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Students and staff go MADD for volunteering

Posted on 02/11/2009

Basketball teams at The Hub youth centre, Chertsey

Over 100 volunteers from Royal Holloway, University of London donated their time and energy in local communities as part of national ‘Get Involved’ week. The week culminated in Make A Difference Day (MADD), with ten hugely successful volunteering projects coordinated by Royal Holloway’s Community Action and funded by the College Annual Fund.

Volunteers made a strong impact on various communities during MADD, with projects including gardening, painting and litter picking. Their collective efforts benefited people throughout Runnymede borough – from children and young people to vulnerable adults, the elderly and people with special needs.

Students lent a hand at local projects in Egham and Englefield Green as well as traveling to areas such as Sunningdale and Sunbury. Staff from Royal Holloway’s Communications and PR department volunteered during ‘Get Involved’ week at Heathrow Special Needs Farm, where they also helped with the maintenance of the ground and made a donation to the farm.

Student clubs and societies brought their team spirit to various local projects, with contributors including men’s rugby, boat club, badminton and the dance society. Women’s football refurbished the pavilion at the Windlesham Field of Remembrance, while the basketball teams helped new youth centre The Hub prepare for its launch in Chertsey.

Phil Simcock, Community Action Volunteer Manager, commented, “It was fantastic to see so many students and staff getting involved. The difference they have made to the local community is a great sign for the success of future projects.”

Community Action’s ‘Get Involved’ week featured over 15 introduction sessions on campus with various Community Partners, as well as the launch to the Duke of Edinburgh Award. The week of volunteering ran from 19 to 23 October. Community Action now has over 850 registered volunteers and over 90 registered community partners.

Debbie Fuller, from Age Concern Spelthorne, added, "The volunteers have made a big difference and both Mr Down and Mrs Williams are really pleased with the teams' work on their gardens. Big thanks to all the volunteers and to Phil Simcock for organising the day. I am sure all of the projects were as successful as ours – well done to you all."

The Mayor of Runnymede, Councillor Paul Tuley, paid a visit to volunteers from Royal Holloway’s dance society and men’s rugby at the Merlewood Sunken Garden project, who were joined by Egham-based company Enterprise-Rent-A-Car. Enterprise provide support for local volunteering projects through a combination of funding and volunteers from their charity and community team.

MADD is part of a national initiative by CSV. For more information, visit: www.csv.org.uk/campaigns


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