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It’s been another busy year of student volunteering here at UCL, with around 2100 students giving their time to projects in communities across London - contributing over 60,000 hours (that’s the equivalent of one busy person volunteering for 31 working years - phew!)

Our year kicked off as it always does, with hundreds of enthusiastic students attending our Big Volunteering Fair - which is never complete without representation from Hackney Pirates …

Big Volunteering Fair 1

Sexpression UCL

UCL volunteers took part in Shoreditch Town Hall’s first ever Town Hall Takeover back in October. It was a day-long celebration of arts and cultural activity with a packed programme of live music, theatre, spoken word, circus and art workshops. And hula hoops.

Shopreditch Town Hall Takeover

ReachOut is an educational charity working to raise attainment and aspirations. This year, 26 UCL students have volunteered as mentors in Hackney, Tower Hamlets, Camden and Haringey.

Reach Out Volunteers

Reach Out Volunteers Balloons

In fact, educational volunteering is one of our most popular areas of activity - for instance, with Action Tutoring UCL students provided academic support to young people facing socio-economic disadvantages.

Action Tutoring Volunteer

And volunteers at the African Community School supported children with their English and Maths homework.

African Community School

African Community School

Students also helped at the Belmont Kids Club, providing fun and stimulating activities for children of homeless families living in a hostel in Chalk Farm. The club is organised by CARIS Camden.

CARIS Kids Club

Belmont Kids Club

A group of nine UCL students have been mentoring refugee teenagers at Salusbury WORLD Refugee Centre in Queen’s Park.

Salusbury World

UCL volunteers have also lent a hand at community events across London, such as Manor Gardens Welfare Trust’s Winter Wellbeing Festival, which offered a day of dancing, singing, and crafts to local residents, along with plentiful supplies of tea.

Manor Gardens Winter Wellbeing Festival Volunteers

Manor Gardens Winter Wellbeing Festival

As the winter months set in, we brought some festive cheer. The UCL Songs for Smiles group sang Christmas songs in the children’s wards at UCLH …

Songs for Smiles Volunteers

Songs for Smiles Christmas Volunteers

… whilst RUMS Badminton sang Christmas carols in a tube station to raise money for North London Cares.

RUMS Badminton Carolling Volunteers

Thoughout the year, UCL volunteers have taken part in the Royal Institution’s Family Fun Days, featuring talks, demonstrations and experiments. The February event shown here explored the exciting supercharged world of energy!

Royal Institution Family Fun Day

Family Fun Day Supercharged Royal Institution

Family Fun Day Supercharged

Clubs and societies have been helping out with fundraising for UCLH Cancer Fund - RUMS Choir sang and danced to raise money in March …

RUMS Choir Volunteers

Cancer Fund Choir

…whilst RUMS Rugby players volunteered at Saracen Rugby Club’s fundraiser for UCLH Cancer Fund.

RUMS Rugby and UCH Cancer Fund

UCH Cancer Fund Rugby Volunteers

UCL Cricket Club have also kept busy in the off-season by fundraising for Target Ovarian Cancer.

UCLU Cricket Club

Maths on Toast exists to show that maths can be fun, running events wherever there are families to be found. UCL students have assisted by chatting, colouring, constructing, calculating, cutting out and generally making the events enjoyable and interactive.

Maths on Toast

Down the road at Holborn Community Centre, volunteers have been helping out at the after school art classes, enthusing children about art and getting covered in clay, paint and glue in the process.

Holborn Community Centre

Holborn Community Centre

Not everyone knows this, but London is home to lots of urban farms and UCL students have been busy with these as well. At Kentish Town City Farm we helped out at their May Fair, assisting with a day of games, live music and activities including goat grooming sessions, scarecrow making and maypole dancing!

Kentish Town City Farm May Day

A goat

Kentish Town City Farm

As you can see, we’ve loads going on at the Volunteering Services Unit - you can find out more about our work and how to get involved at

Part 2 - Student-Led Projects, Global Citizenship, Volunteering Awards and more goats >>>>