At ARU Students' Union, we believe that everyone who spends their spare time to volunteer is a superstar! The volunteering that you are undertaking is helping numerous people within your local and student community and we believe that your efforts, motivations, accomplishments and inspirations should all be celebrated.
If you are, or know of a student who volunteers within a local charity, organisation or volunteering project, is an elected Representative or a Club or Society Committee Member, and you believe their volunteering work should be celebrated, you can nominate them to win one of our 3 monthly awards on your campus:
Community Volunteer of the Month
Rep of the Month
Committee Member of the Month
To view the criteria of each award and to nominate a student, please scroll to the bottom of the page!
April Volunteers of the Month
Cambridge Community Volunteer of the Month: Taoran Feng
Taoran Feng is a Postgraduate International Business Student and volunteers as a cashier at the Salvation Army charity shop on Mill Road and as a swim helper for Cambridge Swimming Disabled Club (CSDC) at Chesterton Sports Centre.
As well as these on-going roles, Taoran has also been a regular and enthusiastic volunteer at many of our recent one-off volunteering events including as a steward at the Cambridge Literacy Festival, the Union’s TedxAngliaRuskinUniversity event and at the Cambridge Half Marathon 2017, among others.
At CSDC Taoran helps children who have a mental disability learn how to swim and to improve their social interaction skills and self-confidence and at the Salvation Army Taoran engages with local customers and sets up displays within the shop, all to raise funds in helping the Salvation Army’s mission of helping those in need.
Volunteering at University has helped Taoran learn new skills including problem solving and self-management whilst also helping to improve his English skills, all which will help him reach his goal of working within the renewable energy industry in Africa. Taoran comments:
“Volunteer opportunities help international students to enhance their university experience whilst living in a different country. They have also helped me to make friends with local people of all ages and engage within British culture. I highly recommend all international students to do voluntary work whilst studying in ARU.”
Thanks Taoran for all your efforts throughout the year and spreading your infectious positivity!
Chelmsford Community Volunteer of the Month - Alice Siegwart
Alice is a 3rd year Education student who has volunteered through the SU Volunteering Service for over 2 years now. Alice has been heavily involved with our on campus allotment project, The Peoples Patch, for 2 years and has just successfully won the Green Pitch Award to grow and sell garlic with proceeds going to help the local homeless charity, Sanctus. Alice is a dedicated, hardworking volunteer and the Volunteering Service has come to rely on her with all of the projects, activities and events we are involved with and put on. We have had the pleasure in watching Alice develop as a student and an individual and blossom into a fantastic role model for other students wanting to make the most of their time and give back to the local community.
“It has opened my eyes to the wide variety of volunteering roles inside and outside of the university as well as allowed me to develop as a person. It’s enabled me to gain valuable, transferable skills that my course would have otherwise not been able to do. I’ve been able to network with other students as well as people outside of the university that I can gain additional experiences with. It has shown me that no matter what the role, you can always gain something from it that can be transferred to other areas of work.”
It has been a delight to work with her and we will miss her when she graduates this year.
Cambridge Rep of the Month - Emma Scriven
Emma is first year Business and Resources management and course rep.
As part of her role she has attended her SSLC meetings where she has been very considered in her contributions and feedback which she gathered from students and is always sure to consider the impact any changes that are proposed at these meetings will have on the students.
Emma has also taken a keen interest in attending other meetings within the university including the FQESS and Faculty Boards.
“I love getting to meet new people within the activities that being a rep allows me to take part in. I also love getting to put my views across regarding student perspectives within academic meetings.”
This role has helped Emma dramatically build her self-confidence and has improved her communication and public speaking skills, all which helped her to run a very good campaign in the running to become the LAIBS Faculty Rep in the recent Executive Election, in an close race to the eventual winner.
“I think [being a Rep] helps to benefit future and current students as problems can be solved for the future in order to make the course better and better shaped to how we want it as students.”
Thank you Emma for all your hard work in your first year at ARU to help everyone on your course and all those who will arrive in the future.
