STRATEGY FOR ENHANCHING STUDENT VOLUNTEERING (September 2009)
The University’s strategic priorities contain key statements relating to the student
experience and knowledge exchange. As part of our vision to be a global university, locally
engaged, with an excellent research profile, and a strong sense of civic mission, we have an
opportunity to provide our students with a high quality experience that is distinctive in the
higher education sector and at the same time provides support to the local and business
communities though volunteering activity.
In line with the Strategic Review, this proposed Volunteering Strategy reflects a desire to
drive volunteering forward at the University of Liverpool with the aim of establishing it as a
leading Russell Group institution for student volunteering
The strategy has been prepared in conjunction with Liverpool Guild of Students. It sets out
our joint vision and will become an important component of what makes the ”Liverpool
Graduate”. It reflects the need for a visionary volunteering strategy which provides
anopportunity for all our students to undertake good quality and/or accredited personal
development, in the context of difficult market conditions.
The strategy will provide a framework for the planned growth in volunteering opportunities
and support a strengthening of the processes needed to ensure added value to students’
learning. In addition, the portfolio of volunteering opportunities will support Widening
Participation and City Region priorities, such as the Year of the Environment 2009, and the
Year of Health and Wellbeing 2010.
1. COLLABORATION BETWEEN THE CAREERS AND EMPLOYABILITY SERVICE AND THE
GUILD OF STUDENTS
In line with the University’s Strategic Review, and to complement the University’s
Employability Strategy, which placed volunteering at the heart of initiatives designed to
raise the employability of Liverpool graduates, the Careers and Employability Service (CES)
and the Guild of Students (LGoS) have developed a strategy for the future of volunteering.
CES will work in partnership with LGoS to offer a diverse range of student volunteering
opportunities. This partnership is effective because each organisation will focus on
complementary aspects of student volunteering.
At the core of this partnership is an understanding that CES will focus on developing longer-
term volunteering projects and those operating within the academic curriculum. LGoS will
lead on all ‘student-led’ volunteering projects and those which operate on a ‘one-off’ basis.
The University and LGoS will work in partnership to:
- Increase the number and quality of volunteering opportunities for students to
enhance the experience of students during their study
- Incorporate student volunteering opportunities (and transferable skills gained from
volunteering) into additional academic courses
- Enhance employability by developing skills associated with the Liverpool Graduate
- Be innovative in our approach to assessing student achievement
- Maintain open access to volunteering opportunities to ensure we remain at the
forefront of the widening participation agenda and provide a means by which our
students can develop and acquire skills in an increasingly competitive market place
- Work with partner institutions around the world, opening doors to allow cultural
exchange and international volunteering opportunities
PROPOSED KEY OBJECTIVES
(NB: Final objectives to be confirmed by the Steering Group proposed at para 3.1)
- To improve the overall quality of student volunteering, gauged using existing tools
for measuring the quality of student volunteering and the impact on the community
- Increase the range, availability and quality of student volunteering via curriculum
and non curriculum-based placements, including at the University, LGoS, regional
stakeholder organisations, and City Region employers.
- To establish a dedicated Student Placement Unit located in CES
- To work with the LGoS to promote opportunities to the student body and co-
ordinate links with volunteering providers
- To work with LGoS and the Educational Opportunities team to target first
generation, low income students in support of the University’s Widening
- To plan and align services in support of the University’s Civic Mission and strategy
regarding City Region engagement. This will include developing a joint volunteering
plan to support the 2010 Year of Health and Wellbeing and continue, where agreed,
with other priority themes and place-led volunteering – eg: in deprived districts
within the City Region such as North Liverpool
- LGoS will support the continued development of “Volunteering Liverpool”*, a new
website to aid in the promotion of voluntary opportunities and community
cohesion; recruiting volunteers from both the student and wider community sector
managed by Liverpool Guild of Students, Hope University, Liverpool Community
College and the Volunteer Centre.
