Enhancing the student experience through volunteering

Presenter

Jon Biggs, Student Union

The topic of the paper

STAX (Oxford Brookes Students’ Union volunteer centre) is an effective and locally well-regarded vehicle for students to acquire skills, knowledge and experience that may not always be available through paid employment opportunities. Volunteering is also a way of supporting education for citizenship and enhancing lasting commitment to participation in the community. STAX acts as both a bureaux matching students to opportunities and as a centre supporting student-led community projects. Some of the most successful and inspirational volunteering experiences are those that are led by young people.

Why it is of concern

Young people are uniquely placed to support and mentor their peers on a number of important social issues. Young people are enthusiastic about becoming more involved in volunteering activities, particularly if they feel they are empowered to exercise meaningful choice and have a clear role to play.

What was done (methods)

Students from the University were placed at a number of organisations across the city on both one-off and continuing opportunities. STAX helped the students find the relevant opportunities and supported them during their placements.

What are the main outcomes

As at the end of March 2007:

463 students had registered with STAX

110 students had volunteered in the community

Students have helped organised and run a number of events with more planned for the summer.