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The Student-Led Volunteering Newsletter Issue 7 – May 2009

Volunteer Ambassador’s Success Humayra Sadiq The Volunteer Ambassador’s project was a very successful project being funded by Junction49. Junction49 is an organisation where students can receive funding from them of up to £750 making the student project totally cost-free! It’s a project trying to encourage people to get their dreams off the ground and make it a reality and help make a difference within the community. The project started off when students benefited from organising their own cost-free projects. Henceforth, the students themselves decided to form a Junction49 committee as well as launch a newsletter entitled ‘Inspire’. The project, led by Humayra Sadiq, consists of a fantastic, dedicated team of members who make up the Junction49 Committee and the Inspire newsletter team. The Committee helped encourage students to pursue their dreams and get their projects off the ground and make it a reality as well as participated in projects that

“The committee helped encourage students to pursue their dreams and get their projects off the ground and make it a reality...” were beneficial to students such as the charity cake sale, building bird boxes in order to save the environment as well as helping out in DJ49, Oxjamaganza, Indoor Sports

and Social Session and other events. The Junction49 Committee also launched eight issues of the ‘Inspire’ newsletter which helped promote students ideas, their achievements and success as well as helping to gather new volunteers and encourage them to start off their own projects. The newsletter keeps you updated with the latest projects funded by Junction49 and any events that take place at De Montfort University. The ‘Inspire’ newsletter From left: David Murphy, Fatima Khonat, Humayra Sadiq, Leyanne Goding, Amy Seabrook, Harriet Jackson and Glen White became very successful which received positive Many students have started off their own community feedback from students and staff members alike. It helped projects from raising money for charities, organising get students achievements recognised as well as giving sports session as well as numerous fashion shows which young writers an opportunity to get their work published. have been the key highlights of this year. The newsletter was printed every fortnightly and it began With success on the horizons for the Volunteer distributing copies around the campus centre and different Ambassadors project, it’s surely to continue into the years buildings at DMU as well as giving people the opportunity making it bigger and noticeable than ever as well as giving to view an electronic copy online and download it at www. students the opportunity to join Junction49 and start off demontfortstudents.com or visiting the project on Facebook. their own project and make their project totally cost-free. With the launch of this Volunteer Ambassador’s project, The members of the Volunteer Ambassador’s project Junction49 has been funding more and more projects as consist of Glen White (Junction49 Co-ordinator), Humayra more students are getting involved and are getting their achievements recognised. The success of many student-led Sadiq (Chair and Editor), Harriet Jackson (News Editor), projects of the year has led to an increase in involvement of Fatima Khonat (News Editor), Leyanne Goding (Feature Editor), Amy Seabrook (Feature Editor) and contributors Sara project ideas which are coming into existence and now the Dixon, David Murphy, Ben Scarfe and Kelly McCormack. aim is to form these ideas and make them a reality.

‘Inspire’ Success at Involve Awards Harriet Jackson The ‘Inspire’ newsletter won its first award at the Involves Volunteering Awards Ceremony on Wednesday evening.

On 5th May, De Montfort’s Student Union hosted the awards ceremony, which was in the theme of James Bond’s, Casino Royale. It was unrecognisable with a large James Bond statue, roulette tables and glamorous dressed DMU volunteers. There were guest speakers, one of which included Ollie Bray, a former DMU graduate who has won the Volunteer of the Year award twice in his past four years at De Montfort, a great achievement and an inspiration to us all. It was ‘Inspire’s’ first year at the Involve awards and the whole team were very excited, just to even be nominated for an award. We were nominated for two awards, Volunteer Project

