Students to swap beachwear for high viz this summer

Tuesday, 22 June 2021 A student volunteering as a Steward Volunteer
• 7 in 10 students plan to volunteer this summer, many to ‘give something back’
• Vaccination drive bolstered by student volunteer support
• Steward volunteer recruitment campaign supported by Curtis Pritchard who volunteered with brother AJ

The findings from the charity Royal Voluntary Service identified that 70 per cent of students aged 18-24 plan to spend their summer break volunteering for schemes such as NHS Volunteer Responders.

Many want to help with the vaccination drive to get life back to normal. Of those planning to volunteer, 95 per cent of students are open to getting stuck in on the frontline at vaccination sites over the next few weeks. New recruits will join the nearly 10,000 Steward Volunteers aged 18-25 who have signed up since January.

More than a third of students (34 per cent) believe volunteering will give them the sense of purpose they are lacking and 1 in 3 (35 per cent) want to ‘give back’ after what has been an incredibly difficult year for the country.

On the back of the findings the NHS Volunteer Responders programme, delivered by Royal Voluntary Service and GoodSAM on behalf of NHS England, is calling for students to step forward and help at vaccination sites as Steward Volunteers in their local area. Anyone looking to apply can head to NHSVolunteerResponders.org.uk. Steward Volunteers support with the efficient and safe movement of patients through vaccination sites, ensuring that social distancing measures are in place and identifying people who require additional support.

As well as supporting the vital vaccination effort, the research claims almost half (47 per cent) of students felt that choosing to volunteer in their summer holiday would provide them with useful and valuable experience. The mutual benefits of volunteering were highlighted in a recent report by Royal Voluntary Service and Players of the People’s Postcode Lottery which credits volunteering with improving job prospects for over half, helping 1 in 3 young volunteers (16-19) get their first job.

Shavaiz Mir signed up to become a Steward Volunteer when his lectures went online and he had more time on his hands.

“Virtual lectures have meant that students like myself have more time on our hands and I wanted to use this time for good. I have so far completed four stewarding shifts at London vaccination sites and have loved each one. It’s super sociable and I have made great friends in the process. Anyone looking for something to give them purpose during their summer break should 100% sign up and give volunteering a try."

Shavaiz Mir, 21, Chemical Engineering Student at Imperial College London

“It’s great that students and other young people are now able to get their first dose – and by volunteering over the summer they can help the NHS protect many others too.
Feedback from those who have stepped forward already has been fantastic, with people saying it has boosted their CV as well as being a great way to make friends. If you want to join the team making history and spend your summer doing something both fun and worthwhile, don’t hesitate to join our team at nhsvolunteerresponders.org.uk.”

Catherine Johnstone CBE, Chief Executive at Royal Voluntary Service

“Having seen first-hand how rewarding and how much fun it is to volunteer at a vaccination site, I can’t recommend it enough. Especially to students who have time to spare this summer, you have the chance be part of something incredible and to join the team helping to get life back to normal. Sign up to support the rollout this summer, you won’t regret it.”

Curtis Pritchard (25) who recently volunteered at a vaccination site with brother AJ

For further information

Royal Voluntary Service is one of the largest voluntary service organisations in Britain. We inspire and enable volunteers to help people in need in hospitals, at home and in the community.

Our volunteers improve patient experience in hospital, aid recovery after a stay on ward, help older people support themselves at home, stay fit and active and build meaningful social connections.

Royal Voluntary Service supports volunteers to run services in the community such as lunch and dining clubs, physical activity classes, craft, gardening and other hobby groups. We work collaboratively with other charities, social care providers and the NHS to help create a society where everyone feels valued and involved.

The charity is one of the UK’s largest hospital retailers with volunteer-run shops, cafés and trolley services providing tea and company to patients, hospital staff and visitors.

To become a local volunteer search for volunteering opportunities in your area. Or help make a difference by making a secure online donation.

If you are a member of the press and have a media enquiry please contact the Media Team. For all other enquiries, contact us.

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