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Community Volunteering Annual Review 2012 ­— 2013



Contents Introduction


New volunteering projects


Outreach Days, placement visits and stalls


Quotes, case studies and feedback


The Student Awards


Working in Partnership




Future developments


Introduction Welcome This academic year has been a busy one for Volunteering We created new partnership projects in schools with Widening Participation throughout Autumn Term and Spring Term which were the Primary School Mentoring Project and the Modern Foreign Language Project.

and registered 65 new volunteering opportunities, which means we have 334 active volunteering opportunities available for University of Sussex students.

We now also offer volunteering as an Elective Module in Spring Term, thanks to collaboration with the Careers and Employability Centre and the School of Education and Social Work It’s been an exciting year and this report gives you a more detailed overview of what’s happened in the academic year of 2012-13. The brokerage service placed 205 students, collaborated with 19 new organisations 3

New Volunteering Projects Partnership working with Widening Participation In 2012/13 we have worked closely with the Widening Participation (WP) team to offer new volunteering opportunities for University of Sussex students in local schools, based in areas of deprivation. We established a 10 week mentoring project with two primary schools, Hertford Junior and Carden Primary. A total of 15 students were matched with individual pupils to be a positive role model for Higher Education to increase awareness of the University of Sussex.

I think the boy I was assigned benefited from having some 1:1 time, as he often didn't partake in the work he had to do in class, but did complete it with me. - Student


WP also organised a campus visit for Hertford Junior and got some tickets to a Brighton Festival event for Carden Primary.

Keep on offering these opportunities to university students because it is of great value both for us and for the children.

WP and SU Community Volunteering also worked together on a 6 weeks Modern Foreign Language Project with Patcham High School and Brighton Aldridge Community Academy. The languages taught were Spanish, German and French and we recruited a total of 20 volunteers, most of them native speakers.

It gives you a sense of community, solidarity, and it makes you feel great! I think it was a chance to them to get to talk with a French native speaker who could listen to them, correct them and teach them the important things concerning the language. - Teacher

WP and SU Community Volunteering organised two workshops with the Sussex Downs College committee members (one in Lewes, one in Eastbourne). The workshops for these volunteers focussed on the volunteers’ roles and responsibilities to gain a better understanding of the benefits of volunteering and networking skills.

Volunteering Elective Module SU Community Volunteering, the Careers and Employability Centre and the School for Social Work and Education came together to offer a Volunteering Elective Module so students can get academic credits for their volunteering. 20 places were made and were filled quickly.Those students were matched up with organisations that were able to offer 70 hours of volunteering in a three month time-span.Organisations participating were: Jewish Care, Harmony in the Community, Lewes District Council, Gladrags Community Costume Resource, Working Together- Congo, Moulsecoomb Forest Garden and Wildlife Project, Trust for Developing Communities, Wayfield Avenue, Patcham High School, Art in Mind and Friends of the Hove Stroke Club.

and academic members of faculty. Students choosing this elective module gained a variety of skills and experiences and it helped them better settle into the local community. This helped integration as 50% of the students who chose this elective module were international, first year students at the University. As a success, the Volunteering Elective will be repeated again in the next academic year with more places available for students.



"Everything! The staff involved, the independent learning, the organisation and the meetings, meeting like-minded people on the module, the experiences I got from this, and the fact that you get to explore options to do with your future alongside your studies, and discover things about yourself." "I enjoyed the module and hope that the university will make this an established course/elective for future students to experience the same opportunity that I have had."

At the end of each volunteering session, the students were asked to keep a skill log through Sussex Plus and the module was assessed through a presentation before a panel including a community representative


Action on Hearing Loss - Flash mob February 2013 6

Outreach days, placement visits and stalls Outreach:

Placement Visit:

Stalls & events:

B&H Foodpartnership

B&H City Council People’s Day

Working Together-Congo event

Student Volunteering Week*:

Carden Primary School

Children Society event


Hertford Junior School

SU Volunteering - elective fair

Making Music

Working Together Congo Moulsecoomb Forest Garden and Wildlife Project Patcham High School and Brighton Aldridge Community Academy Modern Foreign Language (Widening Participation) Making Music Friends Centre Concordia

City Reads PDSA - People's Dispensary for Sick Animals NHS Support Federation

MFGWP one off

Right to Play

Action on Hearing Loss (with flash mob)

Patcham High School Jewish Care Right to Play

* Organised talks to advertise volunteering opportunities and recruit volunteers for.