of 2009 award and Outstanding Group award. We won the latter, a great achievement, considering ‘Inspire’ was only created in December. The whole team is thrilled with ‘Inspire’s’ success and it gives us great hope for our future. Amy Seabrook said: “I’m so pleased with the award ‘Inspire’ won tonight. We’ve all worked very hard in creating this newsletter and now our hard work has been recognised. “Overall, the night had been really fun and a big success. I hope ‘Inspire’ will be back at the awards next year!” A special mention goes to Humayra Sadiq, the editor and brainchild behind ‘Inspire’ newsletter. Without her leadership and creativity, ‘Inspire’ would still be an idea on paper. She had a dream and she acted on it. Well done also to Rachel Metcalf who won Volunteer of the Year 2009, the first female to receive this award. She is a big inspiration to all volunteers and students at DMU. The team at ‘Inspire’ are pleased that the projects we have advertised and covered in our newsletters were

recognised at the Involve awards and nominated in the prestigious awards categories. Our newsletter has aimed to give these projects, which include the SECS clinic, Oxjam and a sports and social event, recognition and we feel we have successfully carried this out. The future of ‘Inspire’ is looking very promising. Next year we want more people contributing to our newsletter and for even more people to create some of their own exciting projects and events. Remember, you could receive up to £750 in funding from Junction49 to put your dreams in to action. If you have been thinking of putting on an event or running a project in aid of people less well off than yourself, then stop putting it off. If you are stuck for inspiration then get some ideas from the ‘Inspire’ newsletter available all around the university, that’s what we are here for... to inspire! For more information visit the DMU section of www. junction49.co.uk/universities and start planning your own charity event.


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Get INVOLVE-d Leyanne Golding Those of you who have read the ‘Inspire’ newsletter will know by now who we all are, what Junction49 is, and how to get involved (so no excuses, get involved!).

But for those of you who are only just discovering us, I thought I’d let you know what events have taken place, how you can make your ideas a reality, and most importantly how to get involved with Junction49 and the ‘Inspire’ newsletter. Junction49 is all about student led volunteering, if you

“Junction49 is all about student-led volunteering, if you have an idea you want to make into a reality, you could receive up to £750 in funding to help.”

have an idea you want to make into a reality, you could receive up to £750 in funding to help. Over the past few months, we have seen projects ranging from cake sales, to fashion shows and awareness projects, such as ‘Sexy Fun’. All of these projects have been a success, but we still need more project ideas to ensure that Junction49 can continue to run, and make a difference. Therefore we need your help. We want you to contact us with any ideas for projects, so that we can help make your idea a reality. These projects can be anything; we’ve had huge success with fashion shows, indoor sports socials, and have even been able to hold events in the Students Union, such as ‘Sexy Fun’. ‘Sexy Fun’ had games and stalls set up on Valentine’s night in the union to promote safe sex. The event was a huge success, so if you have any issues you think students need to know more about then why not set up a project to do so? It’s really easy, fun, and also means that you get to be featured in ‘Inspire’ newsletter. Remember, volunteering looks good on your CV, and you get to make a difference within the community. What other reasons do you need to look for?

Interview with Glen White The Volunteer Support Officer, Glen White, played a key role in the Volunteer Ambassador’s project. Here he tells us the benefits of volunteering and the success behind the amazing projects that happened this year... 1. What do you believe are the key benefits of student volunteering? Volunteering during anytime of your life is an important and worthwhile experience, but volunteering during your studies at University is a great chance to enhance your life skills. Many students find spare time during their studies to pursue hobbies, take up new ones and to volunteer. There are so many different volunteering opportunities available whether you’re interested in learning new skills or improving current ones to enhance your employability, increase your confidence, gain that ‘feel good’ factor and to have fun.

“I hope projects from this year, such as the Inspire newsletter, can find a way to continue in the future.” 2. Why would you encourage students to help with volunteering? I would encourage students to get involved with volunteering whilst at university for the above reasons - particularly if you want to enhance your employability. Having that extra volunteer experience can put you ahead of many graduates. Within the Involve office we hear back from many past students who have acquired jobs down to their qualifications and their voluntary experience. More often than not employers are looking for valid, relevant experience and voluntary work can give you that.

