YUSU celebrates and recognises the voluntary work of students across York


Student volunteers acknowledged during Student Volunteering Week 2023

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Image by Andrew Black

By James Clay

During the 2021/2022 academic year, students volunteered 13,560.5 hours of work throughout the wider city of York. This voluntary work was through schemes and projects organised and run by the University of York Student’s Union. As a result of Student Volunteering Week, which occurs between Monday 13 February and Sunday 19 September, YUSU will be celebrating the voluntary work done by students over the past academic year.

Various volunteering projects have been run by students, with the help and guidance of YUSU, including the ‘Tea and Coffee club’, whose purpose is to provide hot drinks and friendly company for older local residents. This service was maintained throughout the Covid-19 pandemic via phone and video calls.

Another notable group is ‘All Should Eat’ which provides an effective means for students to donate items of food to local food banks. This student group collects food donations across both campuses and then drops them off at local food banks to help out residents in the cost of living crisis.

University of York student Amy Mann recently established Kathleen’s Legacy which is a group designed to provide knitted blankets for end of life palliative care patients. Amy founded this group in honour of her late grandmother who passed away in March 2022. Each blanket is personalised for the recipient and their family.

During the remainder of Student Volunteering Week, YUSU will be celebrating the efforts of past alumni who have been particularly notable in their charitable efforts. For example, there will be a YUSU blog post about how volunteering changed the life of Phil Martinez, who was Raising and Giving President in the 1996/1997 academic year.

Commenting on the voluntary work, YUSU Activities Officer Rohan Ashar said: “National Student Volunteering Week is a great opportunity to recognise and show the phenomenal work of our Volunteering Projects. These groups contribute so much to the community at university, in the wider city of York, and beyond.

“The 21 Volunteering Projects feature a range of unselfish aims and personal stories behind their endeavours, creating environments where the student volunteers are incredibly committed and make a really positive impact on those that they reach. From being the pinnacle of accessibility to receiving press coverage or awards on a national scale, our Projects represent us brilliantly and help York grow as an impressive hub for community Volunteering efforts.”