Cheshire West Voluntary Action (CWVA) has linked up with the China Centre and University of Chester through the SkillShare project, providing an opportunity for students to support local community groups.
CWVA’s SkillShare project makes hundreds of matches each year so businesses and business people can use their skills to make a real difference in the community.
The China Centre is a Business, Education and Entrepreneurial Centre, aiding the growth of trade and education between the UK and China.
A number of students have been using their skills to support community groups with things like building and maintaining a website and delivering a social media strategy.
Ivy, a Master’s student at the University, has been supporting KidsBank Chester, which helps distribute resources to reduce parental stress, anxiety and depression and foster a sense of value and confidence among children.
She said: “Working on this project has really helped my communication with others. It’s been a great opportunity for me to develop my skills and support the local community.
“These are really generous people doing a lot of work for the community so it’s been nice to support them.”
Chelsea, who is currently studying for her PhD, has built a website for the Interfaith Project from scratch and is now supporting staff and volunteers to maintain it moving forward.
She said: “Part of the project is building the website for the Interfaith Project, but it’s really important to provide them with any ongoing support they need.
“Some volunteers and staff won’t know how to manage a website so we’ve been providing training to make sure they have everything they need.
“I’ve gained more experience and that’ll hopefully help me once I graduate and look for opportunities.”
Lucy Liang, Senior Adviser at the China Centre, added: “Our students have been getting involved in a range of different projects through SkillShare and it’s fantastic to see the outcomes.
“It’s clear how much community groups appreciate the support and the difference it’s making to their organisations.”
CWVA is now working with the China Centre to provide further opportunities for students to support the local community and gain experience at the same time.