Posted on 03/09/2012
A host of charities and community organisations were invited to Royal Holloway, University of London today for the first annual networking event designed to further boost volunteering at the College.
The Community Action Partners’ Network Gathering saw representatives from organisations including Egham Youth Centre, British Heart Foundation, and The Boxing Inclusion Zone in Chertsey, join the College’s Community Action Team for an afternoon of talks and workshops.
Royal Holloway has more than 1,300 student volunteers working with more than 140 community partners on a wide range of projects, from teaching English to child asylum seekers to reminiscence projects with elderly residents and gardening projects.
The Community Action Partners’ Network Gathering provided an opportunity for Royal Holloway’s Community Action Team to discuss future volunteering projects and to get feedback from the partner organisations.
Jan Langley, Volunteer Manager at Surrey Police, took the opportunity to attend the conference to discuss what other opportunities there were for Royal Holloway’s students to volunteer with the police. She said: “We use volunteers for a number of roles, assisting with admin, IT or helping with neighbourhood watch teams. The volunteers make a huge difference to us because it frees the police up to do the jobs they are paid to do. All of our volunteers go through strict vetting processes but it is worth it for the help they provide.”
Dan O’Reilly, from Merlewood Residential Home, has organised for some of the College’s arts societies to visit the residential and nursing home. He said: “We’ve had performances by Opera Holloway and some dance and music concerts and the residents just love them. It is often their link to the outside world and they really look forward to them.”
Phil Simcock, Community Action Volunteer Manager, said: “This new event aims to deepen Community Action’s connection with our growing network of associated charities and community organisations. We hope the conference will further develop our strong links with the local community, and assist in being better prepared to recruit volunteers at the start of a new academic year.”
For more information about volunteering at Royal Holloway, visit the Community Action Team’s web pages.