Throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, the University of Worcester’s staff and students have been volunteering to help their communities.

From food collections for vulnerable people, dog walking for those unable to leave their homes, to blood donation and volunteering with the NHS as community first responders, to date Worcester students have logged almost 850 hours of Covid-19 specific volunteering.

This is in addition to all the healthcare students, including nursing, midwifery, paramedics, physiotherapists and physician associates, who have been working on the frontline of the NHS.

Charlene Steadman has just completed a foundation degree in teaching and learning and is due to begin a BA Professional practice top up degree in September. She has been making phone calls to ‘check in and chat’ to vulnerable people who are isolating and collecting shopping and prescriptions for people who are unable to, as well as working at a school setting looking after key worker children.

“I got involved as I wanted to help others not as fortunate as myself and contribute to my community,” she said.” I felt that I could make a difference in such challenging circumstances and as I had some rare spare time I wanted to use it productively and use my skills to do something worthwhile, as well as to gain further skills.”

Third year- business, management and marketing student, Victoria Jeffery, began by helping her grandparents with weekly shopping and before long, found herself providing a delivery service of drinks and snacks to several people in her local community.

“The volunteering has been extremely rewarding and has really made me engage with my local community,” she said. “I would encourage anyone to get involved with community volunteering, it is so important to help those who need it most.”

Alice Linforth, a first year DRAMA AND PERFORMANCE student, has donated blood, as well as helping with collecting shopping and deliveries for vulnerable people. She has also been a part of the student’s Saving Our Theatres project.

“Volunteering is such an easy thing to do and it’s given me a sense of purpose during this seemingly hopeless time,” she said. “It’s given me a reason to get out of bed and it feels good to help others, whilst also unintentionally helping myself and my mental health.”

Shortly after lockdown began, the university, in partnership with Worcester Students’ Union, launched a campaign to help students and staff to find opportunities to volunteer, building on the university’s wider commitment to the community, which also saw it send all of its specialist healthcare equipment to the NHS at the start of the pandemic.

Ross Renton, Pro Vice Chancellor, said: “We are all very proud of our students and staff who have so selflessly volunteered their time. It is wonderful to see so many hours of volunteering logged. 

“At the University of Worcester we have always worked hard to play a vital role in our community and now more than ever we must all come together to do what we can.”

Meg Price, president of Worcester Students’ Union, added: “We are extremely proud of all our students who have been giving up their time to help their communities during the pandemic. Almost 850 hours have been formally logged. This is a testament to #TeamWorc community spirit.”

In its most recent Strategic Plan, the university committed to further extending and deepening its benefit to the region, the nation and the world, so that Worcester is recognised as the exemplar of a community-engaged university.  

The University of Worcester is currently ranked in the top three in the UK for Quality Education and number one in the UK for Gender Equality in the Times Higher Education University Impact Rankings, which are based on the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.

The rankings are the world’s first global attempt to document evidence of universities’ impact on society and are a vivid illustration of the way in which universities can address the challenges facing their local communities and recognise the deep engagement of universities with the issues that matter most to our societies.

 The university is supporting our Love Local Business campaign, which encourages our readers to spend their money locally to help traders recover from lockdown.

Love Local Business campaign sponsors include Crowngate Shopping Centre, Herefordshire & Worcestershire Chamber of Commerce, the University of Worcester, Visit Worcester, Tom Cook Carpets, Worcester City Council, Worcester BID and Worcestershire Business Central.

To get involved, contact Dale Godliman on 01905 742372 or