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Charities, community projects and students benefit from volunteering

Queen Mary University of London (QMUL) is on the lookout for more London charities and non-profit groups, to add to the hundreds who have already benefited from the support of student volunteers.

22 July 2014


Students volunteer at the Whitechapel Mission, a day centre for people who are homeless or in need

Every year the QMSU Volunteering team – part of Queen Mary Students’ Union - matches more than 1,000 students with charities, not-for-profits, social enterprises and statutory agencies across London, many of which are based around the university’s campuses in Mile End and Whitechapel.

Spitalfields City Farm, the Alzheimers Society, the Ragged School Museum and Age UK are just some of the organisations who support QMUL student volunteers, in roles as diverse as gardening, mentoring, delivering workshops to school children or cooking for vulnerable adults.

Students can take up regular weekly placements, volunteer at one-off events or are offered help in setting up their own volunteering groups to pursue projects.

Volunteer Manager Sarah Gifford explains: “QMSU Volunteering has been matching up students with organisations and charities for 12 years now. Volunteering can make a real difference to someone’s life, to a charity, cause, or the environment and it’s a great way to give something back to the local community.

“It’s also a fantastic way for QMUL students to improve their CVs with lots of new skills and experiences, meet new people and get a taste of what working in different sectors is like.”

In addition to promoting existing opportunities on behalf of partner organisations, QMSU Volunteering also supports organisations who do not currently involve student volunteers to come up with roles which might benefit them, and also be great developmental opportunities for students.

Chris Bennion, Museum Learning Officer at the Ragged School Museum said: “We’re delighted to have had so many volunteers from Queen Mary over the last year. They help us to deliver a wide range of family learning activities for the local community – as a small organisation, we simply couldn’t offer such a wide range of activities without them. It’s a pleasure for us to be able to host Queen Mary students, who we always find to be hard-working, polite and enthusiastic. Importantly, they seem to really take their volunteering seriously, and don’t just treat it as a tick-box exercise!”

One QMUL student explained: “Volunteering has been a wonderful experience which has ensured that I leave university a well-rounded individual. It has taught me how to communicate with people of all ages, time management and also the importance of giving back to the community.”

QMSU Volunteering awards committed students with Gold (100 community volunteering hours), Silver (50 hours) and Bronze Awards (25 hours) for their volunteering efforts, as well as special prizes for those who have gone above and beyond what is expected.

Organisations who could benefit from student help should contact Bronwen on su-volunteering@qmul.ac.uk or 02078828046 or visit www.qmsu.org/volunteering/organisations/ to register.

For media information, contact:

Rupert Marquand
Public Relations Manager
Queen Mary University of London
email: r.marquand@qmul.ac.uk
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