20th – 26th February was National Student Volunteering Week and RUSU celebrated in style with an action-packed programme, including greenhouse building, talks and a volunteering fayre. This provided students with plenty of opportunity to get involved with volunteering, both on and off campus.
Voices of Reading (the new RUSU community choir) held its first rehearsal at George Palmer Primary School at the start of the week and by the end of an hour the 22 voices were singing in harmony. With members ranging from 6 months old to 70-years-old, this is a true community choir but one that needs more students! You don’t need to have any experience of singing, just come along and give it a go. The choir is free, welcomes all and sings a whole variety of pieces, all from memory.
Thirty-eight charities and community groups attended the volunteering fayre on Wednesday to recruit students, but the highlight of the week was the progress made with building a plastic bottle greenhouse. The eco-friendly greenhouse is being built in the garden at Little Learners Nursery on campus, out of hundreds of plastic bottles. Having levelled the ground and marked out the site on Monday, we returned on Thursday afternoon with a team of volunteers to get to work in the sunshine. With the help of the nursery children we peeled labels, washed bottles and managed to build 2 walls of the greenhouse.
We now urgently need more 2 litre bottles to finish building, so please contact the Students’ Union if you have 2 litre bottles. The children want to get planting so we need to get it finished!
The week also saw the launch of Reading University Volunteering Society – a NEW student–run network. The society will consist of various student representatives who will have responsibility for setting up new volunteering projects, therefore giving students a greater say over volunteering at Reading. By the summer term we hope to have had an afternoon tea in 3sixty for local elderly people on campus, an art mural painted at a local school and a weekly activity programme for children and young people with disabilities up and running. Who knows what else…the student committee will direct the volunteering projects.
As the Society grows, with the help of the Students’ Union, it will support and connect students who are interested in volunteering with events and projects throughout the year. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to find out more about volunteering and the Students’ Union.