In preparation for this year’s Student Volunteering Week, the Lloyds Scholars programme has revealed that they have contributed more than 60,000 volunteering hours to help their local communities over the past five years.
Lloyds Scholars is an award winning programme offering financial support, employment opportunities and mentoring to talented undergraduates at eight of the country’s top universities. In return, Lloyds Scholars must complete at least 100 hours per year volunteering to help causes in their local community.
To give a taste of the range of activities that Scholars are involved with, students from across the country have been sharing their most memorable volunteering experiences:
Paulina Platek, who studied at the University of Bristol, said: “I started my own charitable enterprise called the Clothes Line, which provided young people who were homeless, or at risk of becoming homeless, with free smart clothes to wear for interviews. I partnered with a local charity to deliver a monthly pop up shop available to over 1000 young people across Bristol. The Clothes Line will be passed onto a new Lloyds Scholar each year to continue its work. The experience greatly boosted my confidence and project management abilities, and taught me that I can achieve a lot if I only put my mind to it.”
Rachael Martin, who studied at the University of Oxford, said: “I have particularly enjoyed visiting my local Sixth Form College to help with a workshop on applying to university. It has been great to pass knowledge on from my Physics degree to get young people interested in science through the Stargazing live programme and being involved in outreach work.”
Sophie Bartlett, who is currently studying at the University of Bath, said: “As a group of Lloyds Scholars we took on the renovation of a summer house for a local residential centre for adults with mental difficulties. We took the project right from its foundation; planning fundraising events such as cake sales and bucket collections, planning the necessary materials and sourcing these, right through to the painting of the summer house. The residents seemed really pleased with the results which of course made it all worthwhile!”
Joshua Leslie, who studied at the University of Bristol, said: “Were it not for the Lloyds Scholars Scheme I wouldn’t have found myself in a soup kitchen every Sunday morning cooking for disadvantaged members of the Bristol community. The experience was however incredibly rewarding, both personally and in the difference made to the individuals who came.”
Finally, Louisa Britton, who is currently studying at the University of Oxford, said: “I started volunteering at a care home, where I ran activities such as painting, skittles and snakes and ladders with the residents. Seeing their confidence grow as a result of my encouragement was rewarding, and I enjoyed chatting to them. But the highlight of the year was definitely a Christmas trip to the ice rink. I challenge anyone to think of a more bizarre scene than a group of eighty to ninety-year-olds wearing Santa hats being skated round the ice in their wheelchairs to a mixed playlist of Christmas carols and hip-hop!”
Lloyds Banking Group has committed to support 720 undergraduates from low income families through the Lloyds Scholars programme by 2017.
To be eligible for the programme students must come from homes where the household income is under £25,000 and have a place at one of the leading Universities taking part in the programme.
Find out more about Lloyds Scholars, by visiting www.lloyds-scholars.com.