The OFFA (Office for Fair Access) agreement; what is it and why should we engage?
Andy Coppins, Volunteer Manager, Nottingham Trent University.
Chris Scrace OFFA
Nottingham Trent University’s volunteering department has, since 2002, sat within the Widening Participation (WP) department of the University. This has brought its challenges and opportunities over the years, but has placed it in a valuable space to be able to make use of the increased funding that has been brought into the University through OFFA funding. The way the work has developed has more closely aligned volunteering activity to outreach activity, the interaction of students with local schools, and in the opportunities volunteering gives students from WP backgrounds, throughout the student lifecycle. This presentation will talk through some of these aspects of the work and offer advice on how to engage with the WP agenda in your institution.
New Perspectives on Student Volunteering – what can we learn from North America?
Vicky Ridley, Vice Principal Collingwood College, Durham University
Vicky Ridley has managed staff and student volunteering programmes at Durham University for several years. Last year she was awarded a Winston Churchill Travelling Fellowship and she spent seven weeks in the USA and Canada visiting universities to explore how they engaged with local communities, particularly through extra-curricular volunteering programmes and ‘service-learning’. In this workshop, Vicky will share some of her findings from the trip, identifying different ideas and opportunities that universities in the UK may wish to consider. She’ll cover both extra-curricular volunteering opportunities, the importance that the US universities place on student ‘reflection’ and delve into the world of ‘community-engaged teaching and learning’.
Student Leadership: How to facilitate leadership amongst your students
Ruth Taylor, Community Action Manager for Student Hubs
Students now have more opportunity than ever before to make real, systematic change when it comes to social and environmental issues. This session will explore how to best support students to become leaders for social change, equipping them with the skills they need to turn vision into reality and lead innovation and change. Instead of exploring ways to recruit or support new volunteers, this session will look at ways to support students who are already very engaged, helping them progress even further in their involvement.
This session will be delivered by Ruth Taylor, Community Action Manager for Student Hubs, and will give a brief introduction to a wider programme developed and delivered by the Student Hubs Team on student social leadership.
Social Media Marketing: How to attract and engage volunteers
Anya Visegorodceva, Volunteering Coordinator, University of Essex Students’ Union
Come and find out how the vTeam at University of Essex Students’ Union uses social media to interact with volunteers and engage more people. vTeam run over 60 one-off projects a year and use mainly social media to advertise and promote them to students. If you are new to social media, or want to share your own experience or ask some questions, come along to this workshop
Ruth Taylor, Community Action Manager & Rachel Tait, Projects Officer
This session, delivered by members of the SVW Team, will see the announcement of plans for SVW 2015, notably information regarding the national activities being planned (including the 2015 National Stunt), timeframes for the Student Volunteer of the Year Award and a new staff support programme for 2015.
Time will also be dedicated to local planning amongst ‘Student Volunteering Network’ regions, intended to give staff across neighboring institutions the opportunity to discuss possible areas of collaboration.
Tony Payne, Activities Manager, Canterbury College
This structured networking session will allow you to discuss common issues with colleagues and arrive at practical solutions. We'd like you to think about areas of work you are both proud of and maybe some issues you would like to discuss.
By the end of the session you will have a clear idea of some of the key issues within student volunteering and some creative solutions to solve some of these.
Student Led Volunteering: Practical Implementation
Natalie Tiu, Volunteering & RAG Coordinator, Kent Union
Do you want to know how to best encourage your students to set up their own volunteering initiatives? This session will cover; structures and systems to help support your volunteers, common pitfalls and barriers to project development, and some top tips in empowering & maintaining the motivation of your volunteers.
Volunteer Brokerage: Maximising opportunities: utilising relationships with external organisations.
Fay Harris, Student Experience Manager, Keele Student Union
The session explains how KeeleSU Volunteering became the first University based Volunteer Centre branch and the benefits we derive from it.
KeeleSU has a history of supporting students to volunteer. Encountering problems and limitations from a range of databases and a realisation that time spent seeking volunteering opportunities for students was unsustainable, led us to re-think how we support students and deliver a brokerage service to Keele students.
Volunteering is now embedded into the student experience at Keele, this session will also include a short overview of volunteering and the co-curriculum and the Distinctive Keele Curriculum.
This session describes our working relationship with the University and how we have integrated volunteering into the academic programme.
