Keele launches pioneering community-based volunteering strategy

Posted on 21 February 2012

Keele University has launched a pioneering community-based volunteering strategy, which links its student population, through Keele University Students Union (KUSU), with three local North Staffordshire organisations – Aspire Housing, Embrace and North Staffordshire Volunteering Centres (NSVC), as part of National Student Volunteering Week.

The new volunteering strategy named ‘Keele Community Connections’, is to be launched as part of National Student Volunteering Week, the 50th Anniversary of the award of Keele’s charter as a University and the tenth year of formal volunteering at Keele. Keele will also join with the NSVC and Volunteering England to become a branch of NSVC – and it is believed Keele is the first university in the country to become a branch of this national organisation.

The initiative will provide high quality volunteering experiences in partnership with a wide range of local and global organisations, thereby contributing to social, environmental, and economic agendas locally, nationally, internationally, and enabling the students at Keele to make a positive and valued contribution in the communities in which they live and work.

Professor Nick Foskett, Vice-Chancellor of Keele University, said: ‘Keele University's mission includes our commitment to contributing positively to social, environmental and economic agenda's locally nationally and internationally. The 'Keele Community Connections Volunteering Strategy' is an innovative, pioneering community based initiative, which will strengthen Keele University's links with it communities for the benefit of individuals and groups within those communities, and Keele's students and alumni.’

Professor Marilyn Andrews, Pro Vice-Chancellor of Education and Student Experience, said: ‘One of the strategic aims of Keele University is to develop an environmentally aware and sustainable outward facing campus community, and therefore we are absolutely thrilled to be launching the new initiative, ‘Keele Community Connections’, which we hope will become a beacon of excellence in volunteering, as well as creating a significant and positive impact within the Keele, local and global communities and on those who participate in volunteering.’

To celebrate the new initiative, all Keele Staff and Students will be invited to a launch event will taking place on Thursday 23rd February, 12.00 to 15.00 in the Chancellor's Building, with a short presentation in the Westminster Theatre which is being introduced by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor of Keele University, Rama Thirunamachandran.

Julia Roberts, Trustee of the local North Staffordshire charity Embrace, said: ‘We are delighted to be partnering with Keele University, Aspire Housing and the North Staffordshire Volunteering Centres as part of this new volunteering strategy initiative ‘Keele Community Connections’. We look forward to welcoming a range of undergraduate, post graduates and Keele alumni to our organisation.


For further information please contact Chris Stone, Press and Publicity Officer for Keele University, on Email: Tel: 01782 733700 Ext. 733375.

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Notes to Editor:

Keele Community Connections:-

Keele Community Connections is managed by a stakeholder board which develops volunteering infrastructure as well as governance of the current and future partnership.


Keele Community Connections Volunteering Strategy links with the following Strategic Aims of Keele University:

-       To provide the highest quality student experience to a diverse student body.

-       To deliver international excellence and impact in focused areas of research.

-       To contribute positively to the society, economy, culture and health of the communities they serve through their research, education and enterprise.

-       To develop an environmentally aware and sustainable outward-facing campus community.

-       To manage and develop resources effectively to ensure the University’s sustainability and development.


Keele University Students Union (KUSU)

For further information regarding KUSU, please contact Sarah Amphlett on email:


Aspire Housing:-

The Aspire Group is a social business that provides housing, training and neighbourhood services. The group is made up of:

Aspire Housing, which provides around 20,000 customers with quality affordable homes and services

Enterprising Futures, the social enterprise arm of the Aspire Group. PM Training and Furniture Mine are part of Enterprising - Futures 

The Realise Foundation, our unique regeneration charity that supports apprenticeships, lifelong learning and environmental improvement

For further information please contact Group Head of Marketing and Communications, Michael Howard on 01782 854717 or 07540 902537 or email


Embrace are a small charity who run a ‘Drop-In’ for destitute female refugees and asylum seekers, and their children, who are experiencing hardship and social isolation as a result of the asylum process in North Staffordshire.

Embrace aims to provide a peaceful and safe space for assisting women to meet, support and social contact, opportunities for education and creativity, a platform for asylum seeking women's voices to be heard, a listening ear and practical support including signposting to other agencies and food provision packs and parcels.

For further information, please contact Julia Roberts on 07989 980 016 or email
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 North Staffordshire Volunteer Centres (NSVC)

 For further information, please contact Jo Phillips, Service Manager - Volunteering and Access

Staffordshire Moorlands Community & Voluntary Services, 9 High Street, Leek, Staffordshire.ST13 5DZ (t) 01538 398240, (f) 01538 381356, email: