New exhibition highlights student volunteering in city

A new exhibition is highlighting the work of Swansea University’s Discovery student volunteering charity in Swansea.

‌The exhibition at the City and County of Swansea’s Civic Centre shows some of the highpoints of the packed spring term programme of activities in the city.

Discovery director Eleanor Norton said: “The exhibition reflects the great spring term of community activity we’ve hadwith around 230 student volunteers working with 29 student project co-ordinators and carrying out at least 2,682 hours of volunteering, while a further 114 new volunteers have been recruited.”

All Discovery volunteers attend mandatory training and complete an enhanced DBS check before volunteering and some volunteers can also attend additional training where appropriate. They can volunteer in any of four main volunteering areas:

  • Involve which supports vulnerable adults, including supporting people with additional needs to get involved with activities or to volunteer themselves.  It also includes supporting older members of the community, particularly those who may be isolated. One supported volunteering scheme saw 18 students supporting 19 volunteers with additional needs to carry out 812 hours of volunteer work.
  • Inspire which supports children and young people. The buddy reading scheme involved 12 volunteers carrying out 65 hours of work during 7 reading sessions, while the Inside Out scheme arranged social outings for 13 young people affected by autism. The Sketty Park Youth Group worked in 10 youth club sessions and activities included pancake making, movie night, quiz night and pizza making.
  • Interact which focuses on improving the environment. Activities this term included 2 beach cleans while the gardening and decorating project did 439 hours of  volunteering in 16 city locations,such as the city centre tunnel paint, Swansea Botanical Garden and Friends of the Young Disabled Activity centre (FOYD]).
  • International which centres on the Swansea Siavonga Partnership, a community work project based in Siavonga in Zambia. Plans for summer 2017 will involve 9 students and 2 staff who will travel to Siavonga to offer support in a range of activities including pest management, basic maths teaching, and also help with gardening and drip irrigation.

Eleanor said: “This new exhibition show what a great year of student volunteering we’ve had.  These students work very hard in the communities they serve and are role models that are very far from the clichés embodied in the ‘typical’ student stereotypes.  Volunteering can also help them with their personal development and open them up to new experiences and opportunities.”