A new initiative with giving at its heart is going from strength to strength at the University of Gloucestershire.

The 10,000 Hours campaign is inviting everyone in the University community to log their hours of volunteering and community work and reach this year’s target. So far more than 3,500 hours have been logged since the project launched at the end of January.

Project manager Dr Kenny Lynch, Reader in Geography, said: “We’ve been overwhelmed by the response and sheer volume of activity students and staff are involved in in their own time, from hospital radio to conservation to Girl Guiding.

Dr Lynch launched the campaign with Adam Hart, Professor of Science Communication, who added: “By working towards our target we can build a picture of the contribution the University makes in the region, and celebrate the work that our staff and students do.”

Michael Ratcliffe, Chair of the Cheltenham Chamber of Commerce, with the winning ticket.

Every fortnight a volunteer is picked at random in a prize draw with the lucky winner receiving an iTunes voucher, and this week Michael Ratcliffe, Chair of the Cheltenham Chamber of Commerce drew the winning ticket.

Mr Ratcliffe is a Cheltenham based businessman and works with a number of voluntary organisations both at home and overseas.

This fortnight’s winner is Jenny Stanley, who is studying History at the University and has been volunteering with the Diamond Club, a project run by the University of Gloucestershire’s Students’ Union working with adults considered as ‘vulnerable’ or who have mild learning difficulties.

Jenny said: “I was very surprised and delighted to hear that my entry was picked in the prize draw- I never expected anything like this from volunteering, so it is lovely to be rewarded for all those hours! I started at the Diamond Club (a sociable group for adults with learning difficulties) just to gain experience relevant to a social work career, but now I really enjoy the sessions and have met some lovely people there! There is a new activity each week which is always loads of fun for us and the participants, where we have made pizzas and been to the cinema for example. The Diamond Club is a really great group to get involved with and I would like to encourage other students to join next year and also to keep entering their hours as well.”

About the University of Gloucestershire

The University of Gloucestershire gained official university status in 2001 but has existed as an educational establishment for nearly 200 years. Our heritage lies in the Mechanics Institutes of the 1830s, with our Francis Close Hall campus founded in 1847 as the Cheltenham Training College.

Today, we have three thriving campuses, Francis Close Hall and The Park in Cheltenham, and Oxstalls in Gloucester, which are occupied by approximately 10,000 students. In 2010, the University invested £5 million in teaching facilities including a new, state-of-the-art media and art and design studios.

The University of Gloucestershire delivers approximately 100 undergraduate course choices including accounting, law, business and management, fine art, TV production, humanities, leisure and tourism, social work and education plus and a diverse range of postgraduate and research degrees, and professional courses. For more information visit www.glos.ac.uk

Source: University of Gloucestershire