2. TARGET SECTORS
2.1 Due to the size of the voluntary sector in Merseyside (Liverpool is home to more
than 1,500 charitable organisation1 with potential volunteering needs) it is essential that the
University adopts a strategic approach when working with voluntary providers.
For 2009-10, CES will prioritise developing links with organisations in the following sectors:
Law / legal support
Health and well-being
Environment and conservation
Working with young people
Arts and culture
Underpinning this decision are the following considerations:
2.1.1 As part of its core offer, CES will continue to offer the Student Tutoring
Programme which has been running for over 10 years, and which provides progression
opportunities onto the Student Associates Scheme which supports PGCE entry
Liverpool Charitable and Voluntary Service, 2009
* Volunteering Liverpool will streamline the placement of volunteers and result in greater numbers of volunteers,
greater satisfaction from volunteers and the organisations they are volunteering for and will also decrease the
amount of work duplicated. Volunteering Liverpool is a key priority for LGoS as it will allow students to search
across the greatest possible range of volunteering opportunities and support charitable organisations.
2.1.2. The Student Tutoring Programme also supports the University’s Widening
Participation Strategy by offering additional intervention opportunities with target
schools. Discussions are scheduled to take place with the Educational Opportunities
team to link the above agendas – eg: with the involvement of a possible Young People
in Research initiative.
2.1.3 Responding to the needs of the City Region, CES and LGoS will focus support on
identifying placement opportunities in support of Liverpool’s Year of Health and
Wellbeing in 2010. The Lord Mayor of Liverpool has offered to host a ceremony for the
University’s volunteers, which would highlight and pave the way for future interactions.
2.2 LGoS will target and support a range of organisations, linked to its vision and with
2.3 CES will work with LGoS on policy/place-led volunteering opportunities.
Eg 1: Arts and Culture, Health and Wellbeing; The University is seeking to increase its
engagement with the arts and cultural sector, eg: through research, CPD, and public
policy influencing. There is clear interest from students in volunteering opportunities in
this area, with many local organisations keen to develop capacity for volunteers which
may lead eventually to capacity for graduate careers. Opportunities for brokering – eg:
through the Culture Campus will be explored.
Eg 2: Students been calling for action on climate change for many years and there is a
demand for volunteering opportunities that play a part in responding to the change in
global temperature brought about by a continued reliance on carbon sourced energy.
LGoS, with Liverpool City Council, will work through the final three months of the Year of
Environment 2009 to in support of the City’s efforts to become greener and more
sustainable, focusing volunteering opportunities for the first semester around the Year
of the Environment with a number of large scale one off volunteering events.
3. ENHANCING RELATIONSHIPS WITH VOLUNTARY PROVIDERS
3.1 To improve the service to those providing voluntary opportunities and to improve
stakeholder engagement, co-ordinated communication between CES and LGoS will be
required. It is proposed that a Steering Group be set up to aid communication. In this
way, CES and LGoS can continue to work in partnership to support both local voluntary
organisations and our students in the way that both have been doing successfully for
many years, whilst each also continues to work to support their core strategies and
3.2 Identification of providers: CES is working towards identifying a list of key voluntary/
third sector organisations with whom they will continue to develop an active
partnership. This will focus activity on approximately thirty organisations from the
identified sectors. CES will work with these organisations to develop quality student
placement opportunities and graduate internships. The organisations will be invited to
attend mini-sector specific volunteering events hosted by CES. The events for 2009-
2010 have been organised to complement the existing graduate career events in the
same fields, as well as also being timed to support the students who are undertaking
3.3 CES will also offer generic volunteering induction sessions to students and conduct
evaluation activities with both host organisations and students.
3.4 CES is an accredited Chartered Management Institute Centre. CES and LGoS will work
together to review the accrediting opportunities already in place and actively seek new
initiatives and structures that could help support and strengthen our place as a leading
Russell Group institution for student volunteering, eg: by offering Graduates undertaking
community based internships the opportunity to complete CMI modules to gain
accreditation for their learning.
