During the 2023 Welcome Period, the UCL Volunteering Service ran our annual Welcome One-Offs. These are a series of one-day volunteering events across London, which give students the opportunity to try out volunteering, meet new UCL students, and make a difference in the local community!
This year we were joined by 8 charities at 10 different events. These ranged from surveying bat populations to running a tea party, and gave students to chance to see the huge range of volunteering available across London.
You can check out all of the opportunities available on our UCL Volunteer Service online directory!
Read more about all of the one-off events below:
Volunteers joined Centre 404 on 21st September at their Autumn Party! Volunteers helped support the event, setting up, serving drinks, and making sure everything ran smoothly. It was a great opportunity to meet members of the community as well as the staff and volunteers of Centre 404.
Centre 404 is a local community charity in North London that offers friendly, reliable and person-centred support to people with learning disabilities, autism and their families.
On 27th September, our students joined Heath Hands at a conservation session on the beautiful Hampstead Heath. Students got the opportunity to spend the day as a conservation ranger, learning about habitat management, wildlife gardening and park maintenance tasks across Hampstead Heath.
Heath Hands operates across 350 hectares of green space, with different opportunities available to students to get involved in volunteering on Hampstead Heath, Highgate Wood, Golders Hill Park, the Hill Garden and the Kenwood Estate.
The Gardens Trust
On 27th September, students joined The Gardens Trust for a walk of Bloomsbury’s historical green spaces, to help The Garden Trust update their current experience to make it more inclusive and engaging for new audiences.
The Gardens Trust is an organisation dedicated to protecting historic parks, gardens and other designed landscapes across the UK. Their programmes cover history, the discovery and introduction of plants, garden archaeology and the relation of park and garden design to architecture, art, literature and society.
Keep an eye out for new volunteering roles with The Garden’s Trust here!
On 28th September, students joined Lifeafterhummus, a local surplus foodbank and re-use centre for local residents. Volunteers had the chance to learn about waste prevention and community support services run by Lifeafterhummus whilst helping to collect, sort, and hand out surplus donations from the community.
Lifeaferhummus collect surplus from circa 45 local supermarkets and stores every week. This surplus is sorted through and redistributed to 80 local households who visit the foodbank, as well as 11 local hostels, 1 after-school club and a church group.
On 29th September, UCL volunteers joined Share Community at their Great British Tea Party. Students helped Share Community host a traditional British tea party, while also gaining hands-on experience supporting adults with learning disabilities and autism.
Share Community is a charity that works with disabled people to help them to realise their dreams and aspirations. Their aim is to help their community members live happier, healthier, and more independent lives.
C4WS Homeless Project
Volunteers joined the C4WS Homeless Project on 29th September to help at their Friday Club – a weekly session offering a safe and welcoming space for people in need. Students helped the session run smoothly on the day, setting up the event and cooking for the Friday Club members.
The Friday Club is one of the many programmes run by C4WS Homeless Project, who consist of 12 churches and offer shelter for 5 months of the year. They provide vital support services to all of their users, including support around mental and physical health problems, addiction issues, immigration matters, welfare advice and housing advice.
UCL students joined Cody Dock on the 30th September at their Beer & Bats Event. This event is a chance for volunteers and guests alike to learn more about London’s bat species. Volunteers also helped to collect important data using bat detectors, to be shared with the Bat Conservation Trust and contribute to a national database of bat records.
Cody Dock is one of London’s most exciting creative spaces. It provides a gateway to the Lea River Park, home to a gallery, gardens, cafe & bar.
If you are interested in joining Cody Dock as a volunteer, learn more about them and take a look at all of their exciting opportunities here!
Age UK Kensington & Chelsea
Age UK Kensington & Chelsea ran three exciting one-off opportunities for UCL students over the welcome period. These includes an Afternoon Tea & Games session, a Digital Clinic, and a Walking Group! Students who joined Age UK Kensington & Chelsea had the chance to experience the important work that they undertake in the community, and got to spend time with members of the local community who came along to the events on the day.
Age UK Kensington & Chelsea is a charity that works to support independence and well-being for older people in the Kensington & Chelsea community through a range of services and activities.