Sheffield's Hallam students spend 41,000 hours helping the community through volunteering

From lifting the spirits of people in isolation to raising money for the vulnerable and frontline workers, university students have spent more than 41,000 hours giving back to the community.

Saturday, 17th October 2020, 4:45 pm

During the 2019-20 academic year more than 1,600 Sheffield Hallam students gave up their time to volunteer in a range of roles within organisations, student-led projects and charities, co-ordinated by the Sheffield Hallam Students’ Union (SHSU) .

Final year student, Laura Green, spent 650 hours volunteering through the NHS Check In and Chat Plus telephone volunteer scheme, talking to people who were self-isolating during the lockdown earlier this year.

She said: “I’ve always volunteered whilst I have been at university, and I’ve volunteered as much as I can alongside my final year studies and caring responsibilities during the Covid-19 pandemic.

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One of the university volunteers Laura Green

“I had a lovely chat with someone who was self-isolating about how they were managing, what they were up to and to see if they needed referring onto any further support services.”

Laura has also spent time making crocheted ear protectors for care agent staff to wear with face masks.

Graduate Emily Williams created a series of eye-catching illustrations called Frontline. The images depicted keyworkers at the forefront of the pandemic including NHS staff, teachers, supermarket staff, police officers and armed forces personnel. Working in collaboration with fine art and framing shop The Framery, the prints were sold online, going on to raise nearly £3,000 for NHS Charities Together and the Sheffield Hospitals Charity.

Emily said: “At the beginning of lockdown I felt helpless, so it’s been incredible collaborating with The Framery to help raise money for our amazing NHS.”

The STAR (Student Action for Refugees) volunteer group at the SU organised a virtual marathon. Participants were asked to run, walk or cycle 26.2 miles over a day, week or month raising £320 for vulnerable people.

SU president Andrew Adegbola said: “I am immensely proud of all our students that give their free time supporting activities and causes that make our city, and the region, a better place for all.”