A Unique Opportunity for University Students

As part of our expanding youth and student programme, university life is becoming a growing part of JVN’s sphere of activity. Aside from the recent visits by Youth Co-ordinator Mike to several universities, JVN has also recently become involved with an organisation called Vscheme. This advertises itself as “the Jewish student volunteering scheme”, and Founder Ricky Kaplan approached JVN in June this year.

Vscheme was founded by Ricky in April 2010 when he was Social Action Officer on the Nottingham Jewish Society. Vscheme is unique in that it provides tailor-made opportunities for Jewish students to volunteer around the local area, appreciating their needs as students with regard to their flexible schedule, term-time availability and other academic and extra-curricular commitments, so that the students and the organsiations both get the most out of the volunteering experience. Ricky has worked hard to forge lasting partnerships with seven charities and three schools around Nottingham, and these partners understand the need to perhaps slightly alter their regular volunteering policies and opportunities to suit the needs of the student community, who are often a willing and valuable source of volunteers but sometimes unable to meet various organsiations’ requirements. Additonally, Vscheme commits to offering at least 50% of its volunteering opportunities in a non-Jewish environment.

Vscheme’s unique approach to student volunteering, its collaboration with UJS and the extremely high satisfaction levels of both the volunteers and the organsiations involved mean that it has achieved tremendous success in a relatively short space of time. Since its formal launch in Nottingham in September 2010, Vscheme has attracted over 150 students to an ever-growing number of regular and, since September 2011, one-off volunteering opportunities. However, since graduating from university, Ricky has appointed two student representatives to run Vscheme in Nottingham on his behalf, and he approached JVN with a view to expanding Vscheme onto other campuses. JVN has since partnered with Vscheme, and Youth Co-ordiantor Mike has been working with Ricky since September 2012 in order to get the ball rolling.

Last night saw the culmination of over two months of Ricky and Mike’s hard work at the inaugural meeting of the Vscheme Advisory Board, which Ricky chaired. Vscheme has recruited young professionals from various backgrounds, including national student bodies, accountancy and social action to offer sound guidance on how to take Vscheme to the next level. It is envisioned that a strategy for branching out will be developed within a few months, along with a clarification of the relationships between Vscheme, JVN and UJS, so that Vscheme may be launched on another campus next academic year.

JVN is extremely excited to be involved in such a unique and innovative programme, and we are also very impressed about the level of success Vscheme has achieved so far. With the help of the new Advisory Board we see Vscheme as something that has great potential, and we hope to encourage as many students as possible to become involved in volunteering in the coming months.

Volunteer Opportunity of the Week

The Jewish Museum – Camden

The Jewish Museum hopes to recruit people with a flexible schedule to help at the museum over Festive period when staffing is difficult.  We are also looking to take on some new regular volunteers.

Our volunteers are the public face of the museum, and we need your help to give visitors the best possible experience delivering our vision and presenting Judaism as a living religion.

We are looking for people of all ages (min age 16) and backgrounds to give up at least one morning, afternoon or evening per week (a four-hour shift. No prior knowledge or experience is needed, just a willingness to work, learn and develop. Relevant training is offered to all. Please join us on Wednesday 28th November at 2pm for an introduction to volunteering at the Jewish Museum. Contact Emma Davies, Visitor Services Manager, on 020 7284 7373 or email emma.davies@jewishmuseum.org.uk and for moreinformation visithttp://jewishmuseum.org.uk/join-us

Categories: Uncategorized


Hi, I'm Mike, JVN's Youth Co-ordinator and blogger. I'll be blogging about all sorts of issues affecting the volunteering community, with a particular focus on how recent developments might affect the UK Jewish community's volunteers. I'm always interested to read the comments you make. If you have something you want to see in the JVN blog, e-mail me at mike@jvn.org.uk and I'll be happy to talk. And if you're inspired by any of my blogs to volunteer, log on to www.jvn.org.uk and register to find your perfect volunteering opportunity.


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  1. As one chapter closes, another opens… | The Jewish Volunteering Network Blog - December 13, 2012

    […] will continue to sit on the Board of Trustees and she has also agreed to join the Advisory Board of Vscheme, a student volunteering intiative that JVN has recently parntered with. We are confident that David […]

  2. What next for student volunteering? | The Jewish Volunteering Network Blog - August 15, 2013

    […] and permeate into the Jewish student population of Birmingham. I have written previously about the benefits volunteering can bring for students, so a customised volunteering opportunity to suit a Jewish student should in theory be snapped up. […]

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