Be a Volunthero!

Student volunteering was promoted and celebrated at the University as part of a week-long campaign in Student Volunteering Week (19 – 25 February), run by the Division of Student Development and Community Engagement in partnership with the Students’ Union.

The week is a chance to recognise all the students who give their time to others. Almost two thousand students were nominated by their project, organisation or School to receive a personal thank you for their volunteering contribution, receiving thank you cards and badges.

University staff also toured the campus and the local area to raise awareness of volunteering to students and encourage more to get involved.

On the Wednesday of Student Volunteering Week, 27 student volunteers worked alongside local residents on community projects in Fallowfield and Withington, as part of the Big Action Day 2018. This initiative aims to encourage students to volunteer in their local neighbourhoods to create a positive impact on the local community.

The students began their day at St Chad’s Church in Ladybarn building a fence and a cover for the pond in the Church’s wildlife garden. The extra features were delivered as part of plans to allow the garden to be safely opened to the public. Other students worked inside the Church replacing tired old cupboards and constructing a new storage area for flower arranging supplies, creating a brighter more accessible area. In nearby Ladybarn Park the volunteers tidied up its Millennium Wood and the surrounding pavements. The collected leaves are to be composted for use in other areas of the park.

Sonya Kalakonda, an Environmental Sciences student is a regular volunteer at the St Chad’s green group. She said: “I live in the area and I love regularly volunteering at St Chad’s Church in the wildlife garden and Incredible Edible plot. Everyone in the Church is so welcoming and it gives me the opportunity to actively contribute to the local community. I’m excited about Big Action Day as it is great to have other students there so they can see for themselves the fun and sense of satisfaction that can be had volunteering locally.”

Councillor Nigel Murphy, Manchester Council’s Executive Member for Neighbourhoods said: “Initiatives like this should be applauded; they not only visibly benefit local communities but also foster new friendships for all of those involved, which creates stronger neighbourhoods where people are proud to live.”

Jane Ratchford, Student Development and Community Engagement Director, The University of Manchester said: “As the University is committed to the local community, we actively encourage our students to volunteer, getting involved in the neighbourhoods they live and study in. The Big Action Day provides us with a great platform to do this, encouraging lots of students to get involved.”

To find out more about Student Volunteering Week at The University of Manchester, visit: