Welcome to the Newman Volunteering Award for the academic year 2023/24. As a Catholic University, we seek to make a positive difference to individuals and communities, we recognise that our students make a valuable contribution to their local communities by sharing their skills, knowledge and experience with others through volunteering. This Award allows you to record volunteering hours that you do, above and beyond those accredited as part of your course, to achieve a Newman Volunteering Certificate. These are awarded annually and all are recorded on your Higher Education Achievement Report (HEAR) when you graduate.
The Newman Volunteering Award supports you to successfully manage volunteering independently; and develop your knowledge, skills and experiences which will contribute to your future employability and success upon graduation. You can receive a Newman Volunteering award for each separate volunteering placement you carry out during your time at Newman, if it meets certain criteria (see handbook below for criteria). You can receive a Newman Bronze Volunteering Award for 20 hours, Newman Silver Volunteering Award for 50 hours, Newman Gold Volunteering Award for 100 hours or a Newman Platinum Volunteering Award for 200 hours.
From the many definitions of volunteering available Newman University recognises volunteering as follows:
“Volunteering is when someone spends unpaid time doing something to benefit others. Helping your close friends or relatives isn’t volunteering. But doing something to benefit the environment (and through that, other people) is. Volunteering can be formal and organised by organisations, or informal within communities. It should always be a free choice made by the person giving up their time.”
In addition, volunteering in this context will also aim to improve your knowledge, skills and abilities contributing to your employability and success upon graduation. Unpaid work placements already receiving academic accreditation, or undertaken to address course requirements or targets, will not be valid for counting towards a volunteering award.
Through the programme, we also aim to make a positive contribution to individuals and communities in line with our status as a Catholic University with strong values of service.
Criteria for validation:
Students can apply for validation of their volunteering hours and an award that will appear on the HEAR for each volunteering opportunity they carry out, but must meet the following criteria:
- Unpaid and carried out in the UK.
- Must be separate to their course or any other extra-curricular activity that is accredited on their HEAR. For students undertaking mandatory work placements, if they accumulate additional hours above what their course dictates, those additional hours can count towards a Volunteering Award. Some student volunteering is already validated on the HEAR and therefore not eligible for a Newman Volunteering Award.
- It can be carried out in any place as long as the role involves contributing to an environment, an individual or groups other than (or in addition to) close relatives for the greater good and will in part improve the knowledge, skills and abilities of the student taking part to contribute to their employability and success upon graduation.
- All the relevant forms must be completed fully by the students and confirmed by the volunteering organisation and uploaded to the volunteering pathway on My Career.
- Any questions or for clarification please contact the Careers & Volunteering Advisor, Newman University, Birmingham B32 3NT Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Need help to find a volunteering opportunity?
You can sign up for a 1:1 careers interview, workshop or event to explore volunteering opportunities. As a current student, log into your My Career Account (using your Newman Username and Password) at: https://mycareer.newman.ac.uk/home.html. You will also find a list of volunteering opportunities on the Newman Careers Jobs Board. Visit the My Career portal and click on opportunities. You can also sign up to receive email alerts. There are also lots of ideas featured in the careers weekly email on a Friday so look out for those.
Other useful websites include:
- Do it life
- Birmingham Voluntary Service Council Community Noticeboard
- Charity Choice
- National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO)
Some organisations have their own accreditation schemes to acknowledge the work of volunteers, check with them when you start as this would be something extra to go onto your CV.
Find out what fellow student Saleha gained from completing her volunteering award by reading her blog here.
The volunteering handbook and forms are available below.