On Wednesday 19th October 2016 I took part in my first ‘Campus Clean-up’ during the University’s #GoGreenWeek. I arrived at the Students’ Union reception area, signed in and was given my protective clothing, which included a fluorescent yellow vest and a pair of yellow gloves, along with a litter picker. As a fashion student this would not have been my first choice of outfit – but seeing as I was about to pick up litter health and safety had to be considered. The uniform actually helped bring awareness to fellow students, tutors and members of the public of the great job that we were doing, helping to keep the campus clean.
My final collection concept for my fashion degree started with the recognition of the amount of litter which students can create around campus. Therefore, as part of my effort to raise awareness of this, I thought – why not get involved myself and see first-hand what there is to clean up.
My biggest worry about doing the clean-up was that I would be wandering around cleaning up the campus on my own. Fortunately, I was joined by a couple of other student volunteers, who were joining in as part of their Lincoln Award (an award which helps students to gain new skills that they can include on their CV). Two members of the Digital Education & Student Life team who work at the University promoting opportunities and events such as ‘Go Green Week’, also joined us.
We set off in our fluorescent vests and by the time we had walked all the way around the campus we had managed to fill two bags with rubbish, which was surprisingly less than I had expected. I was more than a little proud that my fellow students are taking care of the campus, but unfortunately, the Brayford still needs a lot of work.
I thoroughly enjoyed the experience of helping to make the University campus a cleaner and nicer area to walk around. It is definitely a volunteering opportunity that I would take part in again and recommend to others, even if it does mean wearing a fluorescent vest.
Opportunities such as this one occur throughout the year, so if you have thought about volunteering at University, step out of your comfort zone and give it a go. Volunteering is not just about helping the environment (although this is a great thing to do), it also gives students the chance to meet new people who they may end up collaborating or working with in the future, and it is a fantastic experience to add to your CV. It is something that other people applying for the same job as you may not have done, which gives you an advantage and shows that you are willing and able to manage your time to do something extra.
Volunteering opportunities can be found on the University of Lincoln Students’ Union website.