Student Volunteering Week was started in 2001 originally to coincide with International Year of Volunteers. It has now become an annual fixture in the student volunteering movement as well as the wider voluntary sector.
The week is a chance to raise the national profile of student volunteers by promoting and celebrating local student groups. Around the country universities and colleges put on special events and volunteering projects to reward current volunteers and recruit new ones!
Marjon is no exception, the Student Volunteering Co-ordinator organises a week long programme of activities that any student can get involved in. If you would like to know more about how to get involved with volunteering for your local Plymouth community please contact us in the first instance.
Below is a summary of the activities that The University of St Mark & St John students got involved in during Student Volunteering Week.
National Trust Voulunteers
Students join forces with the National Trust at Wembury to help with scrub clearance work using bowsaws, loppers, bullhooks and other tools to make clear vegetative space for native birds. The students got stuck in with the task in hand stopping for the occasional break to enjoy beautiful views over Wembury Bay. Much of the waste vegetation was piled up to make a small bonfire, which also provided a perfect oven for lunchtime jacket potatoes. Scrub clearance is essential for birds to breed and local ponies to graze, to ensure that our wildlife is being protected.
Student's desire to help Marine Conservation
Activity:Student volunteers from Marjon made an early start on collecting rubbish from two of Plymouth's beaches which overlook Plymouth Sound. Over thirty student volunteers from Marjon took part in the first of a series of beach clean-ups at Mount Batten beach in February. Held in partnership with the The Conservation Volunteers (TCV) and with students from University of Plymouth and City College Plymouth also getting involved, the day was part of the Marine Conservation Society’s ‘Adopt A Beach’ scheme.The students spent the afternoon removing litter and generally improving the environment for visitors and wildlife alike, they also recorded their findings to assist the Marine Conservation Society’s monitoring process. Larissa Milden, Youth Volunteer Advisor for TCV said “It’s great to see that so many of Plymouth’s students recognise the benefits of being proactive in activities such as beach cleans. It’s important to preserve our beautiful coastline and make people aware of the issues surrounding the marine litter that gets swept ashore.”
Eyes down for a full house with Plymouth Age Concern!
Spending time with the older generation of Plymouth Age Concern is always fun, especially over a game of BINGO! With prizes donated by our Marjon volunteers it was 'eyes down for a full house'. With prizes for every line and full house the residents at Age Concern had a lovely afternoon over tea with cake and biscuits. This type of activity is great for students who don't have contact with the older generation or have grandparents back home. Spending a few hours at Age Concern really meant a great deal to many of the residents, whom are often living on their own and heavily rely on PAC to get out and about.
Student volunteers worked alongside TCV building pathways and a bridge for local residents to enjoy Kinterbury Creek, Barne Barton, Plymouth.Kinterbury Creek has been an overgrown area of Barne Barton which finally has received a make over so that local residents can once again enjoy the creekside walks and views over the reeded marshland which attracts a vast variety of natural habitats. Marjon Students took to the challenge to assist with building a wooden bridge over the creek and making a disabled viewing platform for the community to enjoy. The day was physically hard work with lots of digging and transporting of loaded wheelbarrows.This activity was just one in a number of initiatives that TCV get involved in and Marjon volunteers seem to love volunteering their time for the various conservation projects throughout Plymouth and the surrounding area.