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INSPIRE The DSU Student Volunteering Newsletter Issue 8 DSU Volunteering Room 1.30 DSU First Floor The Campus Centre

Leyanne’s Blog different! More people have joined the team, and we are working really closely with the DSU Volunteer Committee to bring you upto-date information on upcoming events and previous events. We would love as many people as possible to get involved with Volunteering this year, its fun, it looks good on your CV and you’ll be helping to make a difference! Tel: 0116 2576304

Inside this issue: Upcoming Events


Freshers Week


Trip to Edale


Bird Box Building with the BTCV


Hey Everyone!

World AIDS Day 3

Caudwell Children


Coppicing in Croft


DMU Fun Run


Contact us


October 2009

Welcome to Inspire newsletter! Some of you may remember us from last term, but this time we are a little bit

My name’s Leyanne, I’m a 3rd year Journalism and Media Studies Student, and I was feature’s editor of Inspire newsletter last term,

and this time I’m the editor! In this issue we bring you updates on how successful Fresher’s week was, how the fun run went and some information on future events. If you want to get involved in Volunteering, in writing for the newsletter, or if you have an event idea or anything you think the committee should know about please do not hesitate to get in touch with any of us! Enjoy! Leyanne

Random Acts of Kindness (left) during Freshers’ Week. See Page 2 for more. Building Bird Boxes (right ) with BTCV during Freshers’. Read all about it on page 4

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Freshers! What a Week!

Friday 30th October Make A Difference Day

Harriet Jackson

Get involved with painting a mural of Filbert the Fox at Leicester City’s Walkers Stadium

Thursday 5th November 12-4pm Coppicing at Croft with the BTCV Come along for a fun day out in the countryside with the BTCV. To find out more go to Hannah’s article on page 5 Friday 20th November Children in Need Get involved with helping the DSU Student Volunteering Committee raise money for Children in Need. Tuesday 1st December World AIDS Day Help us raise awareness of HIV & AIDS. If you would like to get involved in any of the above events then please email


Freshers week has been the most successful week ever for the DSU volunteering society. Over the week the student volunteering committee and staff put on special events and hosted information stalls everyday and received a huge amount of positive response from DMU students. Volunteer Support Officer, Glen White said: ‘This is the best freshers week we have ever had, we are thrilled!’ On Monday the student committee went round the campus offering fellow students cups of

tea, sweets and hugs as a random act of kindness. There was even a lifesize banana and gorilla helping the committee and giving freshers directions. On Tuesday evening students and staff had an informal drinks reception to meet fellow volunteers, old and new. Everyone got a complimentary glass of champagne and had a great time catching up after the long summer. Later in the week, The British Trust for Conversation Volunteers (BTCV) visited DMU again to encourage students to help them build bird boxes for local conservation areas and allot-

ments. The volunteers promoted environmental volunteering and had over forty people build bird boxes. The students were even given the choice of taking the bird boxes to put them in their own gardens. On the last day of Freshers, the volunteering committee had a stand at the freshers fair. During the week 500 students interested in getting involved in volunteering. All in all; the DSU volunteering society are looking forward to great things this academic year. Watch this Space!

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Issue 8

Committee Trip to Edale, Derbyshire Harriet Jackson Six members of the DSU Volunteering Committee spent a few days at a youth centre in the Edale, Derbyshire during the summer break. The purpose of the trip was to plan future events, get to know the committee members, their roles within the society and to enjoy a few days in the peak district.

There were six members of the volunteering committee who went on the trip along with Volunteer Support Officer, Glen White and Volunteer Manager, Vicky Hossack. This is a very important year for the Volunteering Office, as they begin their first year as ‘DSU Volunteering’ and with the support and dedication of the student volunteering committee they are planning become good friends and confident indion making it viduals, shaping the student volunteering a very succommittee. cessful year. They have planned events such as ‘DSU The group Clothes Show’. This will include a fashion took part in show with clothes brought from charity indoor and shops only, a stall with quality second outdoor ac- hand clothes where students can buy them tivities such and then customise their new purchases as climbing on a separate customising stall and many and orienmore exciting things. The DSU Clothes teering and Show will have something for everyone so as a result keep checking back for more information. have

World Aids Day 2009 by Zahra Malik The idea of World Aids day was constructed by James Bunn and Thomas Netter in 1987 who believed that the issue of AIDS needed to be more widely covered across the world. World Aids Day is dedicated to raising awareness of the AIDS pandemic caused by the spread of the HIV infection. It is held on the 1st of December each year around the world to honour the memory of those

who have died from AIDS/ HIV. World Aids Day is therefore held to raise money, increase awareness, fight prejudice and improve education. AIDS has been observed as the most destructive epidemic recorded in history, each year a different theme is chosen with 2009’s theme being

‘Universal Access & Human Rights.’ It has been estimated that around 33.2 million people live with HIV, 2.5 million of those being children. De Montfort Students’ Union is again getting involved with World Aids Day as previous years have proved such a success. This year is no different with events being planned across the city and within the union. If you would like to get involved with World AIDS Day and help raise awareness then please contact

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The Committee

Bird Box Building Breaks Previous Year’s Record David Murphy

Chair Robert Gough Vice-Chair / Events Lewis Hatfull Secretary David Murphy Treasurer Vacant Events Natalie Linnell Student-Led Projects Hannah Slater Media & Communications Harriet Jackson Media & Communications Amy Seabrook Inspire Editor Leyanne Goding General Member Rhydian Jones General Member Zahra Malik


As DSU volunteering efforts got off to a great start at the beginning of Fresher’s week, Thursday 1st October brought a taste of environmental action to new students at De Montfort University with a day-long activity aimed at preserving bird-life in the area… all by building bird boxes by hand! Partnered with the BTCV (the British Trust for Conservation Volunteers), who specialise in projects protecting wildlife and the environment with redevelopment and supervision, all participants at the 12-4pm event were given the chance to build their own ‘DIY’ Bird Boxes. Situated in a central

place in the university to catch students and the people of Leicester, and on a sunny day also, the Marquee and stall were set up to get people to join in, and once they had their box ready- sign up with future projects with DSU volunteering and with the BTCV.

