Posted on 13/10/2010
The Mayor of Runnymede, Councillor Margaret Roberts with her husband Geoffrey, Community Action Volunteer Manager Phil Simcock and student volunteers
The Mayor of Runnymede, Councillor Margaret Roberts, was one of the guests at Royal Holloway, University of London’s annual Volunteering Fair today (October 13) where she praised students and the College’s Community Action team for their efforts.
She said: “Royal Holloway’s Community Action Volunteering Programme is a proven success, and helps to provide positive links between students and the Runnymede community. Time is a precious commodity, and under Phil Simcock’s leadership, many give time helping in schools and organisations across the Borough. Speaking to some of last year’s students, every one of them said they had enjoyed the experience and had gained much from it. This excellent initiative should have every encouragement to continue.”
The fair, held in the Students’ Union showcased a range of local volunteering opportunities available to students. More charities and community organisations were represented at the fair than ever before including Alzheimer’s Society, Surrey Women’s Aid, Save the Children and Sunrise Senior Living.
Students can already choose from a wide range of projects from the College’s Community Action website, but the Volunteering Fair gives them the chance to discuss the projects that are available with the community partners in person and to find out more about fundraising ideas.
Phil Simcock, Community Action Volunteer Manager, said: “We are so pleased with this year’s turnout. It’s so encouraging to see so many students sign up to help out in their local community and to make a real difference.
“Volunteering is a two-way process – not only does the community and charities benefit but the students themselves get a lot out of it, from the skills they learn, the connections they make and also the fun they have. It’s a really rewarding experience.”
Volunteering has also proved a great way for students to enhance their skills and career prospects, with more than 1,000 volunteers now registered with Community Action along with more than 90 registered community partners. Any hours spent volunteering can be accredited through ‘V-Involved’, an organisation that supports more than 50,000 volunteers in the UK aged 16-25, and is nationally recognised by most employers.
Community partners are also running a series of short introduction sessions during ‘GetInvolved Week’, which will run from 18 to 22October on campus. The week is an opportunity for students to trial new volunteering opportunities.
To get involved as a Community Action volunteer or to find out more about Get Involved Week visit: www.rhul.ac.uk/CommunityAction