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Throwback Thursday: SVW 2014 at Bath Students' Union

Posted on 9 Jan 2015

Throwback Thursday (#TBT) is a brand new series where we'll be looking back at volunteering led by students around the country in the last year. Contact us if you'd like to share your SVW 2014 stories with everyone!

First up, we're heading to the University of Bath, where Matt Humberstone, V Team Chair, kept track of what he and his team got up to during the week.

Monday: Good Deeds Day!

00:10 - So I'm just about to get some sleep before the most exciting week ever! I've also already done my first good deed of the day by texting a friend a compliment! Don't forget to join in the Good Deed Day fun by sharing your good deeds on social media (#SVWBath, @VTeamBath, #SVW2014) to get everyone feeling good on a Monday!

06:20 - I'm now on campus and have already done lots of Good Deeds! I've tidied and cleaned the kitchen as a nice surprise for my housemates (one of which went to bed after I got up!), posted some nice notes to some of my best friends, filled a bin bag on my walk up to campus and have got chocolates and thank you notes for all the volunteering staff! It's going to be a good day!

07:45 - More Good Deed-ing by donating some money to the V Team committee members bravely running the Bath Half and texting parents about Wide Games night tonight at Scouts (if you can count that as a good deed)! Also, finishing off all the little bits to make today as engaging as possible. I'm now looking forward to today - puppies, free hugs, selling Julian House vouchers and seeing some reactions to some Good Deeds! It's all so exciting, I just hope everything turns out how I imagine it in my head!

08:45 - We're almost ready to go - I'm so excited!

12:40 - It's going great with lots of people excited about puppies and lots of Julian House vouchers sold!

15:00 - It has been such a successful day with over £100 raised for Julian House through their voucher scheme, thousands of Good Deed suggestions handed out, massive popularity for the puppies, loads of Good Deeds performed and all in all a fantastic start to Student Volunteering Week! However, best of all I got given a cake! A big thank you to all today's volunteers is definitely deserved!

18:50 - Back at home but soon off to Scouts for Wide Games night - fortunately the weather looks like it is going to hold off! I'm really excited that two new leaders may be joining the leadership team soon which would really help a lot! So far, today has been brilliant - £133.87 raised for Julian House (one of my favourite charities) from voucher sales and donations already with everyone saying how it has been great. Now to send an email about one of two surprises tomorrow - is anyone going to be willing to get up for 7:30 outside the library? After today and seeing some really enthusiastic volunteers, I'm definitely thinking it's a possibility! (Oh no, I'm giving away so many clues!)

Tuesday: Homeless Day!

07:30 - Unfortunately, this morning hasn't gone great - 2 fantastic surprises planned but I can't get one of them to work so it's not going to happen (or at least not today) and the other one needs some dry weather preferably but hopefully will still make an appearance later! It's certainly going to be a long tough day but hopefully things will go according to plan. I was so excited about the surprise that will be making an appearance outside the library because it looks fantastic, I'm just really hoping that the rain doesn't spoil it! I think whenever you put so much effort into something, you are always going to be concerned as to whether it goes well and all the time and hard work was worth it - I really hope so!

14:30 - After an initially disappointing start to the day, it's actually ended up being really successful with the homelessness flow chart being a massive success (one of my crazy ideas!). It's also been great having the Big Issue vendors here who have made a big impact! A massive thank you to Sally, Sara and Debbie who have been excellent at cheering me up and helping make this day go great! All the volunteers that have helped today have yet again been excellent. I'm now particularly looking forward to the Sleepout tonight and to all the exciting activities during the rest of the week including the Film Night tomorrow and Speed Friending on Friday!

21:50 - Well today has turned out really well with Big Issue vendors being a big hit, the homelessness flow chart actually being made and being a big attention-grabber, more Julian House vouchers being sold (and agreeing for them to be sold for the whole week) and lots of great company throughout the day. I've just spent some time in the Volunteering Office counting the money we have made on the Julian House vouchers (over £225!) and starting to look into a new system we have set up with Neighbourly that should enable us to provide even more exciting volunteering opportunities in the future. I've also been discussing other plans for next year and starting to talk about committee elections which will be happening soon! Now to go and help steward at the RAG Sleepout (in my RAG hoodie that arrived today!) which I have heard has also been really successful. Both RAG Week and Student Volunteering Week have been really successful over the last 48 hours and I'm looking forward to the rest of the week!

Wednesday: Mental Health Day!

03:15 - Back from helping at RAG's Sleepout and great to see all of us committee members wearing our hoodies at such a well organised event. The whole time I was there, everything seemed to be going great. Now time to get some sleep before a busy (but hopefully nowhere near as busy as the last two days!) day ahead!

