Give a little, gain a lot
8 May 2013
Student Volunteering Cardiff (SVC) has celebrated another successful academic year with an awards ceremony for its dedicated volunteers.
The awards took place at SVC's annual general meeting with awards given by the charity's patron and Cardiff University Professor Baroness Ilora Finlay. More than 50 student volunteers were awarded for their hard work, commitment and passion.
Student Volunteering Cardiff is a registered charity where students give their time to volunteer with vulnerable and disadvantages members of the community in Cardiff. It is one of the UK's largest student led volunteering organisations.
Adrienne Earls, SVC manager said: "The SVC AGM and Awards Ceremony is always a highlight in the SVC calendar. It is an opportunity for SVC to thank our dedicated volunteers for their continued commitment and the incredible contribution they make to the local community. The event was a great success, demonstrating how the charity has developed over the past academic year.
"We are so fortunate to have the support of so many students, organisations and our Patron Baroness Finlay. Finally I would like to extend a thank you to our 2012/13 Executive Board who have ensured that the charity continues to grow in accordance with our aims, plus ensuring student needs are supported and the local community continues to benefit from our work."
Examples of volunteering include the Watch project where volunteers are tasked with cooking at the Huggard Homeless Centre. Also, the Whitchurch and Llandough Hospital Volunteering project, a mental health project where volunteers visit patients to take part in activities or simply to have a chat. Some patients have been in the hospitals for some time and really appreciate the time and interaction with the volunteers.
SVC also set up a new partnership with South Wales Police last summer where students have become more proactively involved in their communities, helping the police carry out various crime prevention campaigns and high visibility patrols.
The Confident Futures project is a new partnership between SVC and the University's Widening Access team where young people, either care leavers or those currently in the care system spend every other Thursday at the Students' Union. The young people are matched with student volunteers who become their mentors based on shared interests, future ambitions or career aspirations. The sessions combine social activities with educational workshops to raise awareness of higher and further education options. The project will also continue as a summer school where the young people will stay in University Halls and truly experience life as a student.
As well as these vital projects, SVC hosts one-off events to raise awareness amongst students and staff. In February, they hosted 'Volunteering Week which included a range of one off events for students and staff to 'give a little, gain a lot'. The week culminated in the Jailbreak event where teams had 48 hours to get as far away from Cardiff as possible and back again without spending any money on travel. Jailbreak raised over £5500 to spend on new projects.
In March, SVC hosted their first ever charity duck race where over 300 brightly decorated ducks made their way down the river Taff. This idea came from a SVC co-ordinator and was a brilliant success with over £300 being raised. The ducks will once again be making their way down the Taff in 2014.
SVC will be appealing for new student volunteers in October 2013 at the start of the academic year. Cardiff University students are encouraged to get involved with helping the community while boosting their employability, making new friends and having unforgettable experiences.