Press Releases

University students' volunteer work in the community recognised – University of Reading

Release Date : 17 June 2009

test stuart sailingOver 200 University of Reading community-spirited students who volunteered in local schools received recognition for their efforts at a special ceremony this month.

Every year these generous helpers maintain the University's longstanding and proud tradition of supporting the local community. This year 41 local schools and numerous school children benefited from their help.

Professor Gordon Marshall, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Reading, presented certificates on Wednesday June 17 to students who participated in the Community Service Volunteers (CSV) Student Tutoring scheme and completed at least 10 periods of tutoring in the last year.

Special prizes were awarded to 3rd year History student Richard Sanders and Lucy O'Mahony, who is studying Applied English Language and also in her 3rd year.

Richard visited Blessed Hugh Faringdon RC School to help with History classes. Ms Ann Dally, Head of History at the School said: "Richard was happy in any classroom and able to work well with challenging and challenged children. Richard made more than ten visits to the school this year and that followed ten in 2007-08."

Meanwhile Lucy visited Sonning Primary School 15 times and New Town Primary a similar number of times in 2007-08. Clare Holland, Teaching and Learning Coach at Sonning praised Clare's ability to think on her feet and take on any task she was given. "She had a great relationship with staff and pupils and was always keen to be involved in the children's curriculum," said Clare. "Lucy is a local Berkshire girl who has greatly enjoyed helping the next generation of Berkshire children."

Lucy said: "This was my second year of being involved with the scheme and I definitely recommend it to others. I had a fantastic time at Sonning Primary. It gave me a break from studying but still enabled me to learn and get a taste of what it was like to be a teacher. I got on really well with the children and they seemed to enjoy my presence in the classes which was a great feeling."

Julia Hodgson, Student Tutoring Co-ordinator, said: "Many thanks to everyone who participated in this year's scheme. Our volunteers have made a real difference in the community and are a credit to themselves and the University. Once again we were also delighted to continue to provide volunteers to give one-to-one support to students who had recently joined the English education system in both primary and secondary schools. These volunteers needed to be native speakers of Polish, Portuguese, Arabic, Italian, Russian, Romanian, Korean or Mandarin."

This year is the 15th CSV scheme to have been organised by Julia and saw the total number of volunteers since its launch pass 3500. Julia said "I really enjoy the role of Student Tutoring Co-ordinator. Each year I meet very nice students from all across the university who are genuinely keen to give something back to the local community once they have finished their own school education."

Guest speakers at the ceremony included Peter Devereux, School Development Adviser, Wokingham Borough Council. Also in attendance were The Mayor and Mayoress of Reading, Councillor and Mrs Fred Pugh, Ian Pearson, Head of Education Services in West Berkshire and head teachers from participating schools.


For all University of Reading media enquiries please contact James Barr, Press Officer tel 0118 378 7115 or email

Notes for editors:

Participating schools

Secondary Schools -14

The Abbey

Blessed Hugh Faringdon



Hemdean House

Highdown School


John Madejski Academy

Kendrick School

Maiden Erlegh School

Reading Girls'

Reading School

Theale Green

The Willink School

Primary Schools – 21

Alexandra Nursery

Alfred Sutton Primary

Christ the King RC Primary

Coombes Primary

Earley St Peter's CoE Primary

Emmbrook Infant

George Palmer Primary

Highwood Primary

Hillside Primary

New Christ Church CoE Primary

New Town County Primary School

Ridgeway Primary

Sonning CoE Primary School

St Dominic Savio Primary

St John's CoE Primary

Thameside Primary

Theale CoE Primary

Upcroft Primary

Westcott Infant

Whiteknights Primary School

Whitley Park Infant School

Special Schools - 2


Phoenix College

Others -2

Playing 4 Success (Madejski Stadium)

Thames Valley University


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