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University Week celebrates the impact of student volunteers

Posted on 15/06/2011

Today (15 June) marks the Big Ideas for Society Day as part of Universities Week 2011 and highlights the contribution students make to the wider community and society in general.

Royal Holloway, University of London currently has more than 1,300 registered student volunteers who get involved in a range of projects throughout the year including, The Big Spring Clean, Volunteering Week and Make a Difference day, as well as responding to specific requests made by community organisations and charities.

The College’s Community Action team works with more than 130 community partners including Oxfam, The Village Centre, Age UK, and Bright Lights to make a real difference.

The Community Action team wanted to find a way of showcasing the hard work and dedication of the volunteers and have been working with students from the Media Arts department to put together a short DVD.

Phil Simcock, Community Action Manager at Royal Holloway, said: “Volunteering is embedded in Royal Holloway’s culture and really helps enrich our student’s experience whilst also developing employability skills and of course making a valuable contribution to our local community.

“We wanted to find a way of celebrating the role our volunteers play but also highlight how much they themselves get out of volunteering and we thought a DVD would be a great idea as it also showcases our extremely talented Media Arts students.”

One of the organisations to benefit from the volunteers is BIZ, a non-contact Boxing gym and learning arena set up by Surrey Police and Runnymede Borough Council to target, in particular, disaffected young people in the Runnymede area.

Sergeant Alan Sproston, Community Safety Sergeant for Runnymede and treasurer for the BIZ venue, said: “The students really pushed the boat out and their help was absolutely invaluable to us. It’s great to see students volunteering in this way. They really put themselves out and the work they did was marvellous.”

Filming of the volunteers and community partners has been taking place over the last few weeks and the editing process has now begun.

The final DVD will be available at the start of next term but a sneak preview of the work in progress can be viewed from today.  


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