For Student Volunteering Week, we typically host a full week of one-off events for either current volunteers or people new to volunteering to try things out or find out more about what we offer at SVC.
This year was no exception and we hosted a variety of events including learning British Sign Language, walking dogs at Cardiff Dogs Home or litter picking in Cathays. Read on to find out more about what we got up to!
Introduction to British Sign Language
We kicked off the week with our first Introduction to British Sign Language (BSL) session, led by Simon from Deaf Friendly Solutions. This was attended by our staff team, some members of the SVC Board as well as some of our volunteers.
We covered some of the basics of BSL, including some introductory phrases, emotions and the alphabet. We also discovered the foundation aspects of the language:
Handshape, placement, movement, orientation and non-manual features
Affirmation and negation
This session formed the first part of a 12-month course that Simon is running for us, with one BSL class each month. The session was engaging and interesting throughout, and we are all really looking forward to learning more over the rest of the year!
Ronald McDonald House
AT SVC, we still continue to work in partnership with Ronald McDonald House Cardiff, a centre which provides a home away home for the families of critically ill children. During Student Volunteering Week we continued to recruit volunteers to support the invaluable work the centre undertakes. Volunteers help in keeping the house tidy inside as well as outside in the gardens so that it’s a welcoming environment for the families staying there.
University Stalls & Panels
During Student Volunteering Week we also got chatting with students in person at Cardiff Met Students' Union and virtually with University of South Wales (USW) Careers on the USW Volunteering Panel.
For the USW panel, Frankie from our staff team spoke alongside local representatives from Gwent Association of Voluntary Organisations and Neath Port Talbot Council For Voluntary Service, where they discussed some of the benefits of volunteering as well as some of our current opportunities for students to get involved in.
The Cardiff Met SU also went well, with our staff members Grace and Rosie taking one of the stands there to promote our projects and hand out flyers. One student even mentioned how volunteering with a beneficiary in care had led her to enrol in university to study Health and Social Care, and how excited she was to find a new project when she finished her dissertation!
It was great to be able to meet with students and hear their volunteering stories, as well as let them know what projects they can get involved with.
Introduction to SVC Digital Session
We also hosted a digital Q&A Session about our projects, so that anyone who wants to know more about what we do could drop in and learn more about the opportunities we have available.
Some of our Project Coordinators spoke about the projects that we are currently recruiting, including NHS Ward Volunteering, Digital Mentors, The Health Meadow Project, Police Volunteering, Act Now for Equality, Games Show and You’ve Got a Friend.
We had some interested attendees who we will hopefully be recruiting to our projects shortly!
Clean Up Cathays
SVC staff members Emma and Frankie ran a litter picking session with some volunteers around Senghennydd Road and the surrounding streets.
Luckily, the weather was great and they found the session very therapeutic - and to top it off, they collected four full bin bags full of litter! Thanks so much to the brilliant volunteers who joined us to spend some time outdoors and contribute to a greener Wales.
Digital Valentines Party
We also held a digital Valentine's Day party for adults with disabilities and/or mental health conditions from Innovate Trust. We had a great turnout with over 30 participants and loads of fun activities planned for the night. Some of these included music from Alex Clarke, who played songs for us on his guitar with an amazing green screen, as well as Music with Steve who took requests of people’s favourite songs! We also set up an email for beneficiaries to send messages to about people they love or have a crush on, these were then read out at the party which brought smiles to lots of people’s faces.
Our final event was a dog walking session over at Cardiff Dogs Home, similar to the event we ran during our Winter Giving Week in December. Fifteen volunteers including our staff member Johnny went down to the Dogs Home and took lots of the dogs out for walks for around two hours.
There are lots of dogs at the Dogs Home and exercising them all can be tricky for the staff there, so hopefully this event helped out and meant that the dogs were well exercised.
All of the volunteers had a brilliant time and the dogs seemed to enjoy themselves too! Several volunteers even signed on to be regular walkers for the Dogs Home too.