In the last major study, 63 per cent of students surveyed reported formally volunteering since they had started university. As the Societies and Volunteering Co-ordinator for RUSU, I want to ensure that all students at Reading have every opportunity to get involved in volunteering during their time here.
In this Olympic and Jubilee year, opportunities to get involved in projects in the local community seem to be greater than ever and the action packed week of activities planned for student volunteering week (20th – 26th Feb), showcases just this. I hope that the week will give you a greater insight into volunteering; through talking directly to local voluntary groups and charities at a volunteering fayre in 3sixty, attending talks and getting involved in the one off no commitment volunteering opportunities organised during the week.
I am particularly excited about launching the NEW volunteering society. I have high hopes that this new group will enable students to really influence the community projects RUSU is involved with. The Vol Soc committee will (I hope!) develop their own events and activities for groups in the community, and recruit a great team of student volunteers to make their plans a reality!
A highlight of student volunteering week will be the launch of Voices of Reading – a community choir which is having it’s first rehearsal in student volunteering week. The choir, which is being conducted by a Reading alumnus, needs a committee to help its weekly running. If you were inspired by Gareth Malone and The Military Wives at Christmas and want to be involved, then head along to the first session and sing your heart out. The conductor will be bringing along her 6 month old son to rehearsals so this choir really is open to everyone! RUSU are working with schools in Whitley to develop this community choir open to all ages, all abilities and singing all types of music.
And yes...there’s more! To top it all you can go to another Freshers’ Fayre...but this time for volunteering. Still all the leaflets (and hopefully a good selection of free pens!) but no membership fees! Over 25 organisations are attending the fayre in 3sixty on Wednesday 22nd Feb from 12noon – 3pm and will be promoting a whole range of volunteering opportunities both locally, and further afield.
Do take a look at the full programme and drop me an email if you have any questions or pop in to the Hub for a chat. Go on...escape the student bubble and immerse yourself in local culture.