All previous issues of ‘Inspire’ newsletter are available to download from www.demontfortstudents.com so why not take a look at previous projects, and see how the ‘Inspire’ newsletter works together with projects to promote and report their good work! Our contact details are listed on any newsletter, but alternatively check out www.junction49.co.uk, sign up, and look at other university ideas, and the projects that have taken place here at DMU. The main man to get in touch with is Glen, but any of the ‘Inspire’ newsletter team will be willing to hear your ideas and help you to get started! We are always welcome to contributors as well, so let us know if you want to write for ‘Inspire’?! So there’s no excuse, what better to do this summer then to plan a project, be inspired and get involved!! We look forward to hearing your ideas, and seeing your projects become a reality!

Amy Seabrook

3. Are you pleased with the student-led volunteering projects that have taken place at DMU this year? This year has seen an increase in student-led volunteering across the university. We have currently help to put on 8 student-led projects from fundraisers, to promoting healthy lifestyles, to sexual health awareness, and even promoting studentled volunteering itself through this fantastic Inspire newsletter. There is still one more project to take place this term which aims to raise awareness of human rights violations across the globe and the work of Amnesty International through drama and film showings on campus. I am very grateful to all those students who have come to me with ideas for volunteer projects and to all those students who have got involved with them, showing a high level of commitment and dedication throughout the year. Well done!

4. What has been most successful in your eyes? Just the passion and commitment from each student to their respective project, and in some cases, projects! Each project has been a success in its own right, and I hope that all students who have been involved this year feel that it has been a worthwhile experience. Two, very different, one-off volunteer taster days were also put on this year, both proving to be very successful. Back in October 2008 we put on a conservation taster day outside the Kimberlin Library with the British Trust for Conservation Volunteers. 50 volunteers took part throughout the day to build bird boxes for local nature reserves. In February this year we put on our second volunteer taster day with 8 students taking part in a DJ competition to raise money for the Youth Music charity. Volunteers helped on the night by collecting money on the door and throughout the evening.

5. What would you like to see happen with student-led volunteering in the future?

I hope we can build on this year and go on to bigger and better things in the future with more student-led projects. I hope projects from this year, such as the Inspire newsletter, can find a way to continue in the future.

6. Do you have any plans or volunteering projects lined up for next year at DMU? The volunteering office here within De Montfort Students’ Union is going through some exciting changes this summer. Sadly we are saying goodbye to Involve, but we are rebranding with the start of the Volunteer Academy for the new academic year. I hope we can go from strength to strength by working across the university to promote volunteering and student-led volunteering to the entire student body to enhance the student experience further at De Montfort University.


INSPIRE: The Student-Led Volunteering Newsletter www.junction49.co.uk

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Summer Step Up! Fatima Khonat ‘Summertime!’ This blissful phrase holds a ringing sensation to it for students across the country. For many students it is symbolic of their freedom; it highlights the arrival of blessed days - days which are stress free, structure free, more so, days which are made for long lie inns. But for the more ‘alert’ students out there, ‘summertime’ resembles a period of seizing unique opportunities; a time to build upon skills and experiences, providing a stepping stone to stand out from amongst the rest into their first paid position, a step closer to their chosen career. An increasing number of students are ongoing part time volunteers who are also actively seeking further volunteering roles and paid positions within the voluntary and non-profit sector. As well as ongoing part time volunteering many students are looking for internships within the voluntary sector as a stepping stone to their first paid position. Internships for undergraduates are best undertaken during the summer time when students have more time free; however graduates leaving University without work experience also seek internships all year around.

are plenty of volunteer opportunities out there that could change your life for the better.

Build your confidence Many volunteers encounter an array of new challenges. Sharing new experiences with new people, they can learn new skills that can give them confidence to face challenges in other areas of their lives.

Introduce you to new friends There’s no better place to meet likeminded individuals than through volunteering for a campaign or cause you believe in. Working together to bring about a change is a great way to bond with others and become part of a community that can stay in touch long after your work is done. Plus, you could meet people from a diverse range of backgrounds – people you may never come across in your daily life.