Quotes, case studies and feedback Name: Marisa Valle Course: Law St.Luke’s Advice Service and Brighton Housing Trust I, Marisa Valle, am a second year law student at the University of Sussex. As an international student I needed to adjust to a diverse culture and way of life. What better way to do this than to immerse myself in the community by volunteering? With assistance from ‘Project V’, the Students’ Union Community Volunteering Scheme on campus, I was able to begin my voluntary work with St. Luke’s Advice Services. St. Luke’s is a charity providing a safe environment for people to discuss their situation (such as welfare benefits, debt, budgeting and matrimonial breakdown), equipping them with the tools to improve their situation by providing guidance and advice. It is my second year of volunteering with St.Luke’s and I will be taking on my own 8

clients this autumn. This new responsibility will be challenging and rewarding at the same time knowing that I may be able to have a positive effect on an individual’s life. Being aware of the various types of support available for clients and the law pertaining to each situation will prove to be an asset here and for my future as a solicitor. I also volunteer at Brighton Housing Trust where I do anything from Debt Relief Orders, reviewing cases, to meeting with clients to assisting in filling out disability forms. Each client’s situation needs to be approached analytically in order to identify specific problems and find appropriate solutions. However short the meetings may be there is a sense of trust that develops between client and advisor. Knowing that I am the person they come to for help is what motivates me to continue my work with organisations such as these. Volunteering is a lovely compliment to my university studies. It provides me with a

first-hand experience to put into practice all the different aspects. My problem solving skills are improving and am now able to adapt to a variety of situations in an instant. Time management plays a large part in my day to day studies as I must ensure to focus on them at the same time as living a balanced life with extra-curricular activities. I have become a well-rounded student who feels connected to the community on campus as well as in Brighton itself. Not only are my volunteer experiences beneficial for my future as a solicitor but I also find myself fulfilled at the end of my volunteering days. Overall my volunteering has allowed me to work with a variety of people, to pursue my passion, and has given me purpose. I recommend all students get involved with the volunteering opportunities available through the Volunteering Centre. There is plenty to appeal to every facet of life.

Name: Amyas Gilbert Ex-Sussex student Moulsecoomb Forest Garden and Wildlife Project I started volunteering at the Moulsecoomb Forest Garden & Wildlife Project in my second year of university, where I studied psychology. I think I just wanted to do something a bit more down to earth, in every sense of the term. I mucked in at the project on and off throughout my studies, and after graduating I attended both weekly work days every week for the next three and a half years. Bit by bit, I took on more responsibilities, was asked to join the management committee, and was eventually offered the position of chair of the board of trustees. This was all great work experience: learning horticulture and outdoor skills, helping to manage other volunteers and organise work, and finding out first-hand what it takes to run a serious community project.

Over those years I progressively got more involved with the youth work activities, assisting the highly experienced staff running outdoor education sessions with local school pupils at risk of exclusion. When an opportunity arose for the project work with more pupils and take on an extra member of staff, I was first to be offered the job. Since then I have been working full-time as a self employed youth worker, at the Mousecoomb Forest Garden and at several linked projects at local schools. In connection to this work I am also developing a school garden project of my own, am attending externally funded training courses, and am being offered outdoor education youth work by several other organisations.

Continued overleaf... 9

Name: Mavis Chan Course: MA in Digital Documentary Cinecity Film Festival (15th Nov - 2nd Dec 2012) Can you tell us in your own words about the project? Cinecity is an annual film festival which lasts for 2 weeks. Ample independent films, covering various genres and styles, were shown during the festival. It is an invaluable chance for film lovers to watch some local independent films which would be shown only once. Also, the decorated environment of the theatre sometimes contained bookshops and a cafe, which made the audience have multiple enjoyment before and after the film. Why did you decide to volunteer? I'm doing a MA in Digital Documentary. I hope to watch and know more indoe films made by local film makers. Also, as an international student, I hope to get involved in Brighton more. I hope to delve deeper in the locality and culture of Brighton. 10

Tell us about your specific role: I am part of the evaluation team and backup team. My job for evaluation is to interview the audiences before and after the film they watched. I usually asked the audience to provide comments about the improvement for next year's Cinecity. As a member of the back-up team, I helped to back-up twice and my main job is to introduce the films to the audiences, answer audiences' questions about the festival and provide on-site support to other volunteers and organisers. What do you get out of volunteering? I improved my communication and interview skills which are very useful for my future career development. Also, I made friends with many people who share a common interest with me. We would watch films together and share our viewpoints after the films. I even have opportunities to talk to the film makers so I can make betterment for my own documentaries and films. Additionally, I became more familiar with Brighton's locality and it's unique culture.

