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Craftivism for Student Volunteering Week 2016

Posted on 10 Dec 2015

This year, Student Volunteering Week is all about two ‘Cs’ – Collaboration & Creativity. We would love to see volunteering teams collaborating with each other, as well as with local councils, schools and charities. The second theme is all about celebrating student volunteers and the diversity of student volunteering. During SVW Bootcamps for student volunteers, we introduced a third ‘C’ to focus on whilst planning our SVW activities – Creativity. We were kindly joined by Voluntary Arts, who helped us to bring out the creative side of the Student Volunteering Week campaign.

In each of the Bootcamps we started planning for Student Volunteering Week with a fun ‘Craftivism’ project: we drew around our hand and wrote inside ‘I volunteer because…’, and then talked about why we volunteer – what drives us and makes us get out of bed on rainy days to go volunteering? The reasons were endless and very inspiring! In the pictures below you can see a selection of them that the Bootcampers came up with.

The fruit of our craftivist labour at Birmingham's SVW Bootcamp…

Craftivism* is all about quiet, reflective activism, so whilst we decorated our hands we talked about why volunteering is important, what motivates us to volunteer, and what stops other students getting involved.

We’ve collected the beautiful hands produced at each Bootcamp and we’ll be displaying them at the Student Volunteering Week celebration in City Hall, London, held on 22nd February 2016 to mark the start of SVW. At the event we’ll be announcing the winner of the Student Volunteer of the Year award, so we thought it would be excellent to showcase the motivations of hundreds of student volunteers around the room!

We would love to get more volunteering teams involved with the project, so please run the session with your volunteers, too. The resource pack here explains how to run the activity. Basically, you need to organise an ‘I volunteer because…’ session during January or February, encourage your students to create their hand, then get them sent off to us by Monday 15th February. The session has been designed so that you can use it to promote Student Volunteering Week, and there’s some tips in the resource pack on how it can help with that.

We can’t wait to see what you create. Happy crafting!

*The Craftivist Collective runs Craftivism campaigns in the UK. Their website has lots of ideas and opportunities to get involved.

Rosie Soffe

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Categories: Advice