Student Volunteering Week
Date: 29th Feb 2016
Kind-hearted Textiles and Surface Design students from Buckinghamshire New University have been putting their skills to good use by knitting blankets for the neonatal unit at Stoke Mandeville Hospital and donating them during Student Volunteering Week.
A team of volunteers belonging to the Red Shed Society, run by Textiles and Surface Design students, held a 24 hour knitathon prior to the week to produce 20 blankets in blue, pink and purple. The blankets were made using cotton and polyester yarns and were individually gift-wrapped and donated to the unit, which provides specialist care to vulnerable babies, during Student Volunteering Week.
Polly Redfern, who is in her third-year at Bucks New University, said: "The Red Shed Society is a team of students currently fundraising so that we can display work at trade shows. As part of our fundraising, we chose to organise and run a 24 hour knitathon where we knitted blankets for the neonatal ward as we wanted to give something back to the community.
"We carefully selected, washed and packaged all successful blankets as we are very aware that specifications including holes and loose knit stitches would not be safe for premature babies."
Knitting and donating blankets was one of around 15 projects that Bucks New University students took part in for Student Volunteering Week. Other activities included packaging food parcels for disadvantaged families in the local area, conservation work with the Chiltern Rangers, visiting local care home Rye View Manor, and hosting a volleyball tournament to raise money for the University's two RAG charities, Florence Nightingale Hospice and Thames Valley Air Ambulance.
Students also gave Monday morning commuters a feel-good start to the week by giving out free Fairtrade tea, coffee, bananas and flapjacks on the University concourse as part of their annual Smile Campaign.
Lauren Troiano, Volunteering and Societies Coordinator at Bucks Students' Union, said: "There are so many amazing volunteering opportunities and it's fantastic to see our students getting involved, both during Student Volunteering Week and throughout the year, as the work they do makes a real difference to the lives of people in the community."
Picture: Students Polly Redfern and Olivia Shykles.