How I discovered my passion for the non-profit sector (and how you can do the same!)

I’m Amelia, a second-year International Social and Public Policy with Study Abroad (BSc) student and 2022/23 Bristol PLUS Award achiever.

Committing to the Bristol PLUS Award pushed me out of my comfort zone and exposed me to lots of different experiences.

It helped me to narrow down possible career avenues and even led to a part-time job.

Read on to find out how… 

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Supercharge your employability with the Bristol PLUS Award!

Open to all students – undergraduate and postgraduate – the Bristol PLUS Award offers a gateway to gaining invaluable employability skills.

Whether through volunteering, gaining practical work experience, or attending tailor-made workshops, the Bristol PLUS Award is your key to standing out in today’s competitive job market.

Hear some first-hand PLUS Award testimonials from our students from diverse backgrounds, who are studying different degrees and carving unique career paths, to discover how the PLUS Award could benefit you.

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City Challenges – Building Communities with Bristol Hub

Earlier in November, Bristol Student Hub teamed up with the Careers Service to run our latest City Challenge.

27 student volunteers attended in order to work together and generate ideas which would help Bristol Student Hub reflect on their current methods of community engagement and recommend new ways to build sustainable communities within their network of alumni and volunteers.

Bristol Hub is part of a national network that includes student hubs in Southampton, Bristol, and Cambridge as well as individual projects that run at other institutions.​

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How volunteering can transform your university experience

Volunteering in your local community connects you with others and creates positive change.

Over the past academic year, the team at Bristol Hub have supported over 180 Bristol students to engage in social action.

Bristol Hub manager Sorcha Young shares the impact that volunteering can have:

Bristol Hub students volunteering

“Social action takes many forms. It can range from donating money to good causes to creating campaigns or running community-based events. I love making a change by getting hands-on and volunteering in my community.”

Niamh Harrington, Bristol Hub one-off Volunteering Coordinator 

How volunteering enhances wellbeing 

85% of Bristol Hub’s student volunteers agreed that participation enhanced their well-being during university. Where there are many challenges to university, such as loneliness, academic pressures and an overwhelming amount to do, volunteering provides a space to escape and connect.

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How a City Challenge helped Bristol Walk Fest make strides

In April, Bristol Walk Fest partnered with the Careers Service to run a City Challenge, with the goal of getting input from student volunteers on ways to engage younger walkers with their events.

Bristol Walk Fest is an annual walking festival, with events taking place all over the city.  We chatted to Jennifer Graham, their 2023 Event Manager, about their experience.

Jen, can you tell us what Bristol Walk Fest is all about?  

Decolonising Bristol walk

Bristol Walk Fest began over a decade ago and is a celebration of all things walking. The free festival, which regularly attracts over 7,500 attendees year-on-year, showcases the best of Bristol for everyone to enjoy, either individually or with others. 

The festival takes place during May to coincide with Living Streets’ National Walking Month and offers a wide variety of walking activities, personal challenges, self-guided walking routes and discussion events. The (mostly free) walks and activities are for all backgrounds and levels of fitness.  

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Meet the Bristol PLUS achievers who are championing mental health in their community!

Mental Health Awareness (MHA) week is an opportunity to think about mental health, tackle stigma, and discover tools and techniques to protect our mental wellbeing.  

We're proud to support Mental Health Awareness Week
15 to 21 May 2023
Mental Health Foundation

This year, MHA week is themed around anxiety. We caught up with three Bristol PLUS Award achievers to learn how their work has improved the wellbeing of others in their community.  

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Five reasons why you should take part in a City Challenge

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?

Table of students at the careers service working on the most recent City Challenge with BristolHub

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.” 

Will, from BristolHub, smiling

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.”  

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The Student Volunteering Fair: connecting students with the community

Last month, the Bristol Students’ Union hosted its much-anticipated annual Student Volunteering Fair, as part of Student Volunteering Week.

A busy crowd of students speaking to organisations at their stalls in the Anson Rooms at the Bristol SU Richmond Building.

The fair had a lot to offer, with over 40 organisations showcasing their work and encouraging students to get involved.

From supporting refugees to empowering older people, there was a diverse range of organisations present at the fair and it was an excellent opportunity for students to develop their skills and make meaningful connections with like-minded individuals.

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Meet the Bristol PLUS achievers who are taking steps towards gender equity!

International Women’s Day is all about embracing equity by celebrating women’s achievements, raising awareness about discrimination, and taking action to drive gender parity. 

Happy International Women's Day!
#EmbraceEquity #IWD2023

We caught up with two PLUS Award achievers, Ellie Haines and Isabella Cupido, to learn about the work they have done to help forge a gender-equal world, and their motivations for getting involved.

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5 reasons to get involved with volunteering – from a PLUS Award achiever!

Toby smiling.

Hello! I’m Toby Ferris, chair of the Volunteering and Fundraising Network.

Having used lots of volunteering hours towards my Bristol PLUS Award last year, I’m here to give you five great reasons to consider volunteering, especially during Student Volunteering Week. 

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