The volunteering, Community and Enterprise team from left to right: Rhea, Sophie, Ryan, Bea, Sam and Rosie. Find them in the staff directory here.
We are more than just Volunteering.
Finding a way to donate time to a cause is not difficult, but did you know that we are committed to bringing campaigns and enterprising opportunities to our students as well? Our aim is to broaden your understanding of what we do and for you to know that you can come and talk to us about volunteering opportunities in your schools.
So have a browse and get in touch to see how you can be involved.
Our Definition of Volunteering
"A volunteer is any student or member of staff who performs any activity that involves spending time, unpaid, doing something that aims to benefit the environment or someone other than, or in addition to, close relatives. Volunteering must be a choice freely made by each individual" (Volunteering England, 2013).
Volunteering differs from unpaid work placements because placements tend to be for a restricted amount of time. There is also an onus on the supervisor and the person in the placement to complete paperwork together, tracking skill development and experiences.
Volunteering is a lot more informal and whilst time stipulations could be agreed, volunteering tends to be more fluid, led by the volunteer, and with no requirements on a supervisor to produce written work relating to a portfolio.
Volunteers are not considered employees of Leeds Beckett Students’ Union, or the organisations through which they have contact with the brokerage service.
Types of Volunteering
One off and Events
Micro - volunteering
How We Recognise Volunteering
Students who volunteer with us will log their hours and we give certificates when they have volunteered a certain amount of time. This, coupled with a reference from us, will make a nifty addition to their CV.
We also have volunteer socials where our students can mingle and widen their network, Union awards to recognize their service, and (of course) the Beckett Award! We have had film nights, bowling, and trips to the Christmas market - we have also had celebration evenings where we put on prosecco and gave out certificates.
How We Support Volunteering
Volunteers are paid for any expenses that they are out of pocket for and we also cover the cost of DBS checks (all of which can add up!). Our most important method of support is to be there as a point of contact, be available for supervision and check in regularly with our student volunteers.
Our Community Objective
Through Leeds Beckett Students’ Union, we aim to bridge the gap between students and permanent Leeds residents through initiatives that promote positive social change.
The Community Committee is a volunteering opportunity where students can make a change and gain valuable leadership and project management skills. Our Community Committee consists of 8 students, with two in one of the following roles:
Crime & Safety Ambassador
Environmental & Recycling Ambassador
Student Housing Ambassador
Student Wellbeing Ambassador
Together, the student’s develop a range of social action opportunities that create volunteering opportunities for other students, as well as projects that raise awareness and create opportunities for improvement.
For the first time since the Community Committee has been active, students have been taken into meetings held by Leeds City Council and local residents, where usually the topic of conversation is regarding students. We believe students voices should be heard in the local community and through the Community Committee, we can make a change at local Council level.
How Schools and LBSU Can Work Together
Let us know if you have any projects currently impacting the local community
How We Support Student Enterprises
We are currently supporting our students to run their own social enterprises through the Eco Soup project and Campus Thrift Shops. Often our student led projects can evolve into social enterprises or even turn into a charity in their own right. If any of your students have an enterprising flair, feel free to point them in our direction!
Our Campus Thrift Shops tackle the social and environmental issues surrounding the end of year changeover in student accommodation and channel donations back into our student population. This is done by selling affordable clothes, text books, and homeware. We have volunteering opportunities managing the shops, stock room, and at one off events such as the RAG Fashion Show.
Eco Soup is a student led social enterprise run by the Enactus Society and supported by the Volunteering team, which started as a termly pop-up stall at City Campus. Using sustainable produce from the Real Junk Food Project and the Student Led Allotment, volunteers prepare and sell soup on campus on a Pay As You Feel basis. Eco Soup have also worked with another student group ‘Helping Hands for the Homeless’, to make extra soup to give to homeless people in the city. In 2018/2019, the project will be expanding across both campuses.
Get in touch with the team if your students are interested in getting experience with social enterprise opportunities.
The Beckett Award is an employability award for final year students. It aims at giving them recognition for their engagement in extracurricular activities through the Students' Union, University, and beyond, as well as improving their ability to reflect on the skills they have gained from this involvement. It is comprised of three levels (Bronze, Silver and Gold), with each one requiring students to create a portfolio demonstrating a certain amount of hours of extracurricular activities, and reflect on a number of competencies valued by employers.
We are currently working with three Schools to incorporate the Beckett Award within their volunteering and professional development modules, and we will be tracking their involvement alongside their graduate outcomes. Get in touch if you want to find out how the Beckett Award can work within your School.
The Graduate Network is a way for the Students' Union to keep in touch with Leeds Beckett graduates, offering practical and realistic support to those who have finished university, or who are preparing to graduate. This can be through sharing advice, or the facilitating of mentoring relationships.
Members are able to access some Students' Union services after graduation, including volunteering, society membership and campaigns.
Phew! You've heard enough from us, so now we want to hear from you. Get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org and see how you can get involved.