31% of students volunteer, says survey
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At the start of Student Volunteering Week, the NUS has revealed that 31% of university students devote a significant proportion of their spare time to volunteering. The newly published report, The Student Volunteering Landscape, estimates 725,000 students volunteer for an average of 44 hours per year. Students aren’t just doing it to get a CV boost, either - 78% say that they give their time because of a desire to improve things or help people. Developing skills for work was another key motivation cited for 66% of students. There is also the feeling of being part of a community – and one particular success story in this case is that of St Oswald’s Hospice in Newcastle, which now has more than 1,400 volunteers. St Oswald’s volunteer, International Business MA student Larissa Duarte, 24, says: “It’s the people that keep me coming back each time; the team and the customers. It was so cute when I came back from a month at home in Brazil over Christmas and the regular customers said to me that they’d wondered where I was and they were glad I was back! It’s lovely to feel part of something when I’m so far from home.” Aside from personal reasons, and maybe surprisingly, students’ collective volunteering contributes the equivalent of a whopping £175 million to the UK economy.
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