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Student volunteers make a difference in Berlin

Students at De Montfort University (DMU) Leicester used their time in Berlin to make a difference to local people and find out more about voluntary projects in the community.

DMU Square Mile uses the university's academic expertise and a network of student volunteers to offer potentially life-changing services in Leicester, and during the visit to Berlin a number of students were able to help in the local area.

One of the projects that students were involved with was at the Royal British Legion headquarters where students brightened the centre by painting the walls.

 RBLBerlin

Chloe Fallon, Business and Management student, said: “It's good because they don’t have to worry now, it looks so much fresher and means they don’t have to hire people, before the walls were a bit dull.” 

After painting the headquarters students also helped to carefully restore plaques and photographs to the walls, which showed the rich history of the branch.

The network of branches across the UK and overseas raises money as a charity and provide financial, social and emotional care and support to all members of British Armed Forces.

Members are involved in social, fundraising and welfare activities and the Berlin headquarters includes a small bar and meeting room for members to meet every quarter.

Many of those at the Berlin branch are now elderly, having served in the armed forces many years ago, and the assistance from DMU students to refresh the rooms in the centre has been appreciated.

“This has been really good for us and I’m very pleased with the efforts of Mark Charlton.” Thomas Smith, chairman of the Berlin Royal British Legion, said of DMU’s manager of the award-winning DMU Square Mile programme.

While working with the students to update the branch Thomas was also able to explain some of the history to the students who were involved.

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The volunteers also appreciated the chance to explore Berlin during their visit as it was the first time in the city for many of them.

Dua Kaleem, Pharmacy student, said: “Berlin has so much personality and there’s so much character, there’s art everywhere and the people are just nice, it’s nice to experience”

Most groups of students have the same academic focus, but those on the Square Mile trip were students from a range of disciplines who were all in Berlin to find out more about voluntary work and help others.

More than 800 DMU students and staff on nearly 35 courses have been in Berlin this week with the award-winning #DMUglobal international experience programme, to take part in academic trips and opportunities unavailable to tourists.

Posted on Friday 16th June 2017

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