Progressing Towards our #iwill Pledge

Posted on: 10 June 2016

Along with hundreds of other charities, businesses and education institutions, we are currently celebrating Volunteers’ Week. On Wednesday, we took part in the #iwill campaign’s Share Your Pledge Day, restating our commitment to supporting even more student volunteers and making social action at university the norm, not the exception.

Back in 2014, we pledged to:

  • Increase the number of students volunteering in our high-impact, year-long social action programmes to 3,600 by 2020.
  • As a founding member of Generation Change, continue to work with other frontline delivery organisations to embed social action in young people’s lives. We want to ensure that high-quality voluntary action taken by children and teenagers continues while they are at university and into adulthood.
  • Build capacity in higher education institutions to value, support and sustain thriving communities of students engaged in social action. By 2020, we aim to be engaging with 100,000 students across 20 university Hubs.
  • Use our on-the-ground delivery model to add to our existing research into the student social action landscape and advocate for student-led, impact-driven social action at a national level. The aim of this will be to increase the proportion of student social action from 30%, where it has plateaued for many years.
  • Leverage our corporate partnerