BAG-FULLS of rubbish were cleared from Milton Beach by a team of University of Portsmouth students and staff – as part of a drive to raise awareness of volunteering.
Clothes, broken glass, cans and cigarette butts filled 20 black bin bags in two hours by the group doing their bit for Student Volunteering Week.
The national initiative has come into its own in Portsmouth this year as more than 500 students are taking part in a range of activities.
These include hosting a 1940s party for elderly people, sorting thousands of donated books to schools in Africa and sprucing up second hand clothes for The Rowans Hospice charity shops.
Volunteering leaders at the university hope the major drive will encourage more young people to help out in the community.
Since September about 300 university students out of 10,000 have done more than 2,000 hours of volunteering.
Alice Hickman, the university’s volunteer officer, said: ‘The utopian goal would be for every student to do some volunteering, but we hope all the activities we’ve put on this week will encourage more people than ever before to give it a go.
‘We want to increase participation not only because volunteering looks great on CVs and boosts employability, but because it’s important to give something back to the community.’
Miss Hickman says she hopes more volunteers will help dispel negative impressions of students who came under fire at the start of this academic year for incidents of vandalism including uprooting a tree.
She said: ‘We suffer from the actions of a small minority of individuals but hundreds who volunteer are passionate about making a positive impact on their community.’
People are invited to attend a volunteering fair at the student union building tomorrow from 11am until 2pm.