Warwick Volunteers uses the skills, energy and enthusiasm of our volunteer students to run a wide variety of projects which benefit the community around the University in Coventry, Leamington, Kenilworth and Warwick.
Projects include working with children in schools and after-school clubs, young adults, people with disabilities, and community groups.
We also run projects which benefit people in care homes and hospital, as well as working to improve the local environment.
And we organise a programme of one off volunteering opportunities through the year. Volunteers have sorted food donations for people in crisis, decorated YMCA accommodation for young adults, provided fun activities for local children at community and school events, planted 1600 spring flowering bulbs in Canley, sowed wildflower meadows, walked dogs waiting to be rehomed and cleaned up a canal!
We have over 2,500 members and many of our projects are led by the students.
In 2016/17, Warwick Volunteers worked in 50 schools in Coventry, Kenilworth, Leamington Spa and Warwick - 35 primary, 12 secondary and 3 SEN schools. Students work in schools for ten weeks during the Spring Term supporting the classroom teacher in specific areas such as reading, number skills or languages often working with small groups or with pupils one to one. We also piloted a Chess in Schools project for the first time.
We continue to have great feedback from local schools:
"Outstanding volunteers this year. They naturally fitted into the special needs classroom with remarkable results."
"I can’t thank them and the university enough – professional, dedicated and enthusiastic, all of our students benefitted from their input."
"The pupils enjoyed having a young and vibrant person to work with."
"Seeing university students using their skills so enthusiastically really inspires our children."
"It was a valuable experience for our pupils. Having the opportunity to engage with male students as role models was a bonus. The programme was also positive in supporting the aspirational development of our pupils."
"Great programme well devised and organised – required minimal input from the school."
Student Led Projects
Many Warwick Volunteers projects are designed and run by our students themselves. In 2016/17, there were 24 active projects. Here's a selection of current student led projects.
ActiviTeas aims to connect older and younger generations and help ease loneliness and isolation. Volunteers visit Queensway Court, a home for the over 55s in Leamington Spa, and join residents for afternoon tea and board games, providing friendly conversation and companionship.
Basketball Club Outreach
The club delivered a basketball coaching programme to introduce primary children to a new sport. They held fun sessions to help encourage a healthy and active lifestyle.
Bake it up!
Bake It Up! aims to improve the self-esteem of young people by allowing them to get creative in the kitchen and achieving something they can be proud of. Volunteers run two after school clubs, in Coventry and Sydenham, which enable participants to develop new skills, learn to work as a team and gain knowledge about various ingredients and foods.
Buddy Club makes weekly visits to Willowbrook residential home for the elderly in Canley. Volunteers spend time listening and talking to the residents of Willowbrook Care Home and take part in activities including singing, bingo and craft activities. They also organise special events such as a Cocktails and Mocktails evening and a Caribbean party.
Cheylesmore Good Neighbours
Volunteers provide one-to-one IT tuition for older people in Coventry. This could be anything from teaching the absolute basics to guiding a more experienced member in how to use a new feature or app.
Crafts in Hospital
Volunteers create prototype craft designs, vote for their favourites on Facebook and then turn them in to craft packs to be sent to patients at Coventry and Warwickshire Hospital.
“Crafts in Hospital supports UHCW Charity in offering creative art packs for the Coventry and Warwickshire Hospital’s Healing Arts Programme, distributed via Artie our art cart which visits wards daily in an effort to cheer up patients and offer free crafts and games. The comments we have received have been amazing and make such a difference, boosting patient wellbeing and even speeding up recovery. We are so grateful for Tom’s support in the setting up and running of Crafts in Hospital. It is such a wonderful project and brings so much joy to our patients in hospital. Thank you so much!”
Arts Coordinator, UHCW NHS Trust
Kidz Kamp is a four day Easter residential holiday for children from Charter Primary School in Canley. The holiday includes lots of fun and educational activities which help to improve the children’s social development, encourage independence and build self-esteem. Most of the children attending Kidz Kamp would not otherwise have this opportunity and it is often the first time they've spent a night away from their families.
Project Shine is a volunteering project run by the African and Caribbean Society at Warwick alongside Warwick Volunteers that aims to inspire confidence and ambition and provide positive role models for young people in local secondary schools.
STAR Conversation Club
Volunteers teach refugees and asylum seekers English in a fun and informal way. They aim to improve language fluency, teach skills and help integrate people into local communities.
Technology Volunteers are a group of students and staff offer support to local schools by assisting with technology-based projects and activities during lessons, or at after school clubs to encourage children to become creators, rather than consumers of technology.
UWWFC Coaching in Schools
Volunteers from our Women’s Football club set up an after school coaching club to introduce primary school girls to the game of football. They aim to dispel the stereotype that football is a ‘boys game’, and show just how much fun it can be.
Warwick Smash! - Badminton Club
The club created an after school badminton club for secondary school pupils. They aimed to help the pupils build an appreciation of personal health and fitness, promote teamwork and encourage sportsmanship.
Our volunteers also work in many local charities and organisations in Coventry, Kenilworth, Leamington Spa and Warwick to provide extra support in the community. These include:
- Action 21
- Carers Trust
- The Childrens' Society
- Coventry Haven
- Coventry Winter Night Shelter
- Coventry Refugee and Migrant Centre
- FabLab Coventry
- Foundry Wood
- Friends of Canley Green Spaces
- Herbert Art Gallery
- Kairos WWT
- Kenilworth Phab
- Kids Run Free
- Leamington Night Shelter
- Scouting and Girlguiding (SSAGO)
- Springfield Mind
- St Oswald’s Community Centre
- Sydni Centre
- Theatre Machi Education
- Warwick Youth Phab
If you're from a community organisation based in Coventry or Warwickshire and would like to work with our volunteers, we'd love to hear from you.
Find out more here.