Sunday, 3 April 2016

Student Volunteers from Leeds University

Now that the main March programme has finally been completed, it is time to take stock of things. And one item that was a true delight was the support LitFest received from a lovely group of Leeds University students, recruited through the Volunteering Hub. Thanks to Jo Hargreaves and Laura Bielby at the university for working with us to advertise and facilitate the opportunity.

In total 12 students wrote blog entries for us – some more than one - and another three helped with the setting up and managing of events. See below for some of the comments they have made about how their supporting us has helped them.

Additionally one student, Georgia Davies, volunteered not just to help blog an event (the 'arthouse western' film Jauja) but also to help set up all 28 events in our programme on Facebook and add pictures to our Instagram accounts. This was really helpful when a small group of volunteers was up to their necks in actually getting event venues finalised, artists' fevered brows smoothed and last-minute technical or logistical hitches sorted out. Oh, and making cakes for our 'Tea and Cake With ..' events, buying and serving wine at our 'soiree' events … you get the picture. A literary festival is not just authors 'selling' their books.

See our extensive blogs of all our events here: If you want to find out what they wrote, just use the Search box on the top right. Oh, and we also got 'spear-carrying' support from Megan di Luzio, Natasha Lyons, Alex Pestell, Daniel Seddon, Megan Smith and Helen Woodhouse.

Here's what some of them wrote about working with us:

Harriet Beach is studying for an MA in Conference Interpreting and Translation Studies. "I really enjoyed going along to the LitFest event as it gave me the opportunity to do something a bit out of the ordinary, and also put my writing skills into practice!"

Ming Wei Chong is currently studying the Bar Professional Training Course (training to be a barrister), having previously studied Law at the University of Leeds. Extremely memorable involvement for my final year in Leeds!”

Georgia Davies studies BA Music & Spanish. She adds that “I have learned a lot about the publicising of the festival, as well as how to set up events and writing creatively in a blog post. I also got to learn a lot about local authors and poets!”

Brian Miller studies English literature with a concentration on British Romanticism. He said it was “A stimulating and engaging look into a wide variety of subjects both familiar and foreign” and “Thank you for the wonderful opportunity; I greatly enjoyed the experience. “

Alex Paddock is studying English and Roman Civilisation. He comments that “Collaborating with Headingley LitFest helped me gain an understanding of poetry in practice, It is something I have had to study a lot in my degree but you hardly ever get the chance to see a performance of poetry which I think is far more enticing and engaging than reading it the page of a textbook.”

Polly Thorpe is studying for an MA in English Literature. She writes: “My experience of volunteering at Headingley LitFest 2016 was excellent. Not only did I have the opportunity to attend and help out at various events but also, by writing up a blog after the event, I was able to make a lasting written contribution to the festival.”

Sophie White studies BA Philosophy and comments “what I enjoyed most about volunteering at Headingley LitFest was discovering a whole group of literature lovers who want to share their enthusiasm with the community.”

Francesca Wilson studies English Language and Literature. She felt that “Volunteering with Headingley LitFest was a great experience because it allowed me to see how literature can be used to reach out to the local community.”

Headingley LitFest says a huge “Thank you” to them all!