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Student Volunteering Week 2016 brought to you by NUSU Go Volunteer Inside these pages you will hear students at Newcastle University talking about the volunteering they did during Student Volunteering Week in 2016. Why do they do it? What do they gain? What is it like?


Saturday’s Volunteer Voice I am currently studying MA in International Business Management. One of the activities I took part in over the Student Volunteering Week was helping out at Cockle Park Farm with a group of volunteers. We fed the farm chickens, sowed various seeds, pricked out seedlings into larger containers, and prepared garden beds for spring planting. It is always so nice to get away from the city, enjoy some fresh air on the farm, and listen to project manager Jon’s words of wisdom. Lucie

“I am studying Food Marketing and Nutrition. I’ve been volunteering for the past one and a half years now and let me tell you the Student Union farm is one of the best things about Newcastle, in my opinion. If you are into spacious and green, refreshing uplifting places then this is the place to go. If you like gyms and working out but don’t like being indoors, go to the farm, spend a couple of hours there and get a really good workout, trust me! . . Visits to Cockle Park take place 3 times a week. It is probably our most popular & most sociable project. Sign up for a Tuesday, Wednesday or Saturday by emailing

But volunteering is not just for one week : every project mentioned here has other opportunities throughout the year. CONTACT US : 0191 2393926 Facebook, Twitter, Instagram @NUSUGoVolunteer Find us on the 1st floor of NUSU, Newcastle University Students’ Union. Or ask any of the students quoted in this report!

Friday’s Volunteer Voice As part of Go Volunteer’s Green Grants programme, I went to Mickley First School to risk assess the school—we do this first before we can get any work done. Personally I love the journey out from the hustle and bustle of the city, of course the air is more crisp but the landscape is just surreal! On a good day I could see miles and miles from the car. As an international student, it's just great knowing you get the opportunity to go somewhere new and plus you gain so much from volunteering and working with other people (lovely school staff).

This sketch was

Sunday’s Volunteer Voice I am a 1st year Combined Honours student, doing History, History of Art and English Literature. I volunteered for the dry stone wall building, because I like to get out of the city and the landscape is very beautiful up in Northumberland. I think it is very impressive what the community there has already achieved building the site and I am proud to support and be part of that. The volunteering days are always great fun because the people are very nice and helpful and its a great way to work together in a team and learn new skills. I am looking forward to more volunteering in my further years. :) Helen

Local recognition, in the Hexham Courant Newspaper, 4th March.

produced by a team of Newcastle University Architecture students as part of their planning & consultation with the local community last year. Since September we have been helping them create this stargazing and event facility in High Redesdale, & there are many more opportunities to join in before the completion date this summer.

Sofiyah planning a future Green Grants visit with a local teacher.

I am studying stage 2 Animal Biology. I volunteered on several days during SVW. It's hard to say which one is my favourite because they are all so engaging and rewarding! I hope more people will be able to come and join us! - Amy

When we got there we talked about what we could offer and asked what help they needed to improve their school. This school had a vision of planting more flowers, making bug hotels & bee houses with children (which I'm excited about) and also having school visits to Cockle farm! Afterwards we went to the area where they wanted to improve, in order to risk assess and take photos. We stumbled upon an antique pull horse toy which was pretty amazing but also sad that it's just left there in the corner, so we may work something out to hopefully incorporate it with the project. Sofiyah . . Volunteers will be working on school projects funded by our Green Grants student panel until the end of term. Get our newsletter for the next date.

Thursday’s Volunteer Voice I am a 3rd year Newcastle Uni student studying Accounting & Finance. I helped build a bird house which at first seemed daunting because I had no skills what so ever. Jon and Red made it seem very enjoyable with their enthusiasm and knowledge! I might have cheated a little bit by using an electric saw (not sure if it has a technical name) but of course tried the traditional saw on my final piece of wood for the roof of the bird house. I learnt the right techniques to use all the tools with Jon who was very patient with me. I am thrilled that I managed to build a birdhouse along side all the other volunteers and knowing that it will be used somewhere in Ruperts wood/ green grants school is just wonderful! I participated in this project because it was something new than what I normally volunteer and it's great to break a sweat sometimes! I enjoyed building the bird house, a new adventure! I have never built a bird house but now I could happily say I have. Sheila

Monday’s Volunteer Voice I helped out with Student Volunteering Week by taking charge of the T shirt spray-painting. I did it once before, for the Go Green Week which was to promote Fossil Free in the university.

I did the bird and bat box building to get a great new skill, for the nice atmosphere and I think it's great that the university works together with primary schools to raise environmental awareness. - Helen

I got involved because I had some free time, to fill the gaps between my classes. I wanted to make more friends and meet people, and I was really into helping out with a good cause – be that environmental, or with children or the elderly. I like to get involved in all that sort of stuff! I recommend it to other people. Sarah

Sarah is now an expert at safely handling people who spray paint. I talked to people who stopped by the stall and told them about what Go Volunteer can offer, how they could participate etc. The fun part is seeing creative people design their T-shirts! The T-shirt making was a great success, nice colour combo! As it was on the first day of the week, SVW got a lot of attention - though some of my friends were upset that it was only held on the first day as they were too busy on Monday to participate. Sheila, Student Co-chair of the Go Volunteer committee.

Now Spring is here (almost) look out for more bee & pollinator volunteering coming soon!

Wednesday’s Volunteer Voice Tuesday’s Volunteer Voice What’s so great about bees? There’s the honey: they make honey from collecting nectar from plants. And there’s also a lot of health benefits from working with bees. For example, if you have a chesty cold or a cough or just feeling generally unwell, mix some honey with lemon and warm water, it tastes lovely and it makes you feel so much better.

There are so many things I can say I have gained from taking part as a volunteer. From learning something I did not know how to do previously, to building new networks and finding genuine relationships. Volunteering means being in a positive environment full of energy. Harish, Student Co-chair of the Go Volunteer Committee

You can also make hand soaps, hand sanitiser, hand softener. There is a lot of research at Newcastle University going into part of the honey and the sugar they produce: what health benefits can be gained. Anna . .

I joined this talk on Employability skills because I knew it would really help me. It was useful as Louise, Katie and Jo explained the preparations I need before an interview and how to apply the skills I have gained from volunteering into job applications. It was overall a great 1 hour talk because - it was quite informal - there were only a few of us which makes it feel one-to-one and customized to us, - they were all very helpful by sharing their personal tips with us, and there's food (pizzaaa)! so A+ for an evening well spent! Sheila, Student Co-Chair of the Go Volunteer Committee

I am studying International Business Management (M.Sc.). I really enjoy Go Volunteer activities because it provides a great balance to my study. It is always good fun in a very relaxed atmosphere and with a great bunch of people. In addition, it is a good feeling to know that I can make other people happy with my help - a win-win situation so to speak ;) Anna-Lena . . Debbie hard at work helping restore the pond at Whiley Chapel First School.

NUSU Student Volunteering Week  
NUSU Student Volunteering Week  

A short document recording the voices of some of the student volunteers who took part in Student Volutneering Week 2016. More activities to...