Chelmsford Rep of the Month - Mark Johnson
Mark is a 3rd Year Social Work student and a super reliable Rep who has attended numerous committees and meetings on behalf of his fellow students. From Faculty Board to Learning Teaching and Assessment Sub-committee he takes time to understand the complex processes and papers which lead to key developments within ARU. He ensures that the student voice is at the heart of these committees and confidently delivers feedback on a range of topics.
“[I enjoy] being part of the overall decision making process [at ARU] by introducing a student focused perspective and making sure our voice is being heard.”
Mark has also stepped up to support the SU at hearings where specific student cases are discussed. His student focussed perspective makes him a valuable addition to these panels.
During his role as a Rep Mark has learnt Advocacy, Communication, Critical Reasoning, Logical Thinking and Analytical Skills, all transferrable skills which will help Mark achieve his dream job working for an NGO policy research team tackling homelessness in developing Shire towns.
Mark comments on the support he has received from the SU throughout his role:
“The SU team are more than part of the academic furniture. Through their guidance and learning programmes you automatically feel part of a proactive team, one whose sole aim is for the wellbeing and representation of all students, whatever their needs. From day one, the SU team have been on hand to offer practical guidance and support to enable oneself to carry out the role of the student rep professionally and diligently. Their enthusiasm and commitment becomes infectious, which feeds into the service delivery you want to aspire to, solely for the benefit of the student population without exceptions.”
We would like to thank Mark for all of his hard work as a Rep, he has made an exceptional effort.
Cambridge Committee Member of the Month: Laura Douds
Laura is third year Optometry student and is President of the Arts and Crafts Society and the Creative Writing Society and is Treasurer for the Pokémon Society and Tabletop and Gaming Society (TAGS). As well as her commitment to societies Laura is also a third year Rep for her course.
Laura has been an influential figure in the SU this year and a role model to all the members in the societies she helps to run and organise. Her work to date has totalled over 250 volunteering hours which she has transferred into the completion of the Anglia Ruskin Employability Award. As part of her role within the Pokémon Society, Laura helped organise a 24 hour gaming marathon which raised over £200 for Macmillan.
“When you can see people starting to open up is my favourite thing. People are often really shy at the start of uni and it’s so lovely seeing them come along to society socials and events and gradually seeing them get more confident and opening up more.”
Alongside all her final year studies and volunteering commitments Laura also managed to find the time to run a successful campaign to become your new Vice President for the Faculty of Science and Technology for the 2017/2018 academic year.
Laura’s roles have helped her to become more confident with her public speaking and has now become part of her weekly schedule and she has managed to develop her time management skills as she balances her extra-curricular activity with her third tear university work. Commenting on how more students should get involved with the SU, Laura says:
“People need to get more involved – it looks great on a CV and you’re going to learn SO much by doing it. There’s literally nothing to lose.”
Thanks you Laura for all your commitment this year and we look forward to seeing you represent the views of all students next year.
Chelmsford Committee Member of the Month: Jessica Hall
Jessica Hall is a third year Child Nursing student and the Fundraising Coordinator of the new Ruskin Rag (Raising and Giving) society. The society aims to fundraise as much money as possible to donate to local, national and international charities and causes.
During April, Jessica has helped run and organise all the events during RAG week and created Canva Posters to advertise the events and create a fundraising totalizer which helped inspire the team and students to reach their targets!
Jessica also attended London Loot 2017, dressed as Elsa from Frozen, to fundraise on the streets of the capital and managed to raise an amazing £260 and won the best fancy dress costume award!
Harrison Forsyth, Ruskin Rag president, comments on Jessica’s win and her contribution to the society:
“Well done Jess, you worked your socks off through April, and fully deserve this award! 'Top Banana!' :)"
Thanks Jess for all your contributions and we look forward to seeing Ruskin Rag evolve and grow in the near future!
If you would like to know more about Ruskin Rag and to get involved, visit their society page here.
Nominate a student
To nominate a student please read our criteria and fill in our Volunteer of the Month Nomination Form on the link below:
Volunteer of the Month Criteria and Nomination Form