College Volunteer Day sees staff and students volunteer across the county
Students and staff from Cambridge Regional College’s (CRC) Cambridge and Huntingdon campuses joined forces last week to support a variety of charities and causes, both nationally and locally in Cambridgeshire, in a college-wide volunteering day.
Volunteering and charity projects are a regular feature of the college calendar and the dedicated CRC Volunteering Day was announced at the CRC Staff Conference in June as part of the campaign to celebrate the college’s values; WeAreCRC: Welcoming, Empowering, Aspirational, Resilient, Excellent, Courageous, Respectful and Collaborative. The day enabled students and staff and alike to select issues, charities and causes to raise awareness of, or funds for and to support by volunteering their time to them.
The CRC Volunteering Day took place on the 7th December, to coincide with the same week as International Volunteer Day, with hundreds taking part across both campuses. CRC’s Cambridge and Huntingdon campuses hosted a number of activities in association with local community groups to raise money for charities and awareness of social issues.
Ending Period Poverty was a cause supported across both sites with cake and sweet stalls held to raise funds and in exchange for Sanitary products, to purchase stocks to be held on site available to all. As well as the student community working on long term solutions with plans to introduce the P-Card, for which students were able to vote on which design concept they liked best.
A ‘Fun Friday’ event was held, which allowed visitors to play video games designed by students and eat some delicious items from an associated cake sale. All proceeds were raised for ‘Special Effect’, a gaming charity that aims to put fun back into the lives of people living with physical disabilities.
Money was also raised for the Link for Life project which supports Hands at Work in Africa, with the International Office organising a raffle for a luxury hamper. Staff and students were also encouraged to donate socks and toiletries as part of Caring for Cambridgeshire’s Homeless ‘FILL A SOCK’ appeal.
In the community, the college prepared gift boxes for families attending the upcoming Nativity service at Cambridge’s City Church. The Estates and Finance teams faced the autumnal elements to litter pick around Orchard Park. Staff also volunteered at a winter festival held at Cambridge University Primary School and the HR team brought cheer and festive entertainment in the form of a coffee morning quiz at Childwick House residential home in Newmarket.
Engaging with and supporting the local community and causes is a thread that runs throughout the college, working with local schools, organisations and charities to provide equipment and funding for vital environmental and social projects within their communities. Projects have included carpentry students designing and building furniture for Alconbury Primary School, Art and Design students contributing to a mural project at Woodland Lodge Children’s Home and gift donations for the Operation Christmas Child appeal for children affected by war and famine internationally.
Cambridge Regional College’s involvement in community projects has made a real difference to the lives of local people of all ages but it has also had a hugely beneficial impact on its students, providing them with life skills and experience, maturity and confidence that will stand them in good stead for the transition from education to the workforce.
Cambridge Regional College Assistant Principal and lead on the College Volunteer Day project, Trudie McGuinness, said, “We are very proud of our students and members of staff from both campuses for the time and effort they have put into these volunteering initiatives. Huntingdonshire and Cambridge Regional Colleges formally merged last year, so a huge focus for us has been bringing together the two campuses and looking at the best methods to build and grow together, supporting both local communities. Our mission is to transform lives and our values run through everything we do and volunteering epitomises many of our values and will continue to give something back to the local community throughout the year and on our new College Volunteer Day.”