UCL News


Celebrating UCL's volunteers

15 June 2005

Students and staff were rewarded for their inspirational involvement in volunteering projects at the Third Annual VSU Volunteers Award Ceremony during Volunteers Week, in June 2005.

Volunteer Juchuan Yang with Professor Worton Organised by the Voluntary Services Unit (VSU), a joint venture between UCL and its student union, the awards recognised the 230 volunteers who between them have given 8,200 hours of voluntary work on 87 different projects during the last year.

Mr John Braime, Voluntary Services Coordinator, explained how their volunteering covers the whole spectrum of activity, from visiting schemes for the elderly, to mentoring programmes with local young people and work with young refugees: "UCL students are an exciting bunch to work with. They're energetic, keen to get involved in the local community, and really care about issues affecting their local community."

Volunteer Soumaya Mauthoor with Professor Worton

Speaking at the event, Professor Michael Worton, Vice-Provost (Academic & International) paid tribute to the difference volunteers make to the fabric of community life across London as well as within UCL: "It is clear that those at the receiving end of voluntary activity benefit tremendously. However, new research drawing on the experiences of UCL volunteers also indicates that volunteers themselves gain key skills such as project management, enhance their understanding of cultural diversity and increase their sense of belonging to the UCL community."

Liz Oglesby, UCLU Clubs Societies & Student Development Sabbatical Officer, singled out student-led volunteering as a growing area of activity. Past projects have included: the Fitzrovia Oral History Project, in which elderly residents are interviewed by students; the Teddy Bear Clinic, in which medical students 'diagnose and treat' teddy bears to put children's minds at ease about hospital trips and the Refugee Project, which includes a series of social events that bring together UCL students and young refugees.

For the first time, Personal Development Awards were made - to Miss Manpreet Sahemey (Clinical Sciences) and Miss Rie Yokoi (Phonetics & Linguistics) - the culmination of a new accreditation programme that enables students to reflect upon their volunteering experience and identify the skills they have developed.

Images: Top - Junchuan Yang (MRes Electronic & Electrical Engineering), UCL student volunteer, with Professor Worton. Bottom -  Soumaya Mauthoor (Physics & Astronomy 3), UCL student volunteer, with Professor Worton. 

To find out more about volunteering at UCL use the link below.

Voluntary Services Unit