By Tom Mitchell
Durham University students are set to take part in Student Volunteering Week 2018 from the 19th to 25th February.
The week is a nationwide initiative that encourages university students to volunteer within their local communities, and aims to bring together organisations from different sectors to promote and celebrate the volunteering efforts of students.
This includes volunteering across the University by Student Community Action (SCA), the largest volunteering organisation at Durham, colleges, Team Durham Community as well as music and theatre outreach.
Now in its seventeenth year, Student Volunteering Week is organised by the Student Volunteering Network and supported by Student Hubs and the NUS. Last year, over 55,000 students and 100 institutions got involved.
During the week, Durham University’s Student Community Action (SCA) will offer 25 ‘Give it a Go’ sessions and one-off volunteering opportunities for the students at their Durham City and Stockton campuses.
Highlights include a conservation event set in Auckland Castle, a spring-themed children’s party and an Olympics sports day with disabled adults at Pelton Community Centre.
Over 1,000 Durham students regularly volunteer across 84 projects and collectively contribute 25,000 hours to identify and respond to community need.
Student volunteers are entitled to free and exclusive training organised by the SCA to prepare them for each project, in collaboration with external companies and institutions.
Training includes preparation for one-to-one tutoring projects, child behaviour management training, Nightline’s ‘active listening skills’ and certified qualifications in Emergency First Aid at Work.
The volunteering projects also allow Durham University to establish partnerships with employers, third sector organisations, and members of the local community.
Harriet Scott, President of SCA Volunteering, said: “Student Volunteering Week is a fantastic opportunity to give back to the community.”
Vice-President Lauren Goulder said: “To have a whole week dedicated to volunteering is a wonderful thing as it brings so many different people together and it shows students just how much fun volunteering can be.”
Photograph: David Biggins via Flickr