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10-11-17 Ward 9 garden revamp
Students revamp a garden for patients

Each year more than 7,000 University of Birmingham students volunteer in the community and on campus.

A group of students called the Lloyds Scholars carried out 11 community projects over the course of the last academic year, including supporting patients at West Heath Hospital, working with adults with learning disabilities and maintaining community gardens in a variety of areas. The scholars’ degrees are supported by Lloyds Banking Group, and volunteering is part of the agreement they make with the organisation.

The Lloyds Scholars won the University of Birmingham Guild Award for Outstanding Local Impact and recently won the Lloyds Banking Group Volunteering Award.

Through another project, called ‘Up Our Street’, 23 students worked with Citizens UK and the Centre for Research in Ethnic Minority Entrepreneurship (CREME) in the Sparkhill / Balsall Heath area, supporting several community projects.

Student Maria worked on Up Our Street with Ashiana Community Project, which is improving the quality of life in Sparkbrook. She said: “We went from our initial project brief of a crowdfunding feasibility report to doing research, publicity and finally launching a successful fundraising page that will allow Ashiana Community Project to deliver more great activities.”

Aysha, a member of ODARA, a women’s network that also benefited from support from students, said: “They showed such professionalism. What they produced on their own – it’s blown me away.”

Projects supported voluntarily by students in 2017/18 included:

  • Fundraising to equip a children’s nature garden
  • Devising marketing materials for community events
  • Organising community activities
  • Creating pathways through woodland
  • Sprucing up the garden at Moseley Hall Hospital
  • Distributing food and resources to homeless people in Birmingham
  • Running a Christmas craft session for adults with learning disabilities

Alison Sharp, Assistant Director of the University’s Careers Network, said: “In the 2018/19 academic year we will focus on Selly Oak. Partnering with the University’s Community Living Hub in Bournbrook Pavilion, we want our students to build a stronger relationship with our neighbours, by participating in social action.”

Plans are already in place for students to support:

  • Aquarius – a social enterprise helping young people affected by alcohol, drugs and gambling
  • B30 Foodbank in Cotteridge
  • Co-Wheels Car Club – an environmental travel social enterprise
  • SENSE – a charity supporting those with complex communications needs

For more information please contact Communications and Stakeholder Engagement Manager Sally Xerri-Brooks on +44 (0)121 414 3984.