Last week saw us celebrating Student Volunteering Week on campus, hosting 15 events over the week for all students to get involved with. From speaking to charities on campus about volunteering roles available to students to volunteering at a local party for elderly members of the community.
Something that took place throughout the week was the display on the stairs of the SU which many of you may have seen, we took the opportunity to speak to LSE students about their volunteering and how they benefit from volunteering alongside studying. Check out our blog post to read more abut the volunteers of LSE.
We also hosted three one-off volunteering events to celebrate Student Volunteering Week. On Wednesday we welcomed Sociability Mapping, an app designed to make the world a more accessible place for all. With the help of volunteers, they are mapping the accessibility of venues across the world. Volunteers can get involved and record information about restaurants, museums, train stations they visit to build a full catalogue of information for others to use and base decisions on.
Towards the end of the week, we took a group of nine students to the Coin Street annual ‘Young at Heart’ Party, this is an opportunity for elderly local members of the community to come together, have a lovely meal, and a dance to records played by the DJ. Both the guests and the volunteers thoroughly enjoyed the experience, especially following the difficult few years previously where guests couldn’t get together and enjoy one another’s company.
Finally on Saturday a group of students headed to Brighton Beach for a beach clean-up, working with Marine Society, Sustainable Futures Society and EcoSoc. This was a wonderful event with students clearing up the beach, contributing towards national beach clean up efforts.
On Thursday we hosted a film screening of ‘The Voluntourist’, a short film that questions the impact of voluntourism (international volunteering) on local communities. It was created by Chloe Sanguinetti who spoke to many volunteers across Southeast Asia. The documentary pushes those who are volunteering to question what their motives are and whether they have the skills to perform the role they are doing. After the screening, students discussed their thoughts surrounding the topics in the documentary, with some drawing upon their own experiences.
The main takeaway from the evening was that students want to talk about this. Whilst it can be a sensitive and emotive topic, the students present were keen to express their views and engage in the conversation. The topic is tied into history, colonialism, identity and much more, and students expressed the lack of space to discuss this.
Several charities came onto campus throughout the week to discuss their volunteering opportunities available to students. LSE Sustainability, PLIAS Resettlement, Championing Youth Minds, Coach Bright, and The Literacy Pirates. Check out the vacancy board on CareerHub to read more about the opportunities they have available to you!
We also ran several events on campus; a vintage sale, a bake sale and a make a pledge campaign. We invited all students to come along and get involved, raising hundreds of pounds for RAG and their partner charities and well as making some fantastic art for the Volunteer Centre – Minouche even came along and made her volunteering pledge!
If you were inspired by Student Volunteering Week, it’s not too late to get your volunteering started! Check out one of our other 200+ ongoing opportunities or book a one-to-one with David Coles, the Volunteer Centre Manager if you have more questions. If you are short on time, then take a look at the one-off opportunities happening over the rest of Lent Term, organised by the LSE Volunteer Centre. If you want to share your volunteering experience with us, why not write us a blog? Have a scroll through our blog page to read what other students have written and get inspired!