There are several volunteering opportunities that staff are involved with at the moment but that will always require more volunteers. You can register your interest for any of the following at any time. Please contact Sarah Hosten, Staff Volunteering Coordinator.
Volunteering opportunities in the Scheme are loosely categorised under the following headings - education, disability, homelessness and environment.
Reading and maths assistance
Assisting children at a local primary school with reading and maths has proved invaluable over the years, and staff who have previously undertaken the activity have found the experience both rewarding and gratifying to see the progress made by pupils.
Staff interested in the activity will join a pool of volunteers within the University, who attend once every two weeks for two hours at a time, in pairs. Staff provide assistance to pupils who are experiencing difficulty with reading and maths, and guidance isprovided to volunteers to maximise the impact of the tutoring.
At present, I am still trying to source a school at which we can volunteer, but I am confident one will be found for the coming academic year. This activity will only require staff to attend the school twice each term, but obviously more if they wish. The flexible nature of the arrangement will allow staff to swap dates with others in the pool, and not commit to any dates which are inconvenient or dates beyond one term.
You will need to allow approximately two hours for each session, including travelling time, and transport will be provided to and from the school. If you are interested, please email Sarah Hosten.
Secondary School Mentoring
A new staff volunteering opportunity which aims to provide young people with inspirational role models to “boost confidence, enhance soft skills, self-efficacy and long-term employability” has been arranged in conjunction with a national charity.
In partnership with Mosaic, a charity founded by HRH The Prince of Wales to inspire young people from deprived communities, staff will act as mentors to secondary school pupils to realise their talents and potential. Working in areas with significant Muslim communities, Mosaic’s programmes are “open to students of all faiths and ethnic backgrounds”, and their supporters and volunteers come from all walks of life.
The secondary school mentoring scheme was chosen of the three programmes run by Mosaic, as it requires the least time commitment and the terms of the volunteering have been tailored to Aston staff’s preferences as identified from previous initiatives. Working with approximately 20 students who demonstrate a number of issues which impede attainment of aspirations, in groups of 5 or 6, staff will deliver a programme tailored to meet the specific needs of these individuals through group mentoring sessions.
It is hoped we can recruit sufficient volunteers to deliver the entire programme at one school in the Birmingham area, and staff will attend as a group on a fortnightly basis for one hour at a time, for seven sessions. The exact time of these sessions will be agreed according to the preference of the majority of the volunteers, although this will obviously be during school hours. Transport to and from the school will be provided. The initial training session can be delivered at Aston University, providing sufficient staff sign up and the entire programme can be undertaken using your two standard volunteering leave days, with no extra commitment required unless you choose to do so.
Further information about the mentoring scheme can be found via Mosaic’s website and the mentoring document. If you wish to apply, please complete the application form and return to Sarah Hosten.
If you require any further information or have questions about the time commitment, please contact Sarah Hosten.
A new staff volunteering opportunity has been sourced in partnership with RNIB and Action for Blind People. This is a pilot project run by Action for Blind People which is funded until April 2012, and hopefully if it proves successful, will be funded indefinitely.
The activity will see staff act as buddies to blind or partially sighted people, guiding them whilst out shopping and/or travelling around the Birmingham area. This activity does not require a regular commitment and frequency/timings will depend on the needs of the client and your availability. These could be one-off events or a series of sessions until the client is comfortable in undertaking the activity independently.
Each session will be around 2 hours plus travelling time, and expenses will be paid.