Student volunteers clock up more than 20,000 hours helping others at DMU

Students at De Montfort University Leicester (DMU) are celebrating Student Volunteer Week by supporting causes that will help people across the city.

Running computer skills classes for elderly people, supporting a youth club in Thurnby Lodge and volunteering at a drive to add more young people to the UK stem cell register are just some of the activities being supported by students through DMU’s public engagement arm DMU Local.

Mark Charlton Associate Director of Public Engagement at DMU, said: “Our students impress us time and again with their desire to help others and these figures are testament to their dedication.

“This year marks 150 years since the foundation of DMU. We have always been a civic university dedicated to the public good and I’m proud that our students carry on this legacy of public good today.”

It comes as the latest figures show that DMU students clocked up an impressive 20,465 hours of volunteering last academic year, with the average student giving 28 hours of their time to good causes.

Our student volunteers came from 55 different countries, and 36% of DMU Local volunteers are international students, who enjoy learning more about Leicester and UK culture through volunteering.

DMU’s next major volunteering project will be The Big Sleep, which aims to help raise awareness and money for the homeless in Leicester.

Students and staff are being encouraged to spend all night sleeping on the university campus on Thursday, March 26, from 8pm – and you are being invited to take part.

This is a major city-wide initiative and students at Leicester University will be taking part in an identical event on their campus in a campaign supported by the city’s The Bridge homeless charity. There will be other satellite all-night events across Leicester that night, which the two university events being the focal point.

DMU want as many students and staff as possible to join in and pledge to take part in The Big Sleep in front of the Food Village for 12 hours until 8am the following Friday morning. Those taking part will be provided with cardboard to sleep on, but be expected to bring their own sleeping bag.

Project co-ordinator Catherine Flood, of DMU Local, said: “Staff and students will face the elements overnight for a short glimpse of what many people in the city experience on a nightly basis.

“We’re looking for volunteers to raise awareness of the issue of homelessness in Leicester and the reality of sleeping rough by joining The Big Sleep and spending a night under the stars.”

All funds raised will go to The Bridge: Homelessness to Hope, who support the city’s homeless by providing a range of services, including laundry cleaning, warm clothes, food provisions and showers, plus advice and mentoring.