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Supporting the local community: York student volunteers offer a helping hand

Posted on 12 October 2017

The University of York’s annual report on student volunteering has revealed that in the last academic year students donated nearly 66,000 hours of their time to helping the local community – raising more than £120,000.

Students make a difference to the lives of young people through York Students in Schools. Credit: John Houlihan

Projects ranged from organising a sports takeover day for children and young people with disabilities, to helping to transform a community centre’s outdoor spaces. At the minimum wage, the value of all the projects would be £473,493, the report reveals.

Projects included:

  • The University of York Students’ Union (YUSU) teamed up with SNAPPY, a play and activities group for children and young people with disabilities, leading a sports takeover day at the charity.
  • York students from Hull York Medical School have started up schemes to support older people through a CommuniTea project with Woolnough Care Home in York, providing tea and a chat to residents on a weekly basis.
  • As part of the move towards York declaring itself the first Human Rights City in the UK, students helped to inspire young people through a one-day conference on the right to education.  
  • Over the summer term, over 200 History, English, History of Art, Politics and Education students tackled a range of projects for community clients. The films, research materials and educational resources they created are being picked up at a national level by English Heritage, the National Trust and Robertson’s Construction.
  • In June, 40 University students were among over 200 volunteers who helped transform Tang Hall Community Centre’s outdoor spaces, building raised beds, removing the basketball court and building a pizza oven.  
  • As part of Student Volunteering Week, students from the University’s Alcuin College worked with Portakabin to make a garden for Applefields School.
  • Over 700 students helped out in schools and colleges as classroom assistants as part of the award-winning York Students in Schools (YSIS) scheme, which is now in its 24th year.

Over the summer, York students made resources including films for community clients. Credit: Alex Holland

Professor Matt Matravers, Chair of the University of York’s Volunteering and Community Committee, said University of York students were making a real difference to the wider York community.

He said: “Making a difference and having an impact on the wider community of York is a key part of thousands of students’ University experience, whether they give just a couple of hours or commit to projects and regular volunteer roles every week.

“The hours given are astonishing and we extend our thanks to all our students for their time and enthusiasm.”

York students helped to build raised beds at Tang Hall Community Centre: Credit: York Cares

Further information:

  • The Student Volunteering 2016/17 Impact Report is available to view at
  • The University of York Volunteering and Community Committee shares best practice, identifies and supports areas of community need, and assists students to start, lead and learn from voluntary experience.
  • Find out more about student volunteering at the University of York and watch a video here.
  • Students interested in volunteering or organisations looking for volunteers are invited to contact:

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