How does volunteering fit in with your student life? Volunteering can broaden the cultural horizon of the students, help them get more involved in the society and enrich their social life. Also, volunteering lets students rethink the system of working culture. Many people would work for money and spend their leisure time in entertaining activities. However, volunteering is not about money but the value of making a contribution to what we are passionate about. As a student it is very important to weigh everything in value, rather than in price.


I really, really, really enjoyed my volunteering work for Cinecity. I got 4 free tickets as return and I took part in some free talks and exhibitions. They are all fabulous. I made many new friends and I hope I can have chance to do volunteer work in future.


Basil plants Moulsecoomb Forest Garden and Wildlife Project 11

The Student Awards Each year the Students’ Union Awards Night celebrates students’ achievements, including community volunteering. Community organisations nominate outstanding University of Sussex students and celebrate their achievements. The winners of the two Gold Award Certificates were: James Fletcher (The Crew Club) James has shown considerable achievement in working here at the Crew Club, specifically due to the nature of the young people we have. The young people can be very territorial and dismissive of new staff, but James has stuck at it and been able to break down the barriers the young people have had, to the point they will ask if he is attending sessions as they look forward to working with him.


Vanessa School)




Miranda Bragan - Turner (Patcham High School)

Vanessa takes her work at the school very seriously. She is always prepared and works incredibly hard to ensure that the students are engaged and making progress. I can always rely on Vanessa to be punctual, ask questions in order to improve and to put in a lot of effort for her students. She is so professional and we are incredibly fortunate to have her at the school!

Miranda is extremely hard-working and has brought energy and enthusiasm to the role, which is having such a positive effect upon the students she works with. Students look forward to their reading sessions with her and she has the ability to communicate effectively with them. She is consistently reliable, punctual and very professional.

The runners-up received a Certificate of Excellence: Emma Kingswell School)



Emma has thrown herself into the role with great energy and enthusiasm, working with a range of students and has become very good at managing behaviour and facilitating group activities.

Krystina Szabo Stroke Club)




Krystina came to the Stroke Club regularly and was much appreciated by our members. She was happy to do whatever was asked of her working with various groups. The members always appreciate the chance to engage in conversation with younger people.

Caitlin Cherry Community)




The student showed dedication to the tasks issued, by completing in an timely manner. She has also shown that she is able to work on her own, with very little help needed from her mentors. Vicky Palmer (Friends of Hove Stroke Club) Vicky hopes to become a speech therapist. Several of the club members have speech problems one with no speech at all, one who you have to encourage with conversation as they have lost confidence and another who gets confused so you have to encourage her to slow down in her speech. Vicky worked with all of these members.


Working in Partnership Students’ Union Community Volunteering would like to thank our different partners across the University for their continuous support.

Sussex Plus Careers and Employability Centre Widening Participation School for Education and Social Work Active Student at the University of Brighton We hope to collaborate with lots more University departments in the next academic year to ensure that our service is available across campus. 14

Statistics Respondants


Fee status

A total of 245 students returned their joining form, of which 205 students got placed in the local community.

6% of the students who returned their joining form had a disability, with dyslexia being the highest.

63% are EU and Home UK students

We registered 19 new organisations and 65 new volunteering opportunities.

Gender Female: 73% Male: 25% (2% non respondent)

33% are International fee paying students, with a small percentage of Visiting & Exchange Students.

Dependants 2% of student who used our service had dependants.


Statistics Level of Study




Statistics Sexuality


Fee status


Statistics School of Study


Future Developments •

Continue to offer and develop school volunteering opportunities

Continue and develop the volunteering elective module

Continue to place students with local organisations through the brokerage service

Offer outreach days and support to local organisations




Thank you! We would like to thank everybody who played a part in Community Volunteering this year. From staff to students and from campus to community, we look forward to working with you again next year and sharing the fantastic accomplishments and achievements of our vounteers.

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Annual Review 2012 13  

Community Volunteering annual review from the academic year 2012-13

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