Wednesday 6th March saw 40 University of Leeds students volunteer with local community projects: The Growing Zone, Holbeck in Bloom, and Wyke Beck Valley Project, planting trees, painting walls and fences, potting plants, and collecting rubbish as part of the Leeds Enterprise Centre’s CSR in Action project.
The CSR in Action project provided students, studying any course at the University of Leeds, with an opportunity to learn about Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) from businesses, and work with and develop a CSR plan for local community projects.
The project also gave student volunteers the opportunity to help out local communities, whilst gaining skills and experience to add to their CV.
Sponsored by Santander, students were able to network with and learn from businesses, and potential future employers, including: Logistik, Eversheds, Premier Farnell, Balfour Beatty, O2 and Santander themselves.
Despite the weather, the 'Day of Action' on Wednesday 6th March was a real success, and we received great feedback from the students involved and the projects themselves...
"I found the CSR in Action project extremely beneficial. It was a very rewarding experience that really opened my eyes to how much of a difference you can make if you really want to. The project also showed me that there are some extremely selfless, inspiring people who are involved in Holbeck in Bloom; and this has definitely encouraged me to volunteer again. The whole day was really enjoyable and fun, and at the same time we got to make a difference to a community in need. I would definitely recommend taking part in this project, and I will definitely be doing it again next year!"
Serena Volpe (Second year Law student)
“I had a great time during the whole day. Planting trees and cleaning this great park was very satisfying and fun. I discovered a new wonderful area of Leeds and also met some great people. If there are more projects like this in the future I would definitely participate again.”
Yoana Barakova (Second year Management with Marketing student)
Following the Day of Action, members of the community project, Leeds Ahead and the businesses involved in the project were invited to the University to attend a presentation lunch on Thursday 14th March, hosted by the Leeds Enterprise Centre, where Kiren Sirha, Santander Branch Manager, presented each community project with a certificate and a donation of £500.
One of the attendees at the presentation lunch was June Perkins, Chairperson of The Growing Zone, who attended with Connor, one of the young people who work at the allotment as part of a Youth Placement. Following the event, we received an email from June...
“Connor and I really enjoyed the visit to the University today. Everyone made us feel so special. Connor was on such a high he could not wait to get back to The Growing Zone and tell all the other lads; then he dashed home to show his mum the certificate. I don't think he has ever felt so important in his life.
It is so heart-warming and exciting to see a life change occurring in front of your very eyes and it is all down to people like yourself, the University and the wonderful financial support from Santander which has enabled this youngster to come to us.
On behalf of everyone at The Growing Zone, especially Connor, we can’t thank you enough for allowing this placement to happen.”
June Perkins, The Growing Zone
The project has increase in popularity and success over the past few years, and we aim to grow this even further next year as the project will become part of one of the Leeds Enterprise Centre’s elective modules.
Find out more about these electives modules at: https://cees.leeds.ac.uk/undergraduate/.