Community Engagement and Volunteering
We are committed to developing and enriching our relationships with local organisations and better understanding your strengths and challenges. By doing this we believe we can work better together to make a difference in the community.
Here at NTU we have identified five themes that reflect NTU's expertise, as well as local city and county strategies, with the aim of responding to growing areas of demand in:
- Arts, Sport and Culture
- Crime and Justice
- Education and Attainment
- Environment and Sustainable Futures
- Health and Wellbeing.
We are always interested in broadening your engagement with the University, so as well as volunteering we would welcome ideas around subject-related projects, placements or research your organisation would like to participate in. Please get in touch to discuss working together.
Recruiting NTU Volunteers
Each year NTU staff and students complete over thousands of hours of volunteering in the local community, schools and in governance roles, gaining and sharing valuable experience and skills.
The diverse range of volunteering opportunities we promote to students includes support and mentoring roles, gardening, sport, fundraising and events, marketing, digitalisation, governance or the core functions of your service. We can help with projects lasting from one day to more than a year, indoors or out. You can see the range of organisations we work with here.
NTU's Employee Volunteering and Community Engagement policy enables colleagues to volunteer in the local community. This could be with a partner organisation, through programmes we deliver with schools, or as charity trustees. Find out more here. Contact the Community Engagement and Volunteering Team to discuss your volunteering needs.
Community Engaged Learning
We facilitate opportunities to engage with students who, as part of their course, collaborate with you on short term projects to address real-life challenges.
Community Engaged Learning projects can directly meet the identified needs of organisations, building their capacity, and furthering their mission and goals which results in the creation of positive social impact. Students apply their theoretical knowledge to practice, develop transferable skills and become more life-ready. Academics can extend their classroom in the community and have more opportunity for creativity in their teaching.
Visit the Community Engaged Learning Webpages if you are interested in finding out more.
When can I recruit volunteers?
It is possible to recruit volunteers all year round, however it is important to be mindful of the academic calendar when planning to recruit students. We generally hold an annual volunteer recruitment fair in October and you can find NTU’s academic term dates here. We also encourage you to speak with a member of our team who can help boost your recruitment.
Who do you work with?
We engage with a wide range of not-for-profit stakeholders such as charities, community and voluntary sector groups, civic organisations, community interest companies, and public sector bodies that are based, or deliver provision, local to our campuses in Nottingham City, Clifton, Brackenhurst (Southwell), and Mansfield.
Partners must have the appropriate resources and infrastructure to support student volunteers, and opportunities offered must not be at all exploitative or promote specific religious or political activity.
What is expected of me?
Each organisation is asked to complete a partner agreement, which highlights the respective responsibilities within the partnership. Emphasis is placed on protecting the volunteers and providing strong communication to help us monitor and improve the service we provide including sharing student data which is requested at the end of the term.
To ensure our partnerships are meaningful and impactful we encourage you to reflect on our relationship and complete a 'Working in partnership with CenSCE' survey each year, the results of which help develop positive outcomes for the following year.
What can I expect from the Community Engagement and Volunteering team?
You will receive year-round communication from a member of the Community Engagement and Volunteering team, who will help to identify and implement potential opportunity and collaboration.
How do you recognise volunteers?
All undergraduate students at NTU receive a HEAR report that both details a student’s academic record but also any extra-curricular activities completed. This online report is an important resource for students as they apply for jobs. Our team are verifiers for any community volunteering completed by students and as such we will ask our partners to verify a student’s commitment.
In addition, a departmental awards evening also provides the opportunity to recognise the achievements of students, while also providing special awards, for students nominated by their respective community organisation.
Do you train volunteers?
In response to feedback from our community partners we have developed ‘Preparing to Volunteer’ sessions that we promote for prospective student volunteers to attend and deliver throughout the year. The session prompts them to consider their motivations and set goals based on them. Students are also encouraged to reflect on the role of a volunteer in supporting the local community, and consider the commitment required of a voluntary role. Additionally, we advise them to prepare for their volunteer application if they have not done so already, including arranging referees and getting documents together for DBS checks if needed. We cannot provide references for students or conduct DBS checks ourselves.
How will you advertise my opportunities?
At NTU we have an opportunity portal available to staff, students and new graduates called MyEmployability. All community partners receive access to MyEmployability allowing you to self-manage your volunteering opportunities which are then added to our website.
Our team then have a number of ways of sharing opportunities, such as lecture 'shout-outs', through other student portals, or via internal contacts with other teams and academics.
In addition we deliver events throughout the year including our Get Experience and Volunteer Roadshow in October and Student Volunteering Week in February. Where possible we also try to facilitate other opportunities to engage with students, either on campus or virtually, so please contact us to discuss your needs.