University urges others to support The Big Help Out volunteer drive

Students volunteering at Mayflower Primary School

A major Leicester institution with a proud history of supporting communities has thrown its weight behind a nationwide volunteering project which marks the Coronation of His Majesty the King

The University of Leicester has pledged to support The Big Help Out, which has been launched by the King and Queen Consort to encourage people across the UK to try out volunteering, as well as highlighting the positive impact that volunteering has on communities.

The University has always strived to make a real difference in Leicester, Leicestershire and beyond, and was amongst the first institutions to sign a Civic Agreement back in 2019.

In just the last six months for example, more than 1,500 of its students, staff and alumni have volunteered their time to support a range of projects, including:

  • 200 hours of one-to-one reading sessions with pupils at Uplands Junior Academy, in Highfields
  • The Leicester University Community First Responders student volunteers who travel around the city – in partnership with the East Midlands Ambulance Service – to provide potentially life-saving medical treatment to 999 emergency patients
  • A Legal advice clinic staffed by Law students, who provide free legal advice to members of the public
  • Students spending 140 hours in schools supporting activities around Anti Bullying Week, World Book Day, Diwali and Chinese New Year
  • Litter picking, food collections and fundraising that has supported good causes both locally and nationally.

“Through its programme of volunteering, staff, students and alumni from the University of Leicester have been supporting communities for many, many years,” said Raj Patel, Student Partnerships Manager.

“In fact, this Coronation year will see the University launch a refreshed staff volunteering policy, which entitles all employees to two days off work a year, to take part in voluntary work.”

Raj added: “The Big Help Out is a superb opportunity to highlight the importance and impact of volunteering and will no doubt inspire more people to get involved to their local communities – we are delighted to be supporting it.”

The Lord Lieutenant of Leicestershire, Mike Kapur OBE – who is the King’s representative in Leicestershire – has launched his Big Help Out pledge, and is urging people of all ages across the county to sign up to it.

Mr Kapur has made his own pledge to take part in a litter pick on Monday 8 May, and is now encouraging people of all ages and from all walks of life in Leicester and Leicestershire to sign up to the pledge.

Anyone who takes the Big Help Out pledge promises to take part in a volunteering activity on Monday 8 May, to explore getting involved with volunteering beyond the Coronation weekend and share their volunteering experience with others to inspire them to take part. It is hoped this will bring communities together and create a lasting volunteering legacy from the Coronation weekend.

Mr Kapur said: “The Big Help Out is an opportunity to celebrate all those brilliant people who already volunteer, who go out of their way and go the extra mile to support their local communities, as well as encouraging as many people as possible to pledge their support to volunteer during the Big Help Out and to carry on that volunteering afterwards. It is an opportunity for the people of Leicester and Leicestershire to try volunteering for themselves and make a real difference in their own communities.”

Volunteers can sign up for The Big Help Out on the Lord Lieutenant’s Coronation web page, where details of volunteering opportunities in Leicester and Leicestershire can also be found.