Community spirit to be honoured at awards ceremony

University of Portsmouth students who spend their free time giving back to the community will be honoured at a special awards ceremony this week.

The 2017 Celebrating Volunteering Awards Ceremony, hosted by the Volunteering Team at Purple Door, the University’s Department of Employability, is taking place on Thursday 27 April from 6.30pm at the Royal Maritime Club, 75-80 Queen Street, Portsmouth.

Students volunteer across a number of sectors.

Students volunteer across a number of sectors.

Throughout the year, University students give up their time and energy to volunteer for many third sector organisations in the city of Portsmouth, Hampshire and nationally. Student volunteers have given more than 20,000 hours of their own time to volunteer in the local community since the academic year began in September 2016.

This year there have been 676 students taking part in unpaid volunteering in a variety of roles across a number of sectors including charities, social enterprises, local authorities, Hampshire Constabulary, Hampshire Fire and Rescue, the NHS and Winchester Prison. Roles have included one-to-one reading tuition to pupils in primary schools, assisting the rehabilitation of ex-offenders in the community and coordinating social media campaigns for local charities.

Students not only choose to undertake these voluntary roles because they know potential graduate employers value the skills and experience gained by these activities, but also because they want to give something back to the city where they have chosen to study.

The event is also an opportunity for the University to thank the charities, schools and all other not-for-profit organisations who welcome students and provide training and support whilst they volunteer.

Jane Howe, Volunteering and Community Engagement Officer at Purple Door, said: “The event promises to be a great night to thank all our students for their dedication and passion for volunteering. We are thrilled to have received a record number of nominations this year from a variety of organisations, and some of these organisations have just started working with us in the last twelve months.

“It will also be an opportunity to celebrate the volunteering partnerships between University students and the local community. All of these partnerships are very important to the University and we are keen to see them flourish and develop in new directions.”

During the evening, winners will be presented with their awards in recognition of their achievements. The awards are split over three categories: Best Newcomer; Commitment to Volunteering; and Outstanding Achievement and Contribution.

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