Three students from the Jordanstown campus are making a splash in the social policy world! Robyn Wylie, Niamh Cusack and Sean Maguire, who are second year students, studying Social Policy with Criminology, are taking part in the Citizens Advice Bureau student led volunteer project, which is supported by UUSU and the Social Policy Dept.
As part of the project the group are campaigning on the issue of food banks in Belfast, and are now volunteering twice a week in CAB’s Springfield Road office in the city. As part of their volunteering they will be leading the research into the growth in the use of food banks in the Belfast area, working alongside CAB staff to promote the topic. Team leader Niamh, originally from Portadown said:
“As part of our role we will be conducting surveys around the use of food banks, allowing us to develop our research skills. It’s all been so positive, the office staff are even offering to help set up meetings with local MLAs in Stormont for us so we can lobby the politicians! “We also hope to raise awareness around campus, and will be doing information stands on campus in the near future.”
Belfast native Robyn said the group are really enjoying their project and that the experience they could gain for the future through their volunteering was one of the main reasons for getting involved. She said:
“Obviously we were first inspired to get involved as it was something that directly related to our degree path. It looks great on our CV and is also helping to develop our research skills for next year’s final year dissertation! We also want to make a difference in the local community, as food banks is an issue affecting families and people across Belfast.”
Sean also said:
“It’s a great project, and one of the added benefits to our volunteering is that we can also get accreditation and recognition for our volunteering through the EDGE Award and Millennium Volunteers. I would recommend to anything thinking about volunteering just go for it!”