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Hundreds of students queue up to volunteer

Almost 700 students stepped up to volunteer with local organisations this year as the University of Portsmouth staged its annual Volunteering Fair.

Representatives from 44 charities, community groups and other not-for-profit organisations attended last week’s event, including the Alzheimer’s Society, British Red Cross, the Mary Rose Museum, Aspex and Hampshire Constabulary.

The feedback was resoundingly positive, according to organiser Rachel Stone, in the University’s Careers and Employability team.

She said: “The annual Volunteering Fair is the main opportunity for our third sector partners to showcase the fantastic range of career enhancing volunteer opportunities they offer. These roles help students with their career planning, skill development and resilience while also giving back to the valuable services run by local not-for-profit organisations, so it was fantastic to see the event so busy.

“In the last academic year almost 1,400 students volunteered to support local voluntary organisations, giving 54,000 hours back to the local community and having such a busy event is testament to the growing profile of volunteering on campus.”

The fair resulted in students submitting over 1,200 registrations for the 130 volunteering roles on offer at the event.

The Careers and Employability Department are proud of the energy and enthusiasm of students in wanting to volunteer in roles including mentoring ex-offenders out in the community, supporting stroke survivors and helping to run screenings at a local independent cinema.

Head of Department, Julia Hughes, said: “Employers increasingly want to see more than a degree on a graduate’s CV, they now also need to evidence their skills, knowledge and abilities through interesting work experience in order to enter the job market competitively. This is why the Volunteering Fair is so important.

“Volunteering enables students to experience different career paths, develop a strong set of transferable skills, gain practical knowledge to supplement their course and take a break from their studies, all whilst giving back to the local community.”

Students unable to attend the fair can still search for opportunities through the University’s Volunteering Bank. / Not-for-profit organisations who wish to work with the University’s volunteering service can find out more about the support available by emailing volunteering@port.ac.uk.

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