For our latest City Challenge, we teamed up with local Bristol charity BristolHub, an organisation that supports University of Bristol students to tackle social challenges, learn about issues and connect with each other.
So what is a City Challenge? and why should you take part?
We caught up with Hannah (BA Politics and International Relations) and Apoorva (MA Economics and Finance) who attended the most recent City Challenge, along with Will Westgarth of Bristol Hub, to hear all about the programme and why they recommend you take part in a future one. Here are their five top reasons :
1. You can make a real difference to a local charity
During a City Challenge, you help a Bristol non-profit tackle an issue they are facing. You learn about a local cause, help improve them and have a positive impact on the local community. Our most recent challenge was with Bristol Hub. Hannah, who’s in her second year, said, “I aspire to work in the non-profit sector so insight into a small charity and the way it works was really helpful for me.”
The charity gets a lot too.
Will of Bristol Hub said, “The Challenge helped Bristol Hub further understand students’ desires when it comes to opportunities and how we can best reach out and connect with students. They came up with incredibly detailed and well thought-out presentations, with suggestions which we will take on board for the next academic year.”
2. You’ll learn new skills
As you work in groups to solve the challenge, you develop skills like teamwork, communication and consulting, as well as challenging other people’s ideas. Hannah said, “We were doing a project that requires you to work as a team. Engaging with and learning those skills is really exciting.”
“A skill that I picked up today was engaging with different people,” Apoorva added. “In my group, it’s not just about the task but how we tackle the language barrier to reach a common objective.”
3. It counts towards the Bristol PLUS Award!
The Bristol PLUS Award rewards you for extracurricular activities you have completed during your degree. The City Challenge can be one of them. In fact, 16 out of 18 students on the last challenge were working towards their PLUS, including Apoorva.
“I’m currently pursuing the Bristol PLUS Award,” she explained. “This requires me to take up a few activities, one of which is volunteering. I chose the afternoon City Challenge as it allows me to be flexible with my time and contribute just a part of my day.”
This leads us to the next reason to take part…
4. It’s short!
A City Challenge is 3.5 hours long so it can easily fit into your schedule, even if you’re in your final year. They typically happen on a Wednesday afternoon when there are no lectures. They often take place at the Careers Service at 5 Tyndall Avenue, so you won’t have far to travel, either.
5. You’ll meet like-minded people
The students who come are all passionate about the work of non-profits.
As Hannah said, “I enjoyed meeting other people who feel the same about engaging with charity work and volunteering. I think it’s really important and I’m excited to see what else I can contribute to the city.”
Are you persuaded to take on a City Challenge?
Come along to our next one with the city’s hugely popular annual walking festival, Bristol Walk Fest, in collaboration with charity Age UK, on Wednesday 19 April. Click here to sign up on mycareer.
If you can’t make that one but want to hear about future City Challenges, you can fill out our City Challenges general sign-up form to be kept up to date.
We have previously teamed up with Incredible Edible, Square Food Foundation, Girls Are INvestors (GAIN), Hedgehog Rescue, Hartcliffe City Farm and the Belay Foundation and others for this great programme. We look forward to seeing you at one soon!