Blog by Kishma Smithurst - Volunteer Development Manager

Student volunteering week started 19 years ago to celebrate the impact of student volunteers and increase student engagement in volunteering. During the week universities across the country hold events to showcase their volunteers and promote different volunteering roles. They are supported by Student Hubs and the National Union of Students (NUS).

Student volunteering is a great way for students to develop their skills and link with local communities. By learning about local and wider issues, tackling social challenges and connecting with different communities, students and the communities that they are part of benefit.

Not only does Grandparents Plus fully recognises the importance and value of student volunteers, we also recognise the benefits for us as a charity and the communities that we work in. Student volunteers bring diversity, as well a wealth of knowledge and experience and we have a close working relationship with the University of Teesside which is a partner for our Kinship Active programme in Middlesbrough, Redcar and Cleveland.

This year I went to Metropolitan University London’s Holloway Road Campus to take part in a volunteer recruitment fair. For two hours, students could visit the Grandparents Plus stall to find out about kinship care, the charity, the different volunteer roles available as well as other ways in which they could help.

Student volunteering has a long history with social action in the UK and students often spearhead awareness raising for different social issues. This prepares young people to become skilled, active members of society that understand and recognise the benefits of helping others.

51% of recent graduates under 30, in paid work, said volunteering helped them secure employment. Source: ’Bursting the Bubble’ NCCPE.

Everyone at Grandparents Plus would like to say a huge thank you to all of our student volunteers. We really appreciate your contribution and we look forward to working with even more of you in the future.