The purpose of the bird box building exercise was not just to help all the birds have a home over the winter season, in the trees and gardens of Leicester. It was also a good example of teamwork and the creativity involved in being a volunteer.

There were professional conservationists on hand from the BTCV to help build the simple ‘hammer, nail and wood’ boxes, while all volunteers were offered tea, coffee and biscuits as they put in the hard work to create their own special box. They were all given the opportunity to keep the boxes and take them home as well!

The best part was over 50 boxes were built, which was more than last year when the event was staged previously, probably because it was much sunnier this time! It proved a successful event two years in a row there should definitely be more projects with the BTCV in the future (see Hannah’s article on page 5).

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To Infinity and Beyond! Lewis Hatfull Five...four...three...two...on e...we have lift off! Thursday 22nd October saw volunteers from DMU blast off on a mission to the International Space Centre in collaboration with Cauldwell Children’s ‘Gift of a Day’ programme. This programme revolves around the simple idea of giving up just one day of your time to help support families who are often overwhelmed by the emotional and financial strain that comes with caring for a sick or disabled child. These days out are designed to be inclusive for the whole family, not just the sick child. It’s a chance for everyone to have a great day out and that included us volunteers! Our first mission of the day was to make and

decorate paper rockets which we later launched out in the car park. This was a great ice breaker activity between the families and volunteers; everyone got stuck and we created some rather interesting and colourful spacecraft. We also got the chance to experience the amazing Space Theatre where we learnt about astronomers, telescopes and satellites in 360 degrees of mind blowing 3D fun. The Space Centre seemed to go down very well with both the families and volunteers alike, I caught myself a few times getting overly excited and dashing off towards the next exhibit!

it did not seem like we were doing a lot, you could tell by the faces of the families that they really appreciated the day out and a chance to have a break from it all. I’m glad I made the gift of a day. Giving just one day of your time can be made a huge difference to the lives of others. Volunteering is the most effective and rewarding way to get involved and make a real change to everyday lives. Caudwell Children’s Gift of a Day programme provides support where it is needed most; to families who are often overwhelmed by the emotional and financial strains that caring for a sick or disabled child can bring.

Overall it was a very If you would like to get involved in future projects rewarding experience taking with Caudwell Children please email part in this activity, although

Coppicing in Croft by Hannah Slater Next week DSU Volunteering together with the BCTV will be running a taster session for volunteers who wish to get involved with environmental conservation work. A trip to Croft woods will take place on Thursday 5th November where our fantastic volunteers will be coppicing trees with the BCTV. It promises to be a great afternoon in the fresh

air and local countryside with a number of volunteers already signed up to get the axes swinging and learn some woodland management skills. If you’ve no idea what coppicing is then don’t panic! At first we didn’t know either here on the volunteering committee, but we can now tell you that coppicing is a woodland management technique going back cen-

turies. It involves chopping trees close to the base of the trunk, which helps keep the woods healthy and alive by opening up the canopy and allowing more light in for wild flowers and animals on the forest floor. If you fancy getting involved and spending just a few hours volunteering in Croft woods then sign up by emailing us at Transport is provided from the Campus Centre leaving at 12 and returning by 4pm. Photography students are recommended to bring their cameras as this offers an unmissable opportunity for some great snaps of natural woodland and wildlife!

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RUN DMU! by Amy Seabrook Fresher’s week may seem a distant memory to most De Montfort students now, but the success of this year’s DMU Fun Run has not been forgotten. The finale to this year’s Fresher’s Festival, which took place on Sunday 4 October saw 241 students take to the streets of Leicester to do a 3.5km run, raising a fantastic £888.65 for the LOROS charity.

Last year’s De Montfort Women’s Football Chairman, Rosie Corbett was the first woman to complete the run in an impressive time of 15 minutes and 41 seconds.

own stamp by wearing fancy dress or promoting their sports teams and societies. Competitors also included a stilt walker, three legged racers, an athlete with an egg and spoon and even a swimmer in nothing but tight pants! Everyone who took part in the run received a RUN DMU T Shirt and goodie bag with other items. Everyone had a great time and DSU are hoping the success of the event will establish it as a regular edition to the DSU calendar.

The runners of all abilities completed the circuit around the DMU campus and surrounding area, Inspire would like with the winner, Paige to say thanks Haines crossing the line again to all the in an incredible time of 12 Many other students who competitors and volunteers who made the day minutes and 13 seconds. made it past the finishing so memorable. line gave the Fun Run their

Contact Us If you would like to get involved with the Student Volunteering Committee, are interested in writing for INSPIRE or have any questions or feedback then please get in touch! Leyanne Goding, Editor: Email DSU Volunteering: Website: Twitter: Facebook: INSPIRE

Inspire Issue 8  
Inspire Issue 8  

The first edition of the student volunteering newsletter for the academic year 2009-10.