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Introducing the SVW team

Posted on 4 Jan 2016

Ever been curious about who writes the blog posts, sends the newsletters, takes the pictures, orders the t-shirts, and does all the other back-stage stuff that keeps Student Volunteering Week ticking along? Now you can find out — read on for the lowdown on the SVW team…

Rosie taking some time out of her busy volunteering schedule to take a selfie!


When I was the President of the History Society, and a RAG volunteer at Swansea, I dreamt of being able to work on student volunteering forever, and luckily that’s what I now do! I’m Rosie Soffe, I’m the Union Development Co-ordinator at NUS and I know that without the volunteering that I did at Swansea Uni SU, I wouldn’t be able to do my job today. My job is all about supporting students’ unions to create and develop amazing student opportunities – that’s RAG, societies, sports, media, and volunteering. I also get to work on cool national projects, like Student Volunteering Week, where we showcase the amazing stuff that students get up to and dedicate their time to!

Rachel (on the right side of the picture) promoting Exeter's SAM Project


I’m Rachel, the Volunteering & Incubation Manager at Student Hubs. My role for SVW is overseeing the SVW Team, developing our strategy and managing our partner relationships. The highlight of my time as a student at the University of Exeter was definitely volunteering with our Community Action projects, RAG events and Welcome Team. I joined the Worthwhile Graduate Scheme after uni, got placed at Student Hubs, and the rest is history! At Student Hubs, I help our 10 local Hubs to run exciting and impactful volunteering programmes for students and local communities, and I lead on our incubation framework that helps students start new campaigns, projects and ventures.

Matt (top row, second from right) looking sweaty and exhausted after a 10k run for Schools Plus in Oxford…


I'm Matt, the Volunteering Officer at Student Hubs. My job involves leading on the delivery of our SVW projects and events, writing the SVW newsletter and working with Rachel on comms and press coverage. My first foray into volunteering was at university, where I got involved with the amazing Reading Plus project and with my university's LGBTQ Society, and I haven't looked back ever since! I'm now working with Student Hubs on the Worthwhile Graduate Scheme, and loving every second. In my spare time I volunteer with a brilliant educational charity called the Hackney Pirates, and with the trans organisation Gendered Intelligence.

Richard posing for the camera during a spot of volunteering


My name is Richard, and I’m the Vice-President Union Development of NUS. My job is basically to make the 600 Students’ Unions across the UK as good they can be. It’s my dream job, and one of the reasons for that is because I get to hang out with student volunteers who changes lives and society around them. When I was at University of Hull, student volunteering in societies and in RAG were the things that kept me going, gave me a sense of purpose and some amazing experiences I’ll never forget. Everyone should have the opportunity to feel the way I did back in Hull, which is why I love Student Volunteering Week

Graham fundraising for RAG (top row, third from the left — just above the enormous teddy bear!)


Hello, I'm Graham, Communications Manager at Student Hubs. My job includes helping spread the word about the amazing stuff student volunteers do (especially during Student Volunteering Week!), designing the website and marketing materials for SVW and taking the odd photo too. At uni, I started RAG on my campus, running a film night, a few bucket fundraisers, and a barbecue in the final few months of term. In my spare time, I now volunteer with an organisation that runs fantastic leadership and personal development courses for 18-25 year olds, because I believe young people have so much potential to shape a better world.

Natalie engrossing herself in press business


I’m Natalie, the Press Manager at NUS. It’s part of my job to make sure the incredible work being done by students’ unions is recognised by the wider public on a local and national level. I started out in student media at my students’ union, and in doing so I got to profile the amazing volunteering efforts of clubs and societies on my campus. Volunteering is a great way to explore your interests, meet other people and help support causes and projects that have impact on campuses and in communities – that’s why Student Volunteering Week is so important.

Looks like this horse has Katasha's seal of approval


Hey, I’m Katasha! I’m a press officer for NUS. My job is to make sure everyone finds out about what students are up to during Student Volunteering Week by promoting all your activities to the media. I’m originally from New Zealand where I worked as a journalist. In this role I was lucky enough to meet heaps of awesome volunteers doing amazing work and spend some time volunteering myself at the Auckland SPCA. It was hard work but hugely rewarding, and any day spent with cats is a good day.

Molly (third from the right) has been involved with SVW for years


I’m Molly and I’m the Communications Officer at Student Hubs. My job involves showcasing the great projects and events run by our 10 local Hubs, as well as supporting students to grow their volunteering communities through communications. I have a long-term relationship with volunteering - I was a keen fundraiser during Sixth Form and became a Schools Plus tutor with Southampton Hub in my first year of university. I then went on to become Publicity Officer and President of Southampton Hub, helping to organise Student Volunteering Week at Southampton in 2014 and 2015. Now, I volunteer from time to time with the Oxford University Museums Service, which helps me to connect with the local community and visitors from around the world.

Anant looking casual during some pretty physical volunteering


My name is Anant and I’m the Digital Editor at NUS. I cut my teeth volunteering with the homeless charity Crisis as a teenager and later became immersed with volunteering thanks to my students’ union - whether it was shaking buckets during RAG week, digging allotments on campus, supporting charities at Glastonbury or being editor of my student newspaper (which came in handy!). In a nutshell, volunteering, to me, is something quite broad and I love Student Volunteering Week because it’s a chance for us to pause and think about that, and ultimately recognise the impact that goodwill and collaboration can have on wider society.

Jon (on the right) having some fun volunteering outside


Hi, I'm Jon and I'm the Digital Architect for Student Hubs. My job involves creating the digital tools, systems and sites needed for all the great student activities and programmes we support, including Student Volunteering Week (including this very blog!). I first got involved in student volunteering through writing Cambridge Hub's weekly newsletter during my final year of uni, spreading the word about all the exciting projects going on across campus. Ever since, I've been building tools to facilitate bigger and better ways for students to volunteer and create social impact, and believe SVW is a really brilliant opportunity to celebrate the efforts young people are putting in to improving the world around them!


I’m Simon Hilditch, Online Content Coordinator at NUS. Part of my job is to help promote the amazing work that individual students do every week of the year, and their volunteering efforts are a major part of that. In my own experience, RAG events were some of the most fun things to do on campus, while I have also been lucky enough to work with a range of amazing charities. Volunteering is a fantastic way to get involved in almost anything that you’re interested in and there’s no better time to do so than Student Volunteering Week.

The Student Volunteering Week Team

The national SVW team from Student Hubs & NUS coordinate SVW activities for the nationwide campaign, 22-28 Feb 2016