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It’s All Academic campaign exceeds 250,000 volunteer hours target

4 June 2020

It’s All Academic, UCL’s philanthropy and engagement campaign, has reached 263,000 volunteer hours, exceeding its ambitious target of 250,000 ahead of schedule.

UCL Wilkins Building decorated with It's All Academic flags

To mark this incredible achievement, UCL President & Provost, Professor Michael Arthur, recorded a special message to thank all of the volunteers who have and continue to generously donate their time to the Campaign.

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Contributing to the community

Supporters of It’s All Academic – UCL’s largest ever campaign – have given their time in numerous ways since its launch in September 2016. Their generous volunteering has made an incredible contribution to the UCL community.

Career mentors have contributed almost 162,000 invaluable hours of support for UCL students and recent graduates. Life after UCL can feel daunting for many, but mentors prepare their mentees to enter their preferred industry through one-to-one support and sharing insights.

Alumni speakers have given over 3,000 hours to the Campaign, inspiring and influencing students and peers by sharing their experiences. Volunteer speakers support UCL life around the world and throughout the student journey - from giving talks to secondary school students to addressing graduates at ceremonies and speaking at alumni events.

Alumni clubs and networks, which host activities and support UCL alumni all across the globe, have also played a vital role in exceeding the volunteer hours target. Club and network Chairs work exceptionally hard to create inclusive, active communities, allowing UCL alumni to connect with fellow former students in their city or country, or with similar interests.

I felt that it would be beneficial to connect with more graduates of a black and minority ethnic heritage, to see where everyone is now and how we could assist each other.” - Natalie Clue, Chair of the UCL BME Alumni Network

Other important volunteering activities that have contributed to exceeding the Campaign’s target include organising alumni events, advocacy and advising prospective students.

Two volunteers

The future of volunteering

Though the COVID-19 pandemic has changed how volunteering takes place, it hasn’t stopped alumni from giving their time to the UCL community. In fact, many alumni have been inspired to volunteer for the first time to give back to their peers and to students whose studies have been affected by the virus.

A number of alumni have provided social and wellbeing advice to support the alumni community during a time of uncertainty via a new volunteers blog. The blog promotes mental wellness and healthy lifestyles by sharing tips and guidance.

Other alumni, such as Kirsty Ayers – a nominee for our Alumni Volunteering Awards – have drawn from their work experience to offer guidance to final-year students who have been unable to complete their placements or internships.

I chose to volunteer my time to help final-year students because I recognised how missing out on their final few months of training due to COVID-19 could have a huge impact on their self-confidence and readiness to work.” – Kirsty Ayers, 2020 Alumni Volunteer of the Year nominee

On achieving the target, UCL Deputy Director of Alumni Relations, James Davis, said, “Thank you to each and every person who has given their time to support the It’s All Academic campaign and contributed to this exceptional achievement. Your generous gifts of time have truly made a difference for UCL students and alumni.

“Though we have exceeded the volunteer hours target set at the outset of this campaign, there’s still more we can do to make a difference for the UCL community, and volunteering remains an important part of It’s All Academic.

“Since widespread lockdowns were put in place, we have launched a number of digital volunteering roles and have seen so many alumni supporting current students. I feel incredibly inspired seeing UCL alumni come together to support each other and UCL students despite the challenging circumstances we face. We will continue to support alumni to give back to the UCL community and develop themselves personally and professionally.”

Find out more about how you can get involved with the It’s All Academic campaign or explore alumni volunteering opportunities.