February 5, 2018, by Words on Words
I’m a Souprunner: An Invaluable Way to Volunteer Your Time
This blog post was written by third year English student, Anna Parry.
Like many students at University, I wanted to volunteer my time and give something back to my community. For a year I convinced myself that it would be too difficult; too time consuming; and that my help wasn’t wanted or needed. It wasn’t until I heard about Souprunners that I realised how easy it would be to get involved and help out. Souprunners is a University of Nottingham student-led organisation who organise a soup-run for the homeless every Tuesday and Sunday evening, preparing sandwiches, crisps, fruit and biscuits which are handed out in Nottingham town centre. We also take flasks of hot water with us to make tea, coffee, hot chocolate and cup-of-soups, gratefully appreciated on cold evenings. This project is such a great way for students to get involved within and have an impact upon their local community. It is far too easy to get caught up in the bubble of University life, forgetting that just on our doorsteps are very real issues affecting real people. Undertaking voluntary work acts a good reminder for all of us of how fortunate we are for the opportunities and experiences that we have had.
Indeed, Framework stated that 2016 saw the highest number of rough sleepers in Nottingham for over 20 years, and even in the short time that I have been a student at the University I have noticed more and more people sleeping rough around the city centre. This is not an issue we can brush off and treat with an out of sight, out of mind mentality: as students living in Nottingham it is our responsibility to get involved. It is not just those who are homeless who can receive help from the Souprunners, but anyone who is struggling or vulnerable. Just knowing that there is someone who cares enough to give up their time to hand out food and hot drinks, and sometimes even more importantly just to chat, can have the biggest impact on someone’s life. In fact, nearly all volunteers come away from the experience acknowledging how little time it takes and how nice it is to make a small difference to someone’s day.
You can find out more about Souprunners and how to get involved on the Souprunners Nottingham Facebook page. There are weekly posts asking for volunteers so you can start making a difference today!