3.5 Organisations will also be offered other opportunities to engage with our students
including presentation opportunities, both within and outside the curriculum, and
advertising opportunities within the Careers Resource Centre and through Volunteering
Liverpool. CES will continue to advertise student curriculum placements and graduate
internships via Prospects and through their own website. In addition CES will promote
www.volunteeringliverpool.org.uk to organisations as the place to advertise their
volunteering opportunities to University of Liverpool students and graduates.
4. FEEDBACK FROM VOLUNTARY PROVIDERS
4.1 To improve the service to volunteers, providers of voluntary opportunities and
stakeholders will be a key part of the volunteering culture. CES and LGoS will work
together to use existing feedback mechanisms to enhance and develop each part of the
4.2 To establish the University as a leading producer of highly-skilled and employable
graduates, strategic targets should be identified to develop and maintain high quality
relationships with leading voluntary providers
4.3 CES and LGoS will explore ways to provide students with greater access to voluntary
opportunities at all stages of their academic programmes.
4.4 A Volunteer Forum comprising local and national voluntary providers and appropriate
City Region representatives will be set up to inform the work of the CES and to advise
on the implementation of the Volunteering Strategy.
5. THE STUDENT JOURNEY
CES and LGoS will work together and in conjunction with SRAO, graduates and Alumni to
ensure volunteering is a strand throughout the student journey. This will include:
- Promoting volunteering as part of the academic experience to potential students
and developing a range of volunteering contacts with graduates and opportunities
that will be disseminated to current and previous students.
- Working with Alumni in developing a range of volunteering contacts and
opportunities; these will be collated, analysed and disseminated to current students.
- Maximising the level of intelligence on the voluntary sector gained from surveys,
Volunteering England, the Destination of Leavers from Higher Education Survey
(DLHE), etc, and improving the dissemination of this data internally to academic
departments and externally, eg: to the Russell Group’s Community Engagement sub-
6. OPERATIONAL PLAN: 2009/10
For the academic session, 2009-10, CES will work with the following voluntary
Arts & Culture: The Reader + 8 LARC organisations
Environment & Conservation: Park Roots, Merseyside Biobank, Civic Trust,
Habitat for Humanity, Knowsley Green Spaces
Health & Wellbeing: Aintree Hospitals, Liverpool Women’s Hospital, British
Lung Foundation, British Red Cross, Roy Castle Lung
Foundation, PSS, Nugent Care Society, Oxfam, MOWL,
North West Ambulance Service, Merseyside Fire &
Legal and Justice: Citizens Advice Bureau, Victim Support, Altcourse
Prison, Merseyside Police
Working with Young People: NACRO, Childline, Barnardo’s, Youth Offending Team,
In turn, CES will make the following offer to voluntary providers, students, and
Students on curricula and non-curricula placement
Graduate interns - ECIF
Invite to sector specific events to profile raise
CRB and induction package for student volunteers
Advertising within the Careers Resource Centre
Advertising on www.volunteeringliverpool.org.uk
General volunteering information sessions in What’s On programme
Sector based volunteering information sessions – Format: 2 hour event, 3-5
organisations, students seated around 3 or 4 tables in CRC, max attendance 40.
Speakers from each org spend 15 mins at each table talking through opportunities,
application process etc and answering questions, followed by 30 minutes free
networking time. (See below)
Signposting to www.volunteeringliverpool.org.uk and information held within CRC
CRB checks and inductions for students - as requested by their organisation once
they have been recruited
Full placement service for student tutoring opportunities
As student offer – except for student tutoring element
MGIP Internship – unpaid (candidate can claim JSA for length of placement)
21/10/2009 - Health & Wellbeing Volunteering Information Meeting
28/10/2009 – Legal Volunteering Information Meeting
04/11/2009 – Young People Volunteering Information Meeting
02/12/2009 – Environment & Conservation Volunteering Information Meeting
An Arts & Culture event will run alongside repeats of successful events in semester 2.
Presented by: Dr Paul Redmond
Head of Careers and Employability, Sept 2009