Sustainability volunteering roles usually count towards the "Make a Difference" part of the Manchester Leadership Award.
Whatever your environmental passon, the University has something for you. These include projects on locally-sources food, carbon reduction schemes and the opportunity to create your own actions from scratch!
If you’re passionate about encouraging fellow students to act sustainably, want to organise campaigns and get others involved in sustainability projects then become an Environmental Rep on your hall’s Residents’ Association. You’ll gain great experience of taking a lead on projects, campaigning, and making things happen. The Resident’s Associations also have Community Reps who help lead volunteering projects and campaigns.
Incredible Edible is a global movement about local produce. If you are enthusiastic about growing local, sustainable fresh food, then this is the volunteering opportunity for you! Incredible Edible Manchester transforms unused, derelict plots of land into edible plots that grow strawberries, gooseberries, courgettes, herbs and many more delicious things. You can work on plots across Manchester, clearing the site, building greenhouses and vegetable beds, and planting the variety of seeds so that a whole host of fresh produce can grow – and everyone in the local community is free to help themselves to the fresh food! This then helps people in food poverty to eat fresh and healthy foods.
Green Impact is a national environmental accreditation scheme which supports staff to improve their environmental credentials of their office. The project offers opportunities for student volunteers acting as environmental auditors and Green Impact Project Assistants.
Student auditors independently assess performance of the staff teams and award them Bronze, Silver or Gold depending on the progress they have made. The cycle ends in a Green Impact Award Ceremony which is an end of year celebration of all of the teams' collective efforts.
As a Green impact volunteer you can support a designated staff team to complete environmental sustainability actions throughout the year. There are opportunities to develop skills of project management, writing, art and design, events management and leadership in order to support and motivate staff to deliver Green Impact.
If you are keen to find a way to support environmental sustainability activity in the institution on a practical level this is a very hands-on way of making a real difference.
Daisy initially attended a one-off Incredible Edible day, helping to clear weeds and build one of the planting sites. She enjoyed it so much that she continued her involvement and took on other roles, including helping with the project’s marketing by being organising film footage from the Incredible Edible events and editing it into fun, interesting videos for YouTube.
As a student midwife the project complemented her career aspirations by addressing issues of public health.
Daisy undertook tasks she had never done before, (like wielding a garden hoe!) and it gave her a real chance to meet other people and have a real impact on an issue in the local community.
Daisy says: “My volunteering with Incredible Edible has definitely been fruitful (awful joke, I know). I don’t get to unleash my creative side on a regular basis in my degree, so it was great that this project allowed me to develop these skills. I have also met a number of wonderful people, from a wide mix of degree schemes, cultures and ages.”