenges from different stations around campus. Any student that completed all three challenges was entered into a prize draw to win a Body Shop pamper session for themselves and five friends.
The Children of Winchester Festival (or COWFest for short), run a variety of creative and physical activities for local children to enjoy - all free of charge! COWFest relies on volunteers to run, and it goes without saying how much fun our student volunteers have when helping out at COWFest each year.
We found some volunteers for this year's festival, who were on hand during the day to assist with the children's activities. This year, COWFest featured a variety of arts and crafts, Zumba, playwriting, circus skills, drama, and puppetry to name but a few!
Building hedgehog houses
The University of Winchester joined the Hedgehog Friendly Campus Campaign in October 2019, meaning that the university has become a lot more aware of how humans can help the decline of endangered species. One product of this increased awareness is events like this!
Student volunteers were provided with the instructions and materials needed to build hedgehog-friendly dwellings, which will soon be distributed around campus to encourage Hampshire's hedgehog population to grow.
Missed out on SVW2020, but still want to get involved?
We have lots more great volunteering events that will run through the rest of the semester. Our Give It A Go project specialise in running one-off and micro volunteering events, and you can sign up to their newsletter here.
More ways to get involved
The Social Innovation Programme is accepting applications until 5pm on Thursday 27th February. SIP is a 6 week consultancy placement to learn about relevant social issues and building experience research and solving real-life challenges within local organisation. Find out more on our website.
Project SOUP is back! We'll be making some more nutritious vegan soup to sell on campus this semester as part of our fundraising campaign. Join us for our next Project SOUP on the Friday 28th of February at 4.30pm! Find out more here.
Visit our website for more details, and follow us on social media for regular updates about our events.