Some 150 bin bags filled with rubbish were collected by hundreds of students during one day of volunteering in Leicester.
De Montfort University Leicester (DMU)’s Faculty of Business and Law teamed up with Leicester City Council for A Day for Leicester.
Students spent their time working on 42 different community projects based in community centres, neighbourhood centres and libraries across the city suggested by Leicester City Council’s Neighbourhood Services Team. Bus company Arriva also offered the students free travel across Leicester for those taking part.
Activities included helping out at a lunch club in Belgrave, removing the thousands of stickers blighting the city centre, meeting councillors, supporting neighbourhood surveys and clearing rubbish from community spaces. They also met community leaders and residents and found out more about future volunteering opportunities.
Students also carried out a mass public opinion survey on behalf of the council, speaking to residents to get their ideas and suggestions for their neighbourhoods. It is part of their work for a new module exploring the ways students can support city communities.
Monika Raszowska, International Marketing, was part of a team in Hamilton where they did a residents’ survey and a community clean up. She said: “I am from Poland and this is a regular thing we do in schools, to help community projects. It was good, we would definitely do this again.”
At Belgrave Neighbourhood Centre, business students helped serve lunch to residents, cleaned up Cossington Park ahead of preparations for the Holi festival and explored future volunteering opportunities.
Jit Dhanji, service development manager, said it was great having the students there for the day. He said: “This is such a busy centre. We see thousands of people a week here and there is always something to help with. It’s a fantastic service which is offered and I think it is good that the students have the chance to meet members of the community.”
Ammar Farook, Business and Marketing student is from Evington. He said: “It gives you a nice feeling making the areas better. We found all sorts when we were clearing, broken bottles, even socks.
“For me, I’m from Leicester so I know Belgrave and the areas around but I think a lot of students won’t have been outside the city centre, it’s good to see what’s out there and meet new people.
Charley Woodley, Business and Marketing, said: “The lunch has been fun. I’ve been volunteering for years with Girl Guiding and I’m up for doing more work with the community.”
Keisha Juggan-Tull, Business Entrepreneurship and Innovation, was in St Matthews with classmates as part of the community survey. She said: “It’s giving back to the community. We wanted to find out how the uni can help the community, what people need and things like that so we can do more in the future.”
All the students will be reflecting on the day as part of their module, suggesting new projects to support and new connections made.
Angie Worwood, Senior Lecturer in Enterprise said: “We realise the impact students have upon Leicester, not just economically but also environmentally. Incorporating community interaction into their modules allows for a greater understanding of what students have to offer.”
Councillor Adam Clarke came to thank the students and see how much rubbish had been collected during the day. He said: “They did a great job. It’s a great for the uni, it’s great for the city. It’s great partnership working. I’m really pleased that community members got involved and joined the students.”
Posted on Thursday 14th March 2019