Education Policy | Post Primary | Preschool | Primary | Tertiary | Search

 


Strong culture of volunteering helps students succeed

20 June 2014

Strong culture of volunteering helps students succeed

Etta Bollinger came to Victoria University of Wellington to be a successful student, and Vic Volunteers like Phill White have helped her be just that.

Vic Volunteers is a 200-strong group of students and staff, who have been active across the University for 20 years. It began with just 46 volunteers in 1994, with a goal of helping eliminate some of the barriers faced by students with disabilities.

Today, the roles include note-takers, van drivers, walkers, and team leaders who work alongside the staff of Disability Services, who enable Victoria to provide for students with temporary and ongoing disabilities.

Phill, an English Literature and Media Studies student, got involved after a friend told him more van drivers were needed to transport students with disabilities. He put his hand up straight away.

“It’s a great opportunity to interact with other students, rather than just getting on with your own study.”

Born with cerebral palsy, Etta, who is studying German and Sociology, has found that Disability Services put support in place around her study experience, rather than focusing on her disability.

“It takes a lot of effort organising transport and pushing myself all day, and the volunteers allow me to maximise the amount of energy that I have on my study–the reason why I’m at Victoria.”

Although some students volunteer because they like helping others, the long-term benefits are huge says Disability Services Manager Rachel Anderson-Smith.

“When students volunteer for us they often get better grades, focus more in class, gain skills for their CV and it even helps them attend 8am lectures!”

She says the biggest barrier people with disabilities face is the attitude of others.

“Volunteers are renowned for creating good change. We like to think of our volunteers as 200 champions for disability inclusion and awareness and 200 voices against discrimination,” says Rachel.

“We know that when students with disabilities are supported, there is an increase in achievement rates which is comparable to their non-disabled peers.”

The volunteer programme continues to be successful because of the prolonged effort to follow best practice and to run a professional programme, using a formal recruiting process for volunteers and offering continued professional development.

“We are proud of the volunteer culture at Victoria; it has helped Disability Services to be a leading provider of disability advice, expertise and support.”

More than 1000 students at Victoria identify as having some form of disability, a figure that is increasing each year.

“As accessibility of education at Victoria has improved, there has been a steady growth of students with disabilities choosing to study here. It’s fantastic to see the number of volunteers also increasing across all campuses each year.”

16–22 June is New Zealand National Volunteer Week, celebrating the theme “Naku te rourou nau te rourou ka ora ai te tangata–With your contribution and my contribution the people will live.”

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines

 

8 October: Miley Cyrus Bangerz Tour Coming To Auckland!

Dainty Group announced today that global superstar Miley Cyrus will bring her BANGERZ TOUR to New Zealand in October this year. This will be Miley’s first ever visit to New Zealand and there will only be one Auckland show before she takes her tour to Australia. More>>

ALSO:

Music: Lorde NZ Tour Confirmed In Four Major Cities!

In what will be her first ever New Zealand headline tour, Frontier Touring and Brent Eccles Entertainment are stoked to bring you four epic shows across the country! The all ages concerts take place late October/ early November in Christchurch, Dunedin, Wellington and Auckland. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Review Of Books: Poor Economics

A review of and excerpt from Jonathan Boston and Simon Chapple’s Child Poverty in New Zealand. More>>

Head Count: Highest Population Growth Since 2003

The country’s population grew by 67,800 people, or 1.5 percent, in the year to 30 June 2014. This came from natural increase (births minus deaths) of 29,500 and net migration (arrivals minus departures) of 38,300. New Zealand's estimated resident population was 4.51 million at 30 June 2014. More>>

Fun-Enhancement: Research To Ensure Even Game For Less Skilled Players

A University of Canterbury engineering PhD student is researching sports, such as table tennis, to ensure closer games for both better and less skilled players. More>>

Werewolf: From The Lost Continent

It’s a case of better late than never for Olivier Assayas’ marvellous After May/Apres Mai, which first screened at Venice in 2012, got a theatrical release in Australia – but not here – and only now appears on DVD, after Assayas himself has moved on. More>>

ALSO:

Werewolf: Blue Eyed & Soulful

Last year’s Muscle Shoals documentary was a reminder that on some of soul music’s most hallowed tracks, the studio band consisted of a bunch of white guys from rural Alabama... More>>

ALSO:

Final Event - Number Crunching: NZ Fifth Best Performer At Commonwealth Games

With a haul of 45 medals, New Zealand has outperformed the best predictions of the world’s number crunchers by 440% and beaten our past performance at the Commonwealth Games by 11% per cent, according to a Massey University finance lecturer. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
Education
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news