08:10 - Back on campus to get flyers ready to promote tonight's Film Night! There's yet again many things to look forward to today including selling Julian House vouchers again (we could potentially even sell all 1000 of them by the end of the week if they continue to be so popular!), Mental Health Day with the Post Secret Wall, running my monthly quiz at Julian House for Meaningful Occupation this afternoon and the Free Film Night this evening (7pm 5W 2.3)! However, I'm most looking forward to being able to get a good amount of sleep tonight!

18:10 - As expected, it was quieter on campus today but we still managed to promote the Film Night and sell some more Julian House vouchers. This afternoon, I headed to the Julian House hostel to run my monthly quiz for the third time so far and it was very successful - rounds on February, Winter Olympic sports, Literature, Science and the regular 'Wonderwall' round proved a success with 6 teams taking part (a record!) and it was clear that everyone really enjoyed it, especially hearing suggestions for future questions/rounds! I'm now back on campus for the film night that I'm really looking forward to! Lots of emails to occupy my time before the film… Also, it's great to see that the national Student Volunteering Week Team featured us in their blog and lots of interaction on social media!

23:15 - Another great day comes to an end with the Film Night being a success! Now to look forward to Campaigns Day tomorrow, Community Day (including speed friending) on Friday and the Bath Half on Sunday!

Thursday: Campaigns Day!

09:45 - It's Campaigns Day and I'm looking forward to seeing some exciting campaigning today from a number of different groups and societies!

10:20 - Amnesty and a student supporting the British Heart Foundation are setting up outside the library! It looks like it's going to be yet another great day!

15:30 - It's been a comparatively quiet but successful day today. I'm now looking forward to RAG's Take Me Out tonight and tomorrow's extremely busy day - we have speed friending, giant games, the fire service (12 - 2pm), Love Food Hate Waste with a cooking demo (11am - 2pm), the St. John's Ambulance Society teaching first aid skills at lunchtime, Foodycle and Sirona coming to the SU and we'll be selling Julian House vouchers for the final day!

Friday: Community Day!

Take Me Out was great and there were lots of things to look forward to on Friday. A duck throwing game we created on Thursday evening went down well and Speed Friending was also enjoyable. It was great to have the Fire Service do a demo of a chip pan fire and for LINKS, the St. John's Ambulance Society, to teach some basic first aid skills. We were also joined by people from Love Food Hate Waste and a chef from Bristol Foodcycle doing a cooking demo meaning it was very busy outside campus (especially with 2 other societies using space as well!). We were planning on also having Giant Connect 4 and Giant Jenga but the rain and lack of space meant it wasn't possible to have these out as well.We also had Foodcycle and Sirona in the SU.

In the evening was RAG's I'm an SU Officer Get Me Out Of Here and I helped tidy some things up and take round buckets. It also seemed to go well and I then afterwards went out to meet some friends to celebrate exam results.


As advised my one of my friends, I had a good sleep and spent a lot of time relaxing! I contacted some people to help out in the Bath Half fundraiser for my scout group on Sunday and spent the evening having a meal to celebrate the Cub Leader's birthday.


Bath Half Day meant heading to the Lucozade stand for 9am ready to hand out 20,000 bottles of Lucozade to all the brave runners, with some of those running from RAG, V Team and the SU Officers. Lots of transporting packs of bottles was followed by some races to entertain the Scouts and then we got onto the task of handing out the bottles to the runners. Whilst tiring, it's an enjoyable fundraiser and usually brings the group over £400 each year so it's well worth doing! Unfortunately I only saw a couple of runners I knew so couldn't cheer on that many but I hope everyone made it round successfully. At about 3pm, we made our way home, taking some leftover Lucozade - a great reason for the Scouts to come again next year!

In the evening, I finished off my Basic Food Hygiene training online to be a Head Chef with Foodcycle after their request for more people to become qualified Head Chefs. I volunteer with Foodcycle most Wednesday evenings, cooking a meal using waste food for a group of people in food poverty and it's one of the most rewarding volunteering opportunities I have experienced so it made sense to help out more if required.

So the end of Student Volunteering Week - a successful action-packed week (and there are still things I haven't heard about such as some of the off-campus volunteering opportunities) that hopefully had a big impact and hopefully will ensure that Student Volunteering Week is a continued success for years to come! It's been tiring and exhausting and (unsurprisingly) not everything has gone to plan but it was certainly worth all the effort and it's been great to meet lots of new volunteers who volunteered for the first time this week or have just started looking at how to get involved!

Matt Humberstone

Matt is a third Year Mathematics and Statistics student at the University of Bath. He's V Team Chair, so he's responsible for developing V Team, researching ideas for new projects and meeting with charities. He oversees everything V Team does, chairs weekly committee meetings and represents V Team at Students' Union meetings!

Categories: Throwback Thursday, Universities