Student testimony

Education
Health
Regeneration

Education

Architecture and Engineering Club

“Before I came to DMU I used to lecture in architecture. I love to teach so when this opportunity to volunteer for the Architecture and Engineering Club came up I felt I had to get involved. I wanted to help out and encourage them to do what I love.”

Ekele Ochedi, PhD student in Architecture

IT4Free

“The people who come benefit not only from learning but also have a great time as we laugh and joke, too. The other volunteers are really easy to get along with and always happy to help if I have trouble with anything. It’s mutually beneficial when someone comes into the session with an idea of what they want to accomplish.”

Georgia Ingham, DMU student

Moving Together

“I decided to get involved in the project as I was keen to get some hands-on experience in teaching and leading dance. As I am very passionate about dance, and young people’s involvement within the arts, it seemed like a great opportunity. The project encourages young people around Leicester to come together and get involved with the arts. It promotes social inclusion by providing a free service that encourages young people to talk, think and experience the arts. The Arts Award programme allows the student to plan and deliver their own sessions, this helps to promote the arts further and benefit the community, as some delivered these sessions to people outside of the group.”

Shannon Coote, third-year Dance student

Playdough

“The Playdough competition was between 17 schools in Leicester and each school was given £1,000 of ‘DMU currency’, which was invested in a mock stock market for 10 weeks. The school that made the most profit beat the banker.

“After being designated to Hazel Community Primary School, I came to learn that they were in fact the reigning winners of the competition. It was evident that their hunger and enthusiasm for the competition was still there. One student approached and said: ‘I really want the shield to stay here!’ This positive attitude in turn motivated me and pushed me to commit to them and I promised him that they would win again.”

Oubed Moosa, Accounting and Finance student

School Support

“This project grabbed my attention because it focuses on bright young pupils and encourages them to think outside the box and beyond the general school curriculum. Therefore I was able to use and apply skills I had learnt during my degree. I have had a lot fun helping the amazing team on this project – it has helped me to further improve my ability to work with a range of individuals as well as develop leadership qualities, seeing as I had responsibilities to organise groups and lead tasks. This is a great skill employers look for.”

Dilraj Kaur, second-year Mathematics student

Health

Diabetes

“The Square Mile Diabetes Project has benefited me immensely, both academically and personally, as well as enhanced my employability. I have developed a variety of skills including my communication and consultations skills but also my confidence in speaking to larger audiences and members of the public, all of which will prove useful for my future career as a pharmacist. Being involved in a project like the Diabetes Project has also enabled me to enhance my organisational skills and teamwork. It is a great opportunity to represent DMU and also Diabetes UK and continue to make a difference in the community. I have become more passionate about health promotion work but also developed my understanding of various cultures.”

Akila Patel, third-year Pharmacy student

Free Hearing Screenings

“I got involved because I think practising on real people gives you more confidence and experience. I did 20-odd events and that showed me what to expect in terms of the patients and the issues they may have with their hearing, so I developed as well. There were loads of people who thought their hearing was fine and were surprised to find out it wasn’t. As a result lots made the effort of booking an appointment and getting checked again. I love being part of this project. I actually screened the Vice-Chancellor at a BBC Radio Leicester event. It was really good. We met loads of people from different communities, made new friends and screened people from all cultures – it was amazing.”

Maheen Saif, second-year Audiology student

Stem Cell

“The Stem Cell Project involved raising awareness of blood cancer and the Anthony Nolan register, which many people in the community do not know about. It benefited the community because I was working with Rik Basra, someone who had blood cancer and wants to increase the number of minority members on the register; which helps to find donors required to treat blood cancer.

“The benefits of volunteering with DMU Square Mile are endless. It helps to build up new skills as well as benefiting current skills you have from previous experiences. It helps with your studies because there are opportunities available for every course and you are also putting your spare time to good use. You are rewarded and recognised for your achievements and you get to meet so many different people from different backgrounds. Most importantly you’re helping the community.”

Saiyaf Zulfecar, third-year Biomedical Science student

Regeneration

BusinessWorks

“I joined the BusinessWorks scheme after signing up to the DMU Square Mile initiative in my second year. Originally I wanted some extracurricular activity to show potential employers that I was more than ‘just another graduate’ but as time has progressed I have felt that my contribution has been less about what it can do for me and more about what I can offer the local community. Sustainability is such a key issue in industry at the moment and has long been a personal interest of my own, so when the opportunity to join the Green Impact initiative presented itself I leapt at the chance to get involved.”

Matthew Cox, third-year Accounting and Finance student

Canal Clean-up

“This project has benefited the community as it shows if people work together it can help make a difference to our local area and make our environment cleaner and safer to enjoy outdoors. Cleaning around the canal has also benefited the swans and has made it more attractive for locals to spend time and relax.

“The project has allowed me to open my eyes to doing more volunteer projects to make a difference to people’s lives and the environment. I love how DMU Square Mile gets involved in various projects with the aim of supporting and helping the community. That is one thing which made me want to study at DMU, as not many universities do volunteering projects like this. I absolutely love getting involved in DMU Square Mile projects and aim to participate in as many as I can.”

Chandni Patel, first-year Education Studies student

LCiL Social Media Cafés

“I got involved in the LCiL Social Media Cafés because it was an opportunity to practise photography and other skills related to my course, which has really benefited my work. More importantly, though, this project allowed me to engage with the community and improve my English. DMU Square Mile has helped me make stunning friends from China and India who I really love, as well as helping me invest my free time.”

Abeer Alsaiari, first-year Media and Communication student

The Big Lunch

“As a volunteer, I was there to help with the DMU Square Mile community café and serve the free tea, coffee, juices and water to the community members. It was such a pleasure to talk to the individuals, and see them enjoying themselves. Everyone I spoke with had big smiles on their faces, and was very friendly to myself and my fellow volunteers. I felt so happy and privileged that I could take part in this fantastic event and do something positive for the community.”

Anqui Lin, DMU master’s student