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University Students Get Chance To Find Out About Local Volunteering Opportunities

Published on: 15 Nov, 2017
Updated on: 15 Nov, 2017

Students at the University of Surrey had the opportunity to find out about a wealth of opportunities for them to undertake some worthwhile volunteering in the Guildford area.

University students who are already volunteering by supporting the growth of the Guildford Time Bank at the volunteers fair held in the Students’ Union building at the University of Surrey. From left: Yee Lok Lou, Tasha Carroll, Dominic Clark and Robin Eliadis.

The volunteer fair, held on Wednesday, November 15, was hosted by the university’s Students’ Union and held in its building on the campus.

A number of local organisation and charities had stands with information on how students can give some of their spare time volunteering, all of which is good for their personal statements and CVs once they have completed their studies and embark on their chosen careers.

Students Star Thomas and Sammy Collins volunteering on the Voluntary Action South West Surrey stand at the fair.

In fact, a group of second year University of Surrey students studying for a degree in international hospitality management have already been volunteering with Voluntary Action South West Surrey (VASWS), the Guildford-based charity that provides details of volunteering opportunities and supports organisation who require volunteer help.

The students have pledged around 50 hours of their spare time volunteering at VASWS. Dominick Clark, Ye Lok Lou, Tasha Carroll and Robin Eliadis have been working on The Guildford Time Bank project that VASWS is helping to establish and grow. They are redeveloping the time bank’s website, producing new posters and publicity material and helping to plan a strategy for it as new people sign up.

They manned the Guildford Time Bank stand at the fair encouraging other students to sign up to it and get ‘time banking’.

The Guildford Time Bank is a community initiative that’s all about people giving their time to help each other. Time-banking is a way that people can share their skills and make friends. Time is exchanged and not money and everyone’s time is equal – an hour for an hour.

Students Sammy Collins and Star Thomas have been volunteering at VASWS’ office in Castle Street, helping with its admin and updating files. They all said they are very much enjoying their volunteering, and have learned a great deal – all very useful for their studies.

The volunteer co-ordinator at the Guildford branch of seeAbility, Jackie Gensmantel, with volunteer Ray Languish. Ray was also at the fair manning the Guildford City Football Club stand with Alan Wyle.

SeeAbility encourages people with disabilities to challenge what they expect from life, from themselves and from wider society. Its Guildford branch has a residential home for six adults with a range of disabilities. It specialises in supporting and assisting people with sight loss. Volunteers are required to help residents, while help in the garden is also needed. It welcomes all volunteers, not only students.

SeeAbility Guildford has a stand at tomorrow’s (November 16) switching on of the Christmas light in Guildford High Street, at which it will also be raising funds. One of its regular volunteers is Ray Langrish, a seasoned marathon runner. He will be running in next year’s London Marathon for seeAbility.

He has agreed to run in a fancy dress costume. There will be an easy to enter competition for children on its stand at the lights switch on at which they can draw a simple sketch of a costume, that will convey a message about seeAbility’s work or about Ray’s heroism, or just for fun.

Volunteer co-ordinator for seeAbility in Guildford, Jackie Gensmantel, said: “Children may like to draw a ‘superhero X-Ray vision man’, sporting the new seeAbility colours of orange and black.”

A view across the Students’ Union building where the fair was held.

Other groups and organisations at the fair included the halow project, Guildford City Football Club, Headway Surrey, Guildford Borough Council’s community wardens, Sparky’s Cafe, Jelly Tree Productions, and many more. Pictured below are some of them.

Rowena Tyler and Sue Freestone from Headway Surrey.

Guildford Borough Council community wardens Andy Coumbe and Garry Jones (red tops) with Craig Hills from Jelly Tree Productions.

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