Student Volunteering Week is a national event, with Higher and Further Education Institutions across the country using the week to celebrate existing student volunteers and to encourage more students to start volunteering.
This is the 19th year that Student Volunteering Week is taking place, but student volunteering has a long and rich history dating back to university missions in the 19th century and support for the unemployed in the interwar period. If you’re interested in finding out more about the history of student volunteering, check out this video
Student Volunteering – a short history from adifferentdrumproductions on Vimeo.
There are so many reasons for volunteering and when you pair it with the Bristol PLUS Award the value gained can really pack a punch!
To help us prepare for Student Volunteering Week we caught up with Bristol PLUS Award completer, Joshua Ang, to hear more about how he paired his volunteering and the Bristol PLUS Award.
The next run of the Open Online Courses starts on Monday 10 February, and don’t worry – there’s still time to sign up!
The three courses: Global Citizenship, Innovation and Enterprise, and Sustainable Futures are hosted on the online platform FutureLearn and are a fantastic way to expand your learning, develop your skills and share your knowledge with learners across the world.
To help you make the most of the courses, the University of Bristol employs students to work as online mentors. Lots of these mentors have been with us since the courses launched, so we’ve asked a couple of them about what is that they enjoy about the Bristol Futures Open Online Courses.
Issy – Global Citizenship course mentor
What has been the most enjoyable element of working as a Bristol Futures Open Online Course Mentor?
I have worked as a Bristol Futures online mentor for three runs now on the ‘Global Citizenship’ course. I really enjoy the flexibility of this course, you can join in whenever you like during the week, talk to other learners or just read and soak it all in. The course is free so is very little pressure and you work at your own pace. The course content is also really interesting, presented in a user-friendly way with short informative videos, interactive quizzes and a comments section where you can input answers to some open questions that each module provides. (more…)
More than 5000 students past and present have achieved the PLUS Award in the last decade. One of which is your currently elected UG Education Officer Hillary Gyebi-Ababio who used work experience as a Telethon Fundraiser and a society committee position, among other things, to gain the Award alongside her Social Policy degree. This is what she says about her experience.
“Taking part in the Bristol PLUS Award made me a stronger candidate for my career. I honed my skills in organisation, communication and most importantly for myself, leadership. It enabled me to feel confident in realising my potential in the future career I hope to have.
The Bristol PLUS Award offers you the perfect platform to challenge yourself to develop new skills. But did you know it gives you recognition for the activities that you are already doing too?
That’s right! As PLUS Award achiever Valeria Saddi explains, “at the beginning of my second year I decided I wanted to challenge myself more. I was already working part time, and I realised that by doing the PLUS Award I could get recognition for the hours of work I was putting in, as well as learning something new and boosting my employability skills.”
What is myopportunities?
myopportunities is a portal that empowers you to explore opportunities outside of your formal curriculum.
Develop your interests, enhance your skills and apply your learning today by signing up for an engagement opportunity!
This could be a one-off volunteering activity in Bristol, a month-long internship abroad, an online course or a hackathon.
myopportunities lists opportunities from across the university and the wider community. The list is endless, so why not find an opportunity that suits you and begin learning differently today? Visit us online: myopportunities.
Amelia Morfitt, who is starting her final year of her degree in Psychology in Education, completed the Bristol PLUS Award during her second year. We asked her a few questions about her experience and why she would recommend it to other students…
Why did you choose to do the Bristol PLUS Award?
I chose to complete the PLUS Award because I already had a part-time job whilst I was at university, and I thought that it was a great opportunity to gain some further skills and experience, get more involved in activities at university that weren’t course-related, and to obtain an award that would also boost my CV! (more…)
Student leader roles consistently make up around 30% of the intensive skills submissions on the Bristol PLUS Award and the impact this leadership experience has on students can be extremely far-reaching, both personally and professionally. The 2015-16 Outstanding Award projects reflected this benefit, showcasing the significant contributions from students in their SU roles as senior residents, society presidents, volunteers and fundraisers.
Faye Leneghan used her role as 2015-16 Station Manager of Burst Radio to achieve the Award in her final year at the University of Bristol. When asked before graduating ‘what are your career goals?’ she responded:
“I’m looking to gain a career in broadcast journalism, production or PR/Communications. With the help of the Outstanding Award I have upcoming interviews for an internship with Global Radio and the Houses of Parliament!”
We recently caught up with Faye after several years in industry to see how the experience and skills gained through taking part in the Outstanding Award have helped her career take off.
Student leader roles consistently make up around 30% of the intensive skills submissions on the Bristol PLUS Award, and the impact this leadership experience has on students can be extremely far-reaching, both personally and professionally. In 2017-18 we had a record number of student leaders apply for the Outstanding Award, with 50% of applicants articulating the significant contribution they’d made within their Student Union roles.
One of these students was Hari, the 2016-17 Chair of Bristol RAG. We caught up with him after graduation to see how the Outstanding Award experience had helped him get to where he is now.
Did you complete the Bristol PLUS or Outstanding Award as part of your university experience?
If so, we want to invite you to help us celebrate the ten year anniversary of the Awards!
The Bristol PLUS Award started in 2009 as a way to reward students for developing extracurricular skills and experiences alongside their degrees, and help them articulate the value of that experience to employers. In ten years, the premise of the Award has not changed, though it has evolved in response to student feedback, university projects and labour market developments, to ensure that the Award remains credible and beneficial to every student who dedicates themselves to achieve it.
Here are just a few highlights: