Since 2001 the Union of Kingston Students has run a successful volunteering scheme. Open to all current students and staff, it provides opportunities to take part in a wide range of extra-curricular voluntary activities.
The majority of this activity takes place in the local community within the borough of Kingston upon Thames, but occasionally our volunteers travel further afield to London and the surrounding areas. The volume, variety and quality of volunteer activity has gone from strength to strength. The scheme now sees around 300 active volunteers involved with 100 volunteering opportunities, contributing around 3,500 hours to the community each year.
The scheme gives volunteers the opportunity to work regularly in schools, charities and community groups. Alternatively, for those with heavy timetables or other commitments, there's the chance to help out every now and then with one-off projects. Those with a passion to make their own changes, have the opportunity to run their own volunteering project. Funding and support is provided to students to set up their own community project, big or small, past examples have included creating a cookery book for young carers and knitting hats for babies in Kingston Hospital's special care unit.
The scheme supports the personal development of volunteers with training to help them excel in their volunteering role, and advice on how to make the most of what they've learned as volunteers when it comes to employment or further study. For more information about the scheme and roles on offer, or to get involved, see www.kingstonstudents.net/volunteering. To find out from our volunteers what they've been up to see the volunteering blog.
We would love to hear from you if you know of a charity or community group which needs extra volunteers for a one-off event, such as a fundraiser, sports competition or practical project. Please contact a member of the team at firstname.lastname@example.org.