A fortnight ago the Student Volunteer Centre held their annual Student Volunteer week and it presented itself as a unique opportunity for students to get involved in a range of projects, that many of us may not have considered before. As a whole the Karni reps all got really behind and as BGP we put a lot of hours into the week! We wanted to make sure we covered a wide range of tasks and see just what different volunteering opportunities there are out there for students.
Becky and Scott kicked off the week of volunteering with Wendy House painting at the AMC Community Gardens on Tuesday. The site had a real sense of community, a huge contrast to its urban surroundings. From a built up area just outside the city centre, AMC provided space for just about everything you could want in a community garden! From growing organic vegetables to be sold locally and cheaply, to keeping rescue chickens and even growing a huge banana tree in a greenhouse, there was something for the whole community to enjoy. The task for the day was to paint a recently donated Wendy House sky blue, so that the children from the local nursery could add their own designs later. By the end of the day the newly painted Wendy House looked much brighter, ready for the additions of the children’s designs.
On Thursday morning, Fran and Amy volunteered at the Nottinghamshire Hospice helping with a craft session. This proved to be a really unusual way to help out within the local community. The main aim of the session was to provide some relief at the hospice for the patients, and to give them an opportunity to do something different with their day. They spent the morning with lots of patients doing activities such as glass painting and bookmarks. This was particularly rewarding as many of the patients struggled to use their hands and couldn’t see very well, and so Fran and Amy were following their instructions to create different designs. This especially gratifying because it provided them with a creative outlet they wouldn’t otherwise have had access to.
On Friday, James and George took on the task of clearing a pond in a local school. The pond had the potential to be an enjoyable space for students to enjoy, but until it was cleared it was not accessible. George and James worked with other volunteers from the University of Nottingham, as well as parents from the school. The day was split into clearing the pond, so that it could be enjoyed as a focal point of the school grounds, and clearing overgrown weeds from the benches, to create a new seating area. The task was rewarding as, when completed, it had enhanced the learning environment for lots of students. Sunday was the last day for our volunteering. Bronwen, Sam and Becky met with The Conservation Volunteers in the morning, and travelled an hour away from the city, to Clipsham. The Conservation Volunteers explained that they had been involved in ongoing clearing of shrubs from grassland, to increase butterfly population in the area. It was a long day and hard work, but it was great to get away from the city and get involved in a different kind of project which focused on wildlife. Some of the volunteers were there to complete parts of their courses in Conservation at Nottingham Trent University and a college in Beeston, and so it was an insight into volunteering being a practical way of achieving a degree or diploma to lead to future careers.
Overall the Student Volunteer Week gave an insight into different kinds of projects running throughout Nottingham, and gave us the opportunity to get help the local community in new and interesting ways. It definitely made us think about the different kinds of activities for us to get involved in as Karni reps. Written by BGP Karnival