Warwick Volunteers are celebrating yet another successful academic year working with local community groups. With 1898 registered members, students and staff have spent over 20,000 hours on more than 40 different community projects.
The 2008/09 academic year has seen the development of new projects within local schools, and greater engagement between sports clubs and societies here at Warwick and the local community.
This year, 195 of our student volunteers have been active in local schools taking part in projects such as mentoring, tutoring, reading support, language skills and homework clubs. A particular highlight has been the development of the new Technology Volunteers scheme , an initiative between the School of Engineering and three local secondary schools – Whitley Abbey, Westwood and Stoke Park - which has seen over 30 pupils taking part in after school clubs.
Margaret Low, a Senior Teaching Fellow in the School of Engineering , who led the project, said; "I was very pleased at the level of commitment shown by the students that participated, and also felt that the schools took time to ensure the students had a positive experience. I look forward to the scheme running again next year."
Sports Clubs and Societies at Warwick have also thrived from greater opportunities to share their talent, energy and enthusiasm with the local community. Warwick Volunteers has worked closely with 16 different clubs and societies over the past academic year to develop a series of new student-led initiatives, engaging over 250 volunteers.
The Ladies Netball team have set up and coached after school netball clubs at five local primary schools which culminated in a tournament on campus involving over 70 children. The Chinese Society have been involved in a number of cultural workshops including one-off sessions in schools as well as a 'China Day' held for over 70 members of the University of the Third Age for older people no longer in full time work. ‘Street Vibe’ society have led weekly PE lessons for pupils at Limbrick Wood Primary School and have plans to extend this project into secondary schools next year. These are just a few of the ways that Warwick students work with the local community.
Another new development for Warwick Volunteers this year was the arrival of Peter Rose, the new Warwick Volunteers Manager. Peter took up post at the beginning of June and has responsibility for overseeing and developing volunteering opportunities within the local community for students and staff. Peter has a wealth of experience in managing volunteering projects, including as a Director of a not-for-profit social enterprise specialising in creative support solutions for young people at risk of educational exclusion.
Speaking about his new role, Peter said "I have been really impressed with the range for work already undertaken by Warwick Volunteers, and the enthusiasm of the volunteers and staff team. I am very much looking forward to building on the previous success and looking for innovative new opportunities".