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Inaugural Volunteer Newsletter

300 students are members of the DUSA Volunteering Program

6 June 2024
DUSA volunteers

Table of Contents

On campus at the University of Dundee, about 300 students are members of the DUSA Volunteering Program. They participate in day-to-day activities, providing opportunities for the University and DUSA to improve the student experience on campus and run the cost of living program every single day. However, this program is not just about the cost of living; it is about developing individual skills, enhancing teamwork spirit around the campus, preparing future leaders, and most importantly, having fun and getting many crazy pics. In this monthly newsletter, we will introduce the program and volunteers to you and update you about our family journey and stories. 

Program introduction

At DUSA, we believe in the power of students coming together to make a positive impact. That’s why the DUSA Volunteers program was established, a vibrant community of students dedicated to helping their fellow peers at Dundee University. What began as a group of five students has evolved into a close-knit family of one hundred students, driven by a shared mission to support and uplift the student community.

The journey began with a clear mission: to provide crucial cost of living support through initiatives like the breakfast club and the campus pantry. Over time, these initiatives transformed from staff-operated services to fully volunteer-led events, thanks to the dedication and support of our Lead Volunteers.

The volunteering community is more than just a group of individuals-it’s a family where students find a sense of belonging and discover the true value of community. Within this nurturing environment, volunteers not only make a tangible difference in the lives of others but also experience personal and professional growth as they forge new relationships every day.

The beginnings

The DUSA volunteering project started off as having a supportive role. In December 2022, DUSA gathered 5 volunteers to support DUSA Staff in operating the Cost-of-Living Initiatives Campus Pantry and the Breakfast Club. One month later, Dumindu joined DUSA and started a Project to convert the Breakfast Club and Campus Pantry into full Volunteer Led Events with now 12 active volunteers. In February of 2022, the first-ever

Student-led Pre-Volunteering Training was conducted where 12 new Volunteers were recruited, with 9 volunteers being promoted to lead volunteers a month later to help fully independently run the volunteering operations as the numbers of volunteers continued to grow. Within 3 months, the volunteering initiative managed to serve 16000+ Breakfasts and distribute 14000+ Grocery Items. That same month, the volunteers organised the first Large Scale Litter Picking student-led litter-picking event following the St Patrick’s Day celebrations on campus, which also celebrated 60+ active volunteers. Numbers continued to grow, and by the end of March 2023, the initiative counted 80 volunteers in total.

Breakfast Club

Volunteers run the Breakfast Club every weekday from 8:45 to 10:30, serving hot and cold breakfast. If you are heading to work, lectures, the library, or just on campus in the early morning, come to the Union Building and grab a hot roll or a bowl of cereal! Don’t forget your cup for free coffee and tea. 

Campus Pantry

DUSA runs a Campus Pantry that will supply a variety of basic essentials and toiletries aimed at lowering the cost of a student’s weekly shop. The Pantry includes items such as bread and margarine, non-perishable items such as pasta, noodles or canned products and toiletries such as shower gel and toothpaste.We are there Every Monday, Wednesday and Friday . Do you wanna join us and serve the Student Community?

Let’s get Dirty!

Spring is here, and with it comes the excitement of a new adventure!

We’re excited to announce that we’ve secured some spots in the Allotments(spots for non-commercial gardening). We couldn’t be more excited to dive into the world of gardening. Our journey began in March and continues with more Fun in May.

We’re reaching out to all green-thumbed to join us in this exciting program. If you’re eager to get your hands dirty and help us transform these plots into something truly amazing, we’d love to have you on board!

Volunteers Committee

We always insist that we develop employment skills in our program, preparing our volunteers for the UK work environment. We provide them with many opportunities to challenge and improve themselves. As one of these challenges, our Lead and Senior Lead Volunteers nominate themselves, and volunteers vote for the shortlisted candidates to choose their second batch of the “Volunteer Committee.” The committee’s main responsibility is to provide feedback from the volunteers, be involved in decision-making, and help the program create a better community environment for volunteers.

Here, we want to introduce the second batch of the “Volunteer Committee”

Anjali Gonsalves, Grace Ling, Maud Verhoeven, Zainab Tijani-Asuku 

The Inaugural Volunteer Recognition Ceremony 

On May 26th, a rainy Sunday evening, we came together to celebrate our volunteers. This was the very first event specifically dedicated to showing our volunteers how much they are loved and valued. The award winners, chosen by the volunteers themselves and the volunteer committee, are listed below: 

First Person to Complete More Than 200 Hours of Volunteering: Olutoun Adebayo 

  1. Most Hours in Breakfast Club: Grace Ling 
  2. Most Hours in Pantry Delivery: Ngozichukwu Chukwumah 
  3. Most Hours in Pantry: Olutoun Adebayo 
  4. Special Recognition: Mariam David 
  5. Longest Serving Volunteer: Maud Verhoeven 
  6. Best Assistant Lead Volunteer: Oshin Vaish 

Congratulations to all of them; they are well-deserved. Keep up the hard work, family! 

We continued the night by giving certificates to volunteers who have completed more than 10 hours of volunteering in different events. Congratulations to all! Keep the flag flying!

Our ears were blessed by the incredible voice of Peter, who sang “Lean on Me,” and our eyes were delighted by an incredible solo dance from Pradeepa, followed by an incredible duet classic dance with Aswin beside her. You both made our night more fascinating.

The night finished with karaoke by volunteers, and we had the honor of hearing the incredible voice of our lively president, Ash (you killed it), and our advisor and supporter, Priyanka, who took us on a Disneyland adventure.

Volunteers Best Momemts :

From Anjali Sh, Support Volunteer :

I love volunteering at the breakfast club because it lets me meet new people. It’s also great for building my teamwork and organizational skills. One of the best moments was when a regular thanked us for making their mornings better. I’m really happy to be part of such a supportive and caring team.

From Lesika, Support Volunteer:

It was making new friends through volunteering. I got to meet really great people through it. It was really a nice experience, because I don’t talk with a lot. But through the breakfast club I was able to come out speak with others

Join DUSA Family Volunteers Today

 If you want to enhance your skills, be a part of a valued community, and improve the Dundee Campus, join our caring and loving family today.

Join HERE

Email: ppourmohammad@dusa.co.uk

Looking for more volunteering opportunities on Campus?

Looking for a volunteer opportunity that makes a difference to the student experience? The Peer Connections Team are recruiting volunteers to help new arrival students get used to university life and provide peer support and information.
Your job will include:

• Welcoming new students and listening to their concerns
• Being a friendly point of contact
• Facilitating peer support groups of new arrival students
• Organising and promoting student-led events

You will have the opportunity to volunteer at Welcome Week events, attend student drop in sessions, and arrange fun peer-to-peer activities throughout the semester. You will be given the opportunity to undertake specialist training and apply for the Dundee Plus Award which is great for personal development!

So far, this semester we have run a student panel, scavenger hunt and a weekly walk and talk drop-in with more activities planned for the future.

Become a part of our new September 2024 intake of volunteers! To sign up and learn more, check the Peer Connections website or send an email to peerconnections@dundee.ac.uk . (Training will take place in June/July for volunteers starting September 2024).

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