Running between 20 to 26 February, the Student Volunteering Week is all about highlighting the amazing work of student volunteers in the UK, having fun and inspiring more students to give volunteering a try.
In 2016 over 100 colleges and universities hosted events and activities for Student Volunteering Week.
An estimated 225,000 (15%) of all undergraduates say that they have done some voluntary work whilst studying – all taking the opportunity to gain some valuable and often life changing experiences alongside the academic, sporting and cultural opportunities higher education offers.
And there’s lots of ways students can support our work. You have the power and potential to shape a better future.
Lyndon recently appeared on regional TV following the death, from meningitis, of a fellow student at the same university in Northumbria. Having experienced meningitis when he was a baby, Lyndon, a quadruple amputee, knew only too well the importance of reassuring people following such an event and set about creating campus wide meningitis awareness sessions. During these sessions Lyndon handed signs and symptoms cards and encouraged students to get the life saving Men ACWY vaccine.
Like Lyndon, Matt has experience of meningitis having lost his sister Hannah to the disease in 2003. Matt and his family are avid volunteers for the charity and have raised thousands of pounds for the work we do. As part of his role as a volunteer Young Ambassador, Matt has spoken at two keynote events for the charity, one a parliamentary reception, where he addressed MPs, peers and health professionals and the other at a Royal reception at Buckingham Place hosted by The Countess of Wessex. On both occasions Matt shared his family’s meningitis experience and stressed the need to get more students vaccinated.
Here are some actions you could take to mark the week to get you thinking:
- Have a look at our Fight for Now website, specifically for students and young people, and get three of your friends to do the same. Challenge them to pass it on and each get three more friends to look at the site and learn about meningitis and how to start helping to protect themselves
- Pledge to take on a challenge to raise funds to fight meningitis. There’s lots of events to chose from on our website. See our featured events
- Write a blog for our student website Fight for Now and tell us about your meningitis experience, whether it was you or a friend or family member who had the disease, share your story.
- Encourage your friends to make sure they get their ACWY vaccination. Put up a copy of our poster in the Uni and at the campus health centre and distribute Signs and Symptoms cards to your club or society members. Visit our Off to Uni section.
- Arrange to meet a charity representative – either one of our staff members or one of our Community Ambassadors or Futures Builders – and explore opportunities for doing something together that will make a difference in your area. We can put you in touch
- Organise a celebration to recognise what’s already been done to fight back against meningitis, perhaps linking with other groups and individuals in the local community
As we said earlier – it’s a week for spotlighting the amazing work of student volunteers in the UK, so do that by letting us know what you’re planning, what you did and how it went.
To find out more about student volunteering and Meningitis Now contact Jean Lawton firstname.lastname@example.org.