We recently grabbed half an hour with Holly, Volunteering and Community Engagement Manager at Sheffield Hallam Students’ Union, to find out about the work that her team does to encourage Hallam students to get involved in volunteering and make their mark on the city.
Tell us a little about Sheffield Hallam Students’ Union Volunteering and the work that you do – what are your aims, how many students are involved, and what organisations and charities do you support?
The goal of Sheffield Hallam Students’ Union’s Volunteering and Community Engagement team is to provide opportunities, support and recognition for our student volunteers so that they ‘Make their Mark’ on Sheffield during their time at university. Opportunities through our service provide students with a platform to meet new people, the ability to develop their personal and professional skills and make an impact in the city. We have strong links within the city with a number of third sector organisations and schools and work in partnership with the city’s Volunteer Centre (Volunteering Action Sheffield). We currently have over 900 distinct active students who have volunteered over 6,000 hours since August 2017.
If organisations are keen to work with your students, how would they start the process?
I would encourage all organisations to to email firstname.lastname@example.org
Your Volunteer Fair on 1st March (in conjunction with Voluntary Action Sheffield) was a great event, despite the snow! Tell us a little about that event, and how you work in partnership with VAS.
Thank you! As of August 2017 Voluntary Action Sheffield (VAS) and Sheffield Hallam Students’ Union (SHSU) Volunteering and Community Engagement department established a partnership. The purpose of the partnership is to deliver joint events and campaigns, provide a variety of ongoing regular volunteering opportunities for students and to provide a streamlined procedure for organisations.
In reality, this means, our website links up to VAS’ and we direct students to their volunteering database. We have also delivered two joint volunteering Fairs together since October 2017. This has been a fantastic partnership and we have already made great progress this academic year.
Your Bright Ideas initiative sounds great – can you tell us more about that please?
Absolutely- at SHSU we are passionate about all projects, events and campaigns being student led. Our Team Projects generally consist of team members (5-10) and a Project Leader. Students work as a team to develop sessions, write risk assessments, fundraise for resources and deliver their sessions in the community, in schools or on campus. We have some fantastic projects that have really made a fantastic difference to the lives of the local community.
And finally, can you share a success story with us of how student volunteers have had a positive impact in the city?
We recently shared a case study about one of our students- Corla Leach. Read more here: https://www.hallamstudentsunion.com/news/article/6013/This-Hallam-Girl-Can-Coral-Leach-IWD2018/
Thanks so much Holly, its great to see Sheffield Hallam University doing so much great work to encourage, motivate and inspire their students to make their mark on the city in positive ways ❤
To read more about the work that the University of Sheffield Students’ Union do with their students, read my feature about their 4 weeks of action here.