Student Volunteering Week 2014 – Good Feedback All Round

Now that the manic planning sessions and crisis meetings have been resigned to memory and another successful Student Volunteering Week has come to an end, it is important to look back on what we have been able to achieve, and what we have managed to learn for next year. Where better to turn than to the feedback we have received from our students, staff and partner organisations. We are delighted with the vast amount of positive comments directed at us, and will endeavor to act on any areas highlighted for improvement. Here is a summary of that feedback.

Volunteer Speed Matching – 19/02/14

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Our speed matching event was an opportunity to provide students and community organisations enough time to sit down with one another and discuss their potential working relationships. In a similar format to speed dating, groups of students listened to a 5 minute pitch from 12 of our community organisation partners and had the chance to ask them questions about the volunteering experience they offer. We then ‘matched’ up our students with the organisations they were interested in by exchanging contact information. The fact that we held this event in place of our usual February Volunteering Fair meant we were eager to find out what our organisation partners felt, and whether changing the make up of the fair was wise decision or not. Here is what they had to say…

”We really enjoyed talking to students in small groups and being able to market ourselves and answer their questions directly”

”Everyone who attended was very interested in volunteering. The event had a good structure and worked really well overall” 

”I found this to be a perfect opportunity to talk to many potential volunteers, be able to put across well a selling pitch and have a captive audience”.

Micro Volunteering Activity – 24/02/14 

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As part of our Good Deed Day celebrations, we decided to introduce our students to micro volunteering, the fast growing volunteering phenomenon that allows you to donate 20-30 minutes of your time online in order to benefit others. It not only proved a thoroughly enjoyable experience, but also gave students an alternative perception of volunteering as a whole. By simply visiting certain websites and playing games, answering questions or writing messages of goodwill, old fashioned procrastination can become the basis of a simple but effective good deed. Here is what our students had to say…

”Just answered a quiz and donated a pencil to charity. So easy to make a difference!” 

”I thought I would find it difficult writing to a child who is suffering from an illness, but Post Pals allows you to read the child’s profile and encourages you to simply talk about things they are interested in” 

” Great idea! I didn’t realise there were volunteering opportunities like this” 

Ancient Greek History Day – 26/02/14

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One of our most successful student-led projects has been our Ancient Greek History Club. They are a team of 5 students who hold a day of edutainment, teaching primary aged school children everything they want to know about life in Ancient Greece. The day involves learning the Ancient Greek alphabet, designing Greek pots and taking part in a quiz at the end of the day. According to the class teacher overseeing the students…

”The children really enjoyed the experience and were very excited by their learning.  The concepts they covered will make a good introduction to the topic when we start it fully after Easter.  All the students were well organised,  worked really hard and were lovely with the children”.  

Coventry Food Bank Activity Day – 27/02/14 

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On the Thursday of Student Volunteering Week, a group of 12 CU student volunteers helped out at Coventry food bank. They spent the day sorting through donations, making sure all food items were in date and non perishable. This provided an invaluable service to CFB, who work hard to help those Coventry residents struggling to meet the financial demands of everyday life. Our students had a fantastic time, and enjoyed each other’s company throughout the entire experience…

”I had a wonderful experience yesterday, meeting new friends and working together as a team was quite awesome. I am quite sure we made some people smile yesterday.  You have my volunteering hand next time you need it!”

”Though we were there for more than four hours, the time went by really fast and none of us seemed to be tired; I never knew so many cans of beans could be under one roof too J​. We shared lots of laughter, especially when we were sorting out the comical looking clothing items, and took lots of pictures as well”.

As we take all of this on board, the only thing left for us to do is to offer some feedback of our own. We appreciate all of the fantastic support we have received from our students. Without their help and support, there wouldn’t be a Student Volunteering Week to feedback on Thank you guys!

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