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Thank You Volunteers!

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Hello everyone!

We’ve had a wonderful year here in the Volunteering Office and we couldn’t have done it without all of you!

We want to say a huge thank you for all of your hard work! Did you know that together you’ve logged over 11,000 hours of volunteering this year, how incredible is that?!

Well done to all of you, you’ve made such a difference to both our ARU community and our local communities and we’ve had a fantastic year meeting you all! We’ve had some brilliant projects to work on with many of you and it’s been great seeing our volunteers support people in the local community and make a difference.

So, before we say our goodbyes before Christmas, here are a few highlights from 2015:

In October, we saw the launch of our Volunteer of the Month scheme! This has given us a great opportunity to recognise the hard work that you do as volunteers and it’s been wonderful celebrating all that you have achieved. Our first volunteer to win the award was Hannah in Cambridge, followed by Daniel in Chelmsford. Both Hannah and Daniel have done amazing things outside of their studies and they’ve shown a real dedication to making a difference to their communities. To read more about our winners and to make a nomination for the next Volunteer of the Month, have a look here.

Above: ARU student and volunteer Daniel Idundun is presented with his VOTM prizes by Emma Hughes, our Chelmsford Volunteering Coordinator.

Throughout the year, we saw ARU volunteers working hard to help out at one-off volunteering events. In October, a team of ARU students volunteered their time to support the annual 10K Town and Gown in Cambridge in aid of Muscular Dystrophy, a really important event for the charity.

Above: Volunteers supporting the Town and Gown 10K in aid of Muscular Dystrophy.

In November, ARU students volunteered at Cambridge Live Trust’s Bonfire Night Event on Midsummer Common. This event is key for the Cambridge community and our volunteers helped to collect invaluable donations that help to keep the event running every year. Chitra, an ARU student and one of the volunteers, was so successful as a volunteer that she was awarded a prize from Cambridge Live Trust. Well done Chitra!

Above: Chitra and a fellow volunteer get ready to help at the Bonfire Night event!

In December, we took a team of students to volunteer at Shepreth Wildlife Park. We all had a great day and after cleaning out enclosures and tidying the park, we helped to feed otters and other animals!

Above: Kathryn and the rest of our volunteer team help to feed the Otters at Shepreth Wildlife Park.

 

This year we were also given the opportunity to support some fantastic student-led volunteering projects. In Chelmsford, we worked alongside ARU students and Sanctus, our local homeless charity, to run our ‘People’s Patch’, an allotment project that sees all produce going back to Sanctus to use in their café.

In Cambridge, we supported the Psychology Society to set up their own branch of the Rucksack Project, a national movement that aims to fill rucksacks with essential items such as hats, scarves and gloves, before donating the rucksacks to local homeless people in the community. PsychSoc did extremely well in setting up their project and they had aimed to donate 30 bags to Jimmy’s, a local shelter, but thanks to everyone’s generosity they were able to donate a further 10 bags full of donations to Wintercomfort for the Homeless, a second homeless shelter in Cambridge, bringing the final tally for donated bags to 40!

Above: The generous donations to PsychSoc’s Rucksack Project with Sam (centre) donating her collected items and Treasurer and President of PsychSoc, Hannah and Adam (bottom left) preparing bags to take to shelters.

 

We’re so proud of everything that you have achieved this year and we’re so excited to see what we’ll achieve together next year. We’ll be celebrating our SU awards early next year and we have lots of awards available for all of our different volunteers! So if you’re a rep, committee member or a community volunteer or you know someone who is make sure to make a nomination here. The deadline for nominations is the 22nd February, 2016.

 

Finally, from all of us here in the Volunteering Service, well done and have a wonderful Christmas holiday! We hope you reward yourself for all your hard work and have a lovely break!

 

- The Volunteering Service

 

 

 

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