Working with the HEAR – the experience of an institution and top tips for making it work for you and your students
Chris Hoyle; Higher Education Academy (HEA), Rosie Hunna; National Union of Students (NUS), Kate Cater; University of Leeds, Greg Miller; University of Leeds
This session will give an introduction to the HEAR (Higher Education Achievement Report) and discuss how it can act as a tool to not only reward volunteering but also to encourage student participation and champion causes that are central to the aims of the institution. The HEAR provides a platform for recording and recognising the skills and experiences gained through volunteering and extra-curricular activities alongside academic achievements and degree classifications.
The University of Leeds will then give an example of a specific implementation within an institution. The University of Leeds has a cross-institutional process for the identification of opportunities and activities that are eligible for the HEAR. This has been an experimental and evolutionary approach which seeks to broaden the range of activity that is included whilst maintaining a consistent approach to validation. The workshop will cover the benefits and challenges of our HEAR approach specifically considering the notion of significant achievement.
There will be an opportunity to discuss specific aspects of the implementation at The University of Leeds and ask questions about alternative methods in the wider sector.
International Volunteering Panel Event
A hot topic amongst our members; this panel event aims to share best practice, advice and guidance around the complexities of International Volunteering. The panel will be exploring both institutional led and the promotion of third party International Volunteering opportunities.
Ruth Taylor, International Development Manager, Student Hubs
Ruth Taylor, will discuss the complexities around supporting student volunteering overseas, briefly exploring the benefits and risks of placements abroad. She will give an overview about the key ways to ensure students partake in sustainable, effective and collaborative international volunteer placements, before discussing ways to support returning volunteers to ensure continued engagement.
Ruth heads up the UK-wide Student Hubs programme Impact International, which aims to inspire students to engage critically with sustainable and impactful international volunteering. A serial International Volunteer herself, she also acts as the Volunteer Recruitment and Support Coordinator for KickStart Ghana, a small NGO that aims to support education and sport development alongside local partners based in Eastern Ghana. She has experience of developing programmes abroad, as well as supporting student volunteers pre-, during and post trip.
Nottingham Trent University
Andy Coppins, Volunteer Manager, Nottingham Trent University.
Nottingham Trent Volunteering (NTV) works with a range of organisations and projects abroad in order to offer students some fantastic, ethically sound overseas volunteering opportunities. NTV works within the University’s Schools, Colleges and Community Outreach Team, and much emphasis is placed on enabling students from disadvantaged backgrounds to achieve their goals, regardless of their background. We are therefore particularly interested in students applying for these International opportunities who are in receipt of the full maintenance grant, and could be put off from taking part on the basis of cost. There is some financial assistance available to support students in taking up these opportunities.
University of Leeds
Greg Miller, Student Opportunities Manager
The University of Leeds set up its first international volunteering programme in Cambodia in 2013. Whilst relatively small scale the project was created from scratch and is managed entirely by the team. The students all receive a grant towards the costs but work as a team to fundraise for the Cambodian school they support.
Developing best practice in your management of volunteers, can IiV* help you ?
Steph Hughes, Volunteering Manager, Kent Union
We all manage and support many different groups of volunteers and the majority of us will do this in different ways. This session will introduce you to the best practice standards in volunteer management as outlined by the Investing in Volunteers standard, and how you can apply this to your organisation. We will also cover the process of going through Investing in Volunteers accreditation with tops tips to see you through the process. This session will focus on your own volunteers so will apply less so to those running a brokerage service, although it will still be beneficial in terms of best practice in volunteer management.
*IiV is the UK quality standard for good practice in volunteer management.
Growing Your Volunteering Department
Helen Munro, Student Volunteering Manager, Bangor University
During this workshop, we will be exploring several different approaches to expanding, and building upon existing volunteering departments within a higher education setting. We will start by recognising the varying ways in which departments fit into their institutions and the different services they offer. In what is hoped will be an active and engaging session, we will focus on several key areas:
· Gaining recognition for your existing work
· Using volunteers to promote the department within the university and wider community
· Working effectively with your institution to expand your department
· How to develop student led community volunteering projects on small budgets
Helen will share her experience of managing Student Volunteering Bangor which has grown from running 9 community projects in 2008 to 33 today. The organisation has expanded particularly greatly in the last 2 years and has tripled the number of students engaging in volunteering since October 2012.
Life after Student Volunteering with the RSPB and the Scouts
Richard Budden, RSPB and Liam Burns, The Scouting Association
Hear the experiences of two incredibly successful ex-student volunteers who have gone on to have careers in the third Sector. Richard Budden and Liam Burns both started as volunteers in Student Unions and through election to high ranking positions in the NUS, have now moved onto bigger things. Richard is now People Engagement Manager at RSPB and Liam is Head of Public Affairs at the Scouting Association. The will also talk about how you can engage with these organisations and what they are able to offer student volunteers.