Social & Public Policy

Voluntary work

Service-learning combines academic coursework with voluntary work in the community, to help you experience policy in practice. It is part of the Social and Public Policy Honours curriculum, and an accredited course for visiting students.

Students are expected to engage in voluntary work in the community for a minimum of 6 hours per week for 8 weeks. Students are expected to find their own voluntary work which must meet community needs. Examples of suitable activities include:

Providing physical care

  • for terminally ill people in a hospice, or being involved in fundraising and other activities that do not involve contact with patients.
  • giving personal and nursing care to the frail and elderly in a care home.

Working with elderly people

  • encouraging social interaction and engaging in activities designed for physical and mental stimulation of frail, vulnerable and at risk elderly.

Working with children and young people

  • assisting in the classroom in a special education needs school for children aged 5 to 12 years.
  • being a play worker, or working in the nursery in an after school hours recreation club for children and young people.
  • assisting a teacher in a mainstream secondary school classroom.

Helping with women’s issues

  • helping with catalogues, archives and general running of a library for and about women.
  • giving support to women through individual or group work, telephone, letter, email, offering links to complementary therapies.

Working with disabiled people

  • supporting people with physical disabilities to increase their self-confidence and self-esteem. Activities include swimming, computing, arts and crafts, light woodwork, jewellery making, writers' workshop, sculpture group, cookery class and aromatherapy.
  • helping to provide recreational, educational and social therapy to people with physical disabilities and sensory impairments.
  • assisting with horse riding for disabled people, and the care and grooming of the horses. Previous horse riding experience is essential.

Helping in the area of employment

  • helping to alleviate the effects of poverty by helping to obtain, refurbish and distribute furniture and other essential household items.
  • helping to provide meals, hot drinks and chat to the homeless, poor and disadvantaged.

Helping disadvantaged people

  • Alleviate the effects of poverty by helping to obtain, refurbish and distribute furniture and other essential household items.
  • Help to provide meals, hot drinks and chat to the homeless, poor and disadvantaged.

Providing social help and guidance

  • being an advocate for asylum seekers; give advice on local services; and help in a centre for social interaction.
  • giving housing and other welfare advice and help to refugees and asylum seekers.
  • offering advice on citizenship rights and welfare benefits. Training is essential.
  • helping in the 'meals on wheels' service, running tea bars and trolleys within large hospitals, operating clothing stores for individuals in needs and providing 'Buses on Wheels' delivery to housebound clients.

For more information contact Dr Susan Deeley.