Volunteers building skills and encouraging change

Tuesday 07-01-2020 - 15:30

Article by Rachel Soper, dorm coordinator at NUS UK

York SAVES 2 volunteers

A core part of SAVES 2 is our volunteer programme. Each year, in all participating countries, we train student volunteers, who then use their new skills to encourage positive change in their dormitories. In term 1 of 2019 we trained more than 150 students across all SAVES 2 dormitories and, since their training, they have been active in raising awareness on the importance of energy-saving amongst their friends and flat-mates.

Throughout the year we encourage & support volunteers to think about how they can promote sustainability within their residences, using principles of behaviour change theory and communication techniques. We encourage volunteers to tailor their messaging to be relevant to the audience by thinking about what matters to their peers, and we equip volunteers with knowledge around energy so they can make convincing arguments in favour of reducing energy use and provide practical tips for saving energy.

As well as making a significant impact to the success of the campaign in terms of real energy savings and reduced carbon emissions, it’s important that our volunteers are able to build & develop transferable skills that will be relevant for their studies, extra-curricular activities and future careers. Some of the skills our volunteers can build are:

  • Communication 
  • Team-work 
  • Event planning 
  • Campaign design

It has been fantastic to meet and work with this year’s group of dedicated SAVES 2 volunteers and we are looking forward to seeing what they do with the role this term!

If you are interested in becoming a volunteer with us, please contact your country’s dorm coordinator – their details can be found here.

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