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20 April 2011
The annual Student Volunteering Cardiff (SVC) Awards ceremony recently took place to acknowledge the invaluable contribution made by Cardiff students to the local community.
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This year saw 27 volunteer student coordinators and nine students who make up the SVC Board of Trustees receive certificates for their commitment and time dedicated to volunteering.
The event was supported by SVC’s Patron Baroness Ilora Finlay of Llandaff and the certificates were presented by Baroness Jenny Randerson, who also delivered a speech remarking on the outstanding contribution student volunteers make to the local community every year.
SVC is the largest student volunteering organisation in Wales, with more than 1,000 student volunteers working in and around the city on 36 different projects; all aiming to enhance the lives of disadvantaged and vulnerable community members.
Some of the projects include running youth clubs for children and young people, supporting those with mental health problems, befriending older people and providing a provision of activities for young carers and children with learning difficulties.
The newest project, run for the first time this academic year, is Support With Scoliosis Cymru (SWS Cymru) which is based at the Heath Hospital. Guests at the event listened to a presentation by Linda Williams, one of the founders of SWS Cymru, who talked about the values of student volunteering, and the tremendous effort the student volunteers have made with supporting and running this new group.
The ceremony also marked the retirement of SVC manager Mrs Andrea Dare, who was honoured for her hard work and commitment for over a decade.
Mrs Dare said: "I am in the very privileged position of getting to talk to the people that the volunteers support and hearing how much pleasure and benefit the volunteers bring to people from every spectrum of society.
She added: "I will be very sorry to go. It is only just starting to sink in that I’m actually retiring, but I hope to keep in touch and check how things are going."
Baroness Randerson presented Andrea with a thank you letter written by the University’s Vice-Chancellor, Dr David Grant.
In his letter, the Vice-Chancellor wrote: "SVC is an asset to the University and I am extremely proud of the positive impact it has on countless beneficiaries across the local community. You can be assured that SVC’s outstanding achievements will continue to contribute to both our students’ experience and our local community. "
Established in 1969, the registered charity now contributes an estimated £1M to the local economy each year through students volunteering around 81,000 hours annually.
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Andrea Dare identifies her highlights from the year and her feelings on retiring
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