Are you looking to make a difference? Want to make a positive impact in our society? If so, then the Volunteering and Mentoring team are here to help you!

Volunteering and Mentoring is a team within the Careers and Employability service who can help you to browse and apply for volunteering opportunities, log your volunteer hours, track your progress for the University of Chester Volunteering (UCV) awards and sign up to be, or be matched with, a Peer Mentor.

Who are we?

Our team forms part of the Student Success team within Careers and Employability and consists of:

  • Jo (Volunteering and Mentoring Manager).
  • Amy (Mentoring Admin Assistant).
  • Louise (Volunteering Coordinator).
  • Abbie (Volunteer Administrator).

We aim to provide students with access to volunteer opportunities in the community and the University, and support students throughout their volunteer journey.

Through our Peer Mentoring scheme, we aim to support new students as they join the University with a match to one of our Peer Mentors, helping them with the transition into Higher Education and increasing their sense of belonging at the University.

Why volunteer?

Volunteering is an amazing opportunity for all students. Volunteering can help you to meet new people, get involved in your community, improve your confidence, develop your skills, and help you to stand out from the crowd. Volunteering provides you with a brilliant opportunity to develop your employability whilst giving back to the local community through social action, such as one-off conservation trips, or more long-term opportunities such as being a Peer Mentor. Volunteering is also linked to a greater sense of wellbeing – doing good feels good!

Rifa volunteers with Chester Sports Association with the Disabled and shared their experience:

“I was bored in lockdown and felt I needed to engage in activities to improve my skills in that time. Volunteering is the best opportunity to spend my time fruitfully. I learnt to interact with different people – the trainer at the club was very supportive – and when we played basketball and handball I managed to perform very well with the team.

People with a disability may find difficulty communicating and interacting with me as I come from a completely different background, but eventually they began to mingle with me and now they have become my best friends! Playing team sports has been a fantastic experience for me. The way we communicate, encourage one another, appreciate each other and work as a team were very good experiences of my volunteering. I built confidence in managing and organising individuals despite limitations and improved my teamwork skills.”

Rifa Parottil

What type of support is available?

There is plenty of support available for those wishing to volunteer. Whether you’re volunteering in a student-led project, for the Students in Schools scheme, or as part of the Peer Mentoring initiative, the team are here to support students at any stage of their volunteer journey.

Students can access our services via our Volunteer Hub. Here you can set up your online volunteer profile, which you can use to browse for volunteer opportunities, log your volunteer hours, and apply for our UCV award scheme. You can also choose to receive regular emails with the latest opportunities, based on your preferences.

The team also delivers regular events throughout the year to showcase volunteer opportunities and celebrate our student volunteers. Students can visit our Volunteer and Skills Fair, held annually in October, to meet some of our local charities and discover opportunities. You can also get involved in our campaigns, including Give Back month in December and Student Volunteering Week in February.

We can also offer 30-minute Volunteer appointments to help you explore the available opportunities, talk through how to get involved, and provide information on our volunteer schemes.

Any student that volunteers on one of our projects will also receive further support from the team. We provide full training, resources, and ongoing support for Peer Mentors, Project Coordinators, Students in Schools participants and any other project volunteers.

Finally, student volunteers can receive recognition through our UCV (University of Chester Volunteer) awards. These awards are based on the number of hours you log and encourage you to reflect on your skills and experiences. These awards will be recognised on your HEAR (Higher Education Achievement Record) and you are provided with certificates and invites to our Celebration Event.

Who can access the service?

Students of all backgrounds and years of study can access the service – have a look at what our student volunteers had to say about their experiences:

What types of projects can students volunteer for?

Students can access a huge range of community volunteering opportunities through our Volunteer Hub, where we have over 100 charities registered and looking for volunteers.

We also provide opportunities to volunteer through our own projects:

  • Student-Led Projects are volunteering projects run by students, for students.
  • Students in Schools is an opportunity for students to offer one-to-one mentoring, tutoring, classroom support, and much more to primary and secondary school pupils in Cheshire and the Wirral.
  • Peer Mentoring is where we match current students with similar new students to acclimatise them to the University.

There are a range of student-led projects that a student can sign up for including; dog walking, environmental conservation, creating cooking videos that share tips on healthy eating on a budget, and joining a virtual book club for primary schools.

Keep in touch

You can keep up to date with Volunteering and Mentoring news by:

We also send out regular newsletters to our Mentors and Mentees which you can access if you sign up to be a Peer Mentor or a Mentee. For information and about this scheme, please email peermentoring@chester.ac.uk.

We look forward to supporting you on your volunteer journey!

Posted in Support and Opportunities