Placed at the heart of campus, the University of Manchester Students’ Union is the hub of student life. We understand better than anyone that student life isn’t just about studying. It’s about supporting change; helping students make friends, gain vital skills for life, enjoy new experiences, and campaign on something important.
We’ve been facilitating that for the last 155 years. As the largest Students’ Union in the country, our mission is to be the voice of students at Manchester, effecting change and enriching student life together.
Our vision is for all students to feel part of the Manchester community where they can develop, prepare for their future and can make a difference in the world around them.
Here at the Students' Union we offer plenty of ways for you to get involved in volunteering during your time at University.
Manchester RAG organise year-round exciting events and challenges to raise money for local, national and international charities.
Student Action run a huge number of student-led weekly volunteering projects and one off events helping people in the local community.
Access All Areas are a collection of education projects run by students in schools, colleges and communities- all of which share the aim of improving access and widening participation in education.
Check out our opportunities!
We have an exciting opportunity to volunteer with our Student Angels project, organised by the Students’ Union in collaboration with the LGBT Foundation. The project is a street-based night time safety initiative, which involves teams of trained student volunteer leaders and support volunteers heading out into the Manchester University and Oxford Rd area at peak night times over the weekend to support our student community in a variety of ways. The Student Angels supported over 350 people during the project pilot from January to April 2019, and with your assistance we can continue to improve the project and help many more!
Each shift will involve 1-2 shift leads and 2-4 support volunteers, equipped with a range of equipment including phone chargers, water bottles, a first aid kit and foil blankets. You’ll be able to help students with a variety of common problems, like being separated from their friends, having a phone battery die, needing a taxi calling, or requiring some basic first aid (all shift leads are certified first aiders).
The project will run from Welcome Week throughout the year. Student Angel volunteers will work from 10pm until 4am on Friday and Saturday nights (with occasional shifts on other days for special events, including Welcome Week). Taxis are provided to take you home at the end of shifts, and costs for refreshments when volunteering along with any transportation costs from travelling to shifts will be reimbursed through the standard Students’ Union process. Volunteers are asked to commit to a minimum of 1 shift and a maximum of 4 shifts per month.
Volunteering in this role could help you develop the following skills, and gain experience of:
• Team work.
• Confidence building activities.
• Supporting and speaking to members of the public.
• Talking about sensitive subjects.
• Skills in providing help and support.
• Skills in responding quickly and efficiently to stressful situations.
• Attend shifts as a support volunteer and support the Angels team in the delivery of the programme.
• Be a friendly, welcoming presence to the public on shift, and be aware that you are a highly visible ambassador for the Students’ Union and the LGBT Foundation at all times.
• Have a good understanding of local services and advise accordingly.
• Engage in brief interventions with service users around a variety of issues – e.g. mental health, sexual health, substance abuse.
• Effectively work within a small team of volunteers whilst on shift.
• Work with vulnerable people to help them to get home safely.
• Escalate any issues to the volunteer shift leader and provide a debrief if necessary.
• Notify the staff contact at the Students’ Union in as much time as possible if unable to attend/maintain your commitment to your shift.
Skills and knowledge required:
• Ability to work well within a team of volunteers, escalating issues as necessary.
• Confidence when talking to new people.
• Ability to think on your feet, and to creatively solve problems.
• Able to communicate effectively with a wide range of people about a diverse range of topics.
• Trustworthiness and honesty.
• Ability to remain calm in stressful and challenging situations.
• An understanding of personal safety.
• Confidence engaging with adults who are under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
• An understanding of and a commitment to client confidentiality (in accordance with Confidentiality Procedures and Policy as outlined in initial training).
• Confidence talking about sensitive issues such as sexual assault or addiction.
• Ability to locate information for service users.
• A strong commitment to equal opportunities and diversity.
• Flexibility around volunteering availability, and a willingness to work unsociable hours.
Essential training and support required for the role:
• Attendance at a training day for the role, you must attend one of the training days to be able to volunteer.
• Debrief to volunteer shift lead and/or SU staff.
The Students’ Union welcomes and encourages all students to get involved in volunteering. As a Union we do not discriminate based on background and we welcome students from all ethnicities, genders, religious backgrounds, sexual orientations, ages, socio-economic backgrounds and disabilities.
We aim to support all students in their application process and during volunteering. Should you need any help, and/or adjustments with the application or wider volunteering process please contact the Students’ Union Volunteering and Fundraising team at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
6 hours (one shift a month)