The Student Volunteering Network conference this year is taking place at The Union, Manchester Metropolitan University on 13th-14th August, in conjunction with NUS. We have an outstanding agenda so have a look below at what you can expect to see this year.
Developing an accredited leadership programme for student volunteers
Katie Blundell, Newcastle University Students' Union
Delegates will understand how to create a leadership programme designed to support the needs of student volunteers to help them perform to the best of their ability in their volunteer roles and to support their future development.
The session will include the following
- How to create learning objectives and content
- Mapping content to the framework of accredited training providers (in this case the Institute of Leadership and Management and the Chartered Management Institute)
- Costs of accreditation and its advantages and disadvantages
- Student experience and outcomes of engagement and completion
Do Good, Feel Good:How volunteering can further support wellbeing and mental health services
Jo Morrison, Shaunagh Smith, University of Chester
The Volunteering and Mentoring team within the University of Chester are based within support services, and work very closely with their department members within Wellbeing and Mental Health, and Disability and Inclusion. This session will outline some of the ways we have collaborated with these departments to support the wellbeing and mental health of our students, and include an opportunity to plan volunteer activities to support this. We will also look at how volunteering is an integral part of the “5 steps to wellbeing”.
What SHOULD We Be Doing? Legal and Ethical Hot Topics In Student Volunteering
Ben Robinson, City, University of London
This session discusses the lines and tensions between employment and volunteering, both in a legal and technical as well as an ethical sense. As practitioners, we sometimes get too bogged down in trying to identify technical, legal, or risk-oriented objective limits around the things we do, but the salient question may be less "Can we do this" and more "Should we do this" which may be decided differently by each institution, union, and faculty.
There will be discussion of Employment Law, Immigration rules (Tier 4 students and Asylum Seekers with regard to Voluntary Work rules specifically) as well as issues with unpaid internships and the question of "What is a Social Enterprise anyway!?".
Festival of Volunteering: Sexing up your Volunteers' Fair
Luke Russell, Royal Holloway University of London
In 2018 Royal Holloway Volunteering ditched its format for volunteering fairs and reinvented the event as something brighter, bigger, bolder and more fun! The result was the Festival of Volunteering, a huge celebration of the opportunities students can get involved with.
Being the Bridge: Aligning your service to community needs
Nia Crouch, UWE Bristol
- How do you get buy-in for volunteering from your university? After 2 years of trying to spread important information on student volunteering my service has asked me to present regularly to the service on citywide initiatives and NCVO data sets to help develop the knowledge of the third sector.
- How do you reach out to hundreds of local organisations offering student volunteering? Myself and others from local organisations have come together to plan and run Volunteer Organisers Forums for the city. This saves time from running individual meetings and supports our development by hearing from specialists from across the sector.
This session will be giving examples of successes and difficulties in doing both these things alongside your day job and opening the conversation to see how it works in other institutions and other cities.
The Welcome Refugees Project
Bob Walley, University of Central Lancashire
This session describes the refugee and asylum seeker befriending volunteering project the Centre for Volunteering and Community Leadership at UCLan have been developing.
It will introduce participants to the need for projects like this all over the country where refugees and asylum seekers are finding it difficult to integrate into the local community. There is a key role student volunteers can fill here to help with this challenging process. Setting up a befriending scheme can provide valuable experience and skills for students, whilst encouraging understanding and awareness of the challenges refugees and asylum seekers face who are trying to settle in the UK.
This session will explain the processes that have gone into this project, how it came about, what we have learnt along the way, the challenges we have faced and the solutions we have found. Through our experiences of delivering this project we hope to be able to support and inspire other initiatives throughout the country. This session is designed to give an honest and valuable insight into setting up a project like this and why its important.
Starting from Scratch: How to develop a Student Volunteering Service
Amy Goodwin, Martin Dodd, Aberystwyth Students' Union
This session will explore the two year journey of Aberystwyth Students’ Union in developing a Student Volunteering Service on very limited resources. From identifying the need, devising a structure and developing the networks needed to thrive we’ll run through our own experiences of setting up a new service, some of the potential pitfalls and opportunities of doing so and the importance of taking a holistic approach to all union based activities.
By attending this session participants will:
- Analyse current need and develop strategies to implement volunteering locally.
- Recognise new and existing community partners that offer volunteering.
-Identify the basics of organising action days and setting up a brokerage service.
- Evaluate the effectiveness opportunities and student volunteering engagement.
Community Engaged Learning: The Power of Bringing the Community into the classroom as Co- Educators
Fatima Iftikhar, Student Hubs
Community engaged learning is a powerful pedagogical approach that brings the community into the classroom as co-educators, providing opportunity to apply learning in real-world settings. You will learn about its transformative impacts on underrepresented students through developing engagement in the classroom and bridging gaps between social action, learning & teaching and employability.
This session is based on three stages of research. Firstly a review of studies of its impact in areas where it is commonplace, including North America and Australia.
Secondly a completed research trip, involving site visits and interviews with 17 different HE institutions and organisations in North America, to identify best practice approaches and models for implementation.
Thirdly, pilots of at Kingston University, which are currently underway, implementing the pedagogical approach in modules across a range of courses.