Students called to SERVE

A group of Divinity student volunteers called SERVE has been supporting local people through social action and mission.

Divinity SERVE students and other Soul Food volunteers, back row standing, other row kneeling in front
Divinity SERVE students and other Soul Food volunteers

Over the past three years SERVE has been helping with a number of projects, most recently Soul Food, a cooking club near Dumbiedykes and the Holyrood Harvest gardening project, as well as befriending older people in a residential home.

Founder, Rachel Frost, is a 4th year undergraduate on our Theology MA (Hons) programme. She set up the group in November 2017 “to complete social action and mission outside the university and allow students to serve the community whilst they study.”

At the moment SERVE is looking for student volunteers to help with a children’s club.

Rachel says,

“If anyone at New College is interested in volunteering, please get in touch. We welcome folk of every faith and none.

“For each of our projects we have contacts with various organisations who help us to complete the various training and forms required.

“We work as a group and whilst our activities have changed over the past two years, the emphasis on serving others has not.”

Current activities

SERVE volunteers are involved in:

  • care home visitation, where students sing songs with residents from their childhood and spend time chatting to them
  • providing a Soul Food meal in a homely atmosphere once a week for people who don’t have anywhere else to go
  • Holyrood Harvest, a community gardening project in Dumbiedykes which seeks to improve green spaces by including local residents in a weekly activity
  • the kids club, which runs weekly during term time. 

Student volunteers

The students involved in current activities are:

  • Ally Collins: Dementia singing and care home visits, Soul Food meal for the homeless
  • Gemma King: Dementia singing and care home visits
  • Georgie Lane: Dementia singing and care home visits
  • JoAnn Sproule: Soul Food meal for the homeless
  • Josep Bouis: Dementia singing and care home visits
  • Sophie Wilkinson: Soul Food meal for the homeless
  • Rachel Frost: Dementia singing and care home visits, Soul Food meal for the homeless

Other students were involved before they graduated.

Divinity student Rachel Frost standing among Scottish Church reps and the First Minister inside the Scottish Parliament
Rachel (back row, 3rd from the right) and Scottish Churches representatives with First Minister Nicola Sturgeon

Meeting the First Minister

In March 2018, as Youth Rep for the Salvation Army in Scotland, Rachel was invited to the Scottish Parliament for the Scottish Churches’ annual audience with the First Minister. Describing the social justice issues that SERVE encountered, she told MSPs about the loneliness and isolation the group had found within the different age groups and communities they support. 


If you would like to volunteer with SERVE, please email Rachel or message SERVE via their Facebook page.

Email Rachel

SERVE on Facebook