So students and volunteering, is it safe? Student life and volunteering go together like cheese and biscuits. They’re a perfect match. You’ll find that as a student there will be many different ways for you to volunteer yourself

Create more fun in your life Many volunteers are surprised at how much fun it can be to help others. Not every volunteer experience is the same, but by finding an opportunity that matches your interests, you have a good chance of having fun while giving time.

What can volunteering do for you? Improve your health Sure, volunteering is great for the community and makes the world a better place; but could it actually make a positive impact on your life, too? Whether you want to improve your CV with new skills, meet new people or just feel good about yourself, there

There is evidence that volunteering can improve your health. In “The Healing Power of Doing Good”, writer Allan Luks found medical and scientific documentation supporting the health benefits of volunteering which include a heightened sense of well-being; an improvement

in insomnia; a stronger immune system as well as a speedier recovery from surgery

Boost your career options Additionally, volunteering lets you road test different kinds of work, giving you hands on experience of how different professions operate. Volunteering can bring you into contact with all kinds of professionals and people from every walk of life. In fact, the networking opportunities it can provide are among the least publicised but most exciting benefits of all. A good network can guide your career pathway right through life and help you take giant steps towards your ideal job. Up to 60% of job vacancies are not advertised and end up being filled internally or through external networking. If you are already working, volunteering can help you change your career direction. For volunteering, work experience or internship placements search www.prospects.ac.uk

Human Rights Awareness David Murphy There are Human rights atrocities across the world nearly every day, of that there is no doubt. With the Tibetan vs. Chinese conflict, the hidden situation in Burma and Georgian/ Russian war all in the news this year, we are constantly reminded of those who suffer for being caught in the middle of it… However, there are stories we do not know about, that are not widely covered by the media. One such example is the kidnapping of children to become soldiers in The Ugandan/ Southern Sudanese region. During the end of May, Junction49 and Involve will help

“During the end of May, Junction49 and Involve will help to stage a week of activities aimed at raising awareness of Human Rights...”

to stage a week of activities aimed at raising awareness of Human Rights, in association with Amnesty International and the Invisible Children organisation. This will culminate in a series of screenings of the film Invisible Children: The Rough Cut in Level 1 of the DSU. As a prelude to the film showings, the week will include several thought provoking activities, ranging from the hand outs of different images and news articles to create discussions and write thoughts on, murals and galleries in which passers-by can write their own thoughts on post-it notes, to some portrayal through performance by volunteers. The intention is to provoke discussion and debates leading up to the screenings on how students and visitors alike understand the world outside of University, and if they would like to help in changing it, there will be several links provided to opportunities and information from the Amnesty International, Invisible Children and other cause groups’ websites. In recent years, the DSU had its own Amnesty International society, though due to inactivity and the lack of members the group’s work has faded somewhat. If the Human rights week beginning 25th May is successful, there may be a resurgence of the group in some form. If you enjoy volunteering or are a Drama enthusiast, and you would like to help out in this project in organising, handing out materials or performing then please don’t hesitate to contact either one of me, David Murphy on

Gizmondo80@ yahoo.co.uk, Pete Hitchings on phitchings@ dmu.ac.uk or Glen White (who is in charge of the film showings themselves) on gwhite@ dmu.ac.uk. Alternatively you can show your support by joining the volunteering team through the Involve group route on volunteer@ dmu.ac.uk, or you could just simply look out for us in and outside the front of the DSU during the week, so you can take part in one or more of the activities on offer. We believe that this is a strong cause to follow towards the end of the current academic year, and it’s a good chance to get involve after your studies are finished for the year, and think outside the box a little towards the summer. Let’s get people talking, so the Ugandan children are not ignored and may one day be rescued!


