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Investing in Volunteers

02 March 2007

Cardiff University’s student-led volunteering charity has received a UK award recognising its commitment to volunteering.

Student Volunteering Cardiff (SVC) has achieved Investing in Volunteers recognition. The award is the UK quality standard for organisations which involve volunteers in their work. Cardiff University is the first higher education institution in the UK to achieve this award.

SVC works to enhance the lives of disadvantaged and vulnerable members of the community in Cardiff, and in the process gives students the unique chance to work on rewarding projects as volunteers. With 900 volunteer members, five dedicated staff, all of whom volunteer their time to work on more than 30 projects, it is one of the UK’s largest student volunteering organisations.

To achieve the standard, Student Volunteering Cardiff had to demonstrate good practice in ten different areas including fair recruitment procedures, properly resourced programmes, policies and procedures in place, adequate induction and support.

Charlotte Davies, Chair of Student Volunteering Cardiff said: "The Investing in Volunteers award is a fantastic achievement and a wonderful recognition of all the hard work contributed by everyone involved in SVC to the community of Cardiff."

Presenting the award The Lord Mayor of Cardiff, Councillor Gareth Neale said: "The City is proud to acknowledge the enormous contribution made by student volunteers to our community."

Volunteering activities range from educational projects with local schools to the ‘big festive sleep out’ where more than 150 student volunteers spent a winter’s night sleeping rough in Cardiff’s city centre to highlight the difficulties faced by the city’s homeless and to raise money. A new project is also underway working with the Cardiff hands on science centre Techniquest and local primary schools to promote enthusiasm for science from an early age.

Investing in Volunteers is delivered by Wales Council for Voluntary Action.

Director of Volunteering, Sue Pickavance, Wales Council for Voluntary Action said: "Young people attract a great deal of negative publicity but if people realised how much volunteering goes on through student organised activities they would be very surprised. These young people make an enormous contribution to the local community while at university and many will go on to be life-long volunteers and make a real difference to the lives of others. This is a real cause for celebration."