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Royal Holloway students complete voluntary work as part of their degree

Royal Holloway students complete voluntary work as part of their degree

  • Date19 July 2023

Several students from across Royal Holloway, University of London have carried out voluntary work in the local area, as part of their undergraduate degrees.


Social Science student Aiman carried out 60 hours of volunteering with charity Yes To Life

Students have been supporting the wider community as part of their degree for the last six years by participating in the ‘Voluntary Work in the Community’ module, in which they undertake 60 hours of voluntary work organised by staff at Royal Holloway Volunteering.

The course, which is offered by the Department of Social Work, gives students the chance to learn more about the charity sector whilst gaining real-life skills with an organisation which aligns with their values. This module offers students an opportunity to enhance the knowledge and skills required for graduate employment by learning through experience.

Some of the organisations that hosted placement students in 2022-23 included St. Jude's School in Englefield Green, the Orchard Dementia Centre in Chertsey and The Hope Hub – a homelessness charity in Surrey Heath.

Social Science student Aiman Shahzad was one of the students who carried out voluntary work as part of their degree. Aiman won the Outstanding Voluntary Work Student Award at this summer’s Runnymede and Spelthorne Volunteer Awards, which Royal Holloway Volunteering co-hosts annually in partnership with Voluntary Support North Surrey.

Aiman carried out 60 hours of volunteering with Yes To Life, the UK’s integrative cancer care charity. Based in London, Yes To Life aims to improve access to integrative medicine for people with cancer. Aiman’s role as Impact Project Support Lead was unpaid and included coordinating the charity’s 2022-2023 impact report.

Karl Mason, Lecturer in Social Work, and lead for the ‘Voluntary Work in the Community’ module, said:

"Voluntary Work in the Community offers our BSc Social Science and students from across Liberal Arts and Humanities an opportunity to gain valuable experience in voluntary settings and provides academic recognition around the skills and knowledge that they develop from doing so”

Louise McGarr, Voluntary Work Coordinator 2022-23, commented:

“Engaging students in the voluntary sector as part of their degree is a really great way of increasing inclusivity and extending our offering to a wider audience. The Volunteering team have noticed that students who take the ‘Voluntary Work in the Community’ module usually haven’t previously registered as volunteers with us before. Having these opportunities embedded into the curriculum means that socially conscious students who are juggling part-time jobs alongside their studies can participate in opportunities and gain valuable experience for which they would otherwise not have time.”

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