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The ‘Inspire’ Team Name: Humayra Sadiq Role: Chair of the Junction49 Committee and Editor of the ‘Inspire’ newsletter Interesting Fact: I’ve probably visited every single coffee shop in Leicester! I’m a huge coffee fan and can’t get enough of it!! About Me: Well, launching this project has been one of my greatest achievements over this year. I’ve absolutely enjoyed working with everyone on the team and they’ve all been fantastic! I couldn’t have done it without them!! I also love being inspired with different ideas and articles which is the best thing about this project. The highlights are launching this newsletter and reading everyone’s articles as well as receiving positive feedback from students. The down-turn is that I wish I had thought of starting this project earlier and I wish there were more issues! This Volunteer Ambassador’s project is a fantastic way to get more students involved in the Junction49 process itself by motivating people to start off their own projects as it can be a success! You need to believe in yourself if you want go far!

Name: Harriet Jackson Role: News Editor of the ‘Inspire’ newsletter Interesting Fact: I have a huge phobia of pigeons- especially when they dive at you! About Me: Over the past few months, I have been News Editor for ‘Inspire’, a student led newsletter. I have really enjoyed researching and writing about all the exciting events DMU students have been hosting. My personal favourite event was the ‘Fashion Show 2009’. It stood out to me because it was on the evening of when the heavy snow hit Leicester. Despite the awful weather conditions, lots of people still came to support Sam Brown and Sarah Mathers in raising money for Breast Cancer Care. The evening raised over £700 for the Breast Cancer charity, completely smashing their £500 target! Remember, you can receive up to £750 in funding from Junction49 to put your dreams in to action. Think of events that you could host to help charities and people less fortunate than yourselves next term!!

Name: Fatima Khonat Role: News Editor of the ‘Inspire’ Newsletter Interesting fact: Out of all the things I inherited from my lovely mum it’s her beauty spots...I have exactly the same number as her! About Me: My role as the News Editor for Inspire was both an interesting and an engaging role. I had a fantastic year and my involvement in the Volunteer Ambassador’s project helped me gain new skills as well as the opportunity to interact and meet new people. I got involved in many projects this year and working with the committee members on this Volunteer Ambassadors project was really great and absolutely fantastic. This project was a great success and it was well worth it!

Name: Leyanne Goding Role: Features Editor for the ‘Inspire’ newsletter Interesting Fact: Since being in my 2nd year at Uni I have never been out of my overdraft! oops! About Me: Since I began writing for the ‘Inspire’ newsletter there has always been one project that stuck out in my mind and this is ‘Sexy Fun’. Those of you who have read ‘Inspire’ will know that I have wrote a couple of articles on this event, and have also interviewed the girls that organised it. I learnt a lot myself and really enjoyed writing about it. Becki Fox and Faye Wright organised a project to help raise awareness and promote safe sex in a fun way, rather than just using a leaflet. I hope to see the girls do more for this project in the future, and I’ll be there to support it!

Name: Amy Seabrook Role: Features Editor of the ‘Inspire’ newsletter Interesting Fact: I have tiny size 3 feet! About Me: Throughout this year our newsletter has helped ‘Inspire’ so many student volunteering projects. These projects really are worthwhile and it has been so nice to see the work students are doing for the local community. De Montfort students have helped so many charities this year and I’ve really enjoyed being a part of Involve and Junction49 this year because the work students have done has been so beneficial for all of these important causes. ‘Inspire’ has been thoroughly enjoyable to work for and I’m so glad I have had the opportunity to help so many people.

Name: David Murphy Role: Writer for the ‘Inspire’ newsletter Interesting Fact: Whether it’s a drama performance, a birthday party or a volunteer event I can’t help but dress up. I probably have more costumes than an exotic dancer and I’m a Historian! About Me: One of the privileges of being a volunteer ambassador is that I am able to help students as they organise projects over the year, no matter how had it may seem at first. Being a writer for Inspire means I can promote for them too! A particular highlight was covering El Mahico’s performance at One Voice. I was happy to write up the entire event, but with a spectacular finish such as a rising band I was simply overjoyed and had to stay for the whole 11 hours of the cultural Diversity event!


Issue 7 Inspire