Record numbers of freshers sign up to community volunteering

Freshers have signed up in record numbers to take part in volunteering projects at De Montfort University during Welcome Week activities.

Freshers picture Local

More than 1,250 newly-arrived students visited the DMU Local stand during the week and expressed an interest in getting involved in projects run by the university.

This figure surpasses last year’s total of 1,100, which was itself a record total.

Associate Director of Public Engagement Mark Charlton said: “It is an incredible number and yet again I’m proud of our students and the desire to do something for the public good.

“We are a civic university and pride ourselves on the work we do predominately in the communities of Leicester, but also in India, Thailand and Europe, and it is great to see students sharing that ethos and desire.”

On signing up to join the volunteer register, students were also asked which of three potential volunteering projects they felt should be made a priority by the university.

Was it taking action to deal with climate change, helping refugees arriving in Leicester or efforts to cut rough sleeping on the city’s streets?

The final voting was…

Climate Change - 53%
Rough Sleeping - 25%
Refugees - 22%

Mark added: “We obviously take note of what our students have said and will now be looking at how our volunteering projects can address that clear desire to take action on climate change.

“Not surprisingly, many students found it difficult to choose between the three and rest assured this does not mean we will ignore the important issues of helping refugees and rough sleeping in our communities. We will have projects running to address those issues.”

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The biggest numbers signing up came during the Welcome Weekend on campus with nearly 600 joining the register, with a further 400 signing up at the two-day Activities Fair last week.

Among those signing up was Hannah Watson, from Lincolnshire. Hannah, 23, will be studying Education. She said: “I think it would be good to spend some time volunteering in Leicester. It is a good way to meet people and get involved.”

Kam Tailor, who is studying Business and Marketing, was another new sign-up. He said: “I think we should be helping the homeless more because you see more and more people sleeping rough in Leicester. If there are projects I can get involved in, I would choose that.”

All new students who have signed up to DMU Local will be receiving an email from the team introducing them to the programme and the latest volunteering opportunities.

• Didn’t sign up but want to volunteer? Email or go to the DMU Local website here and click ‘sign up now’.

Posted on Wednesday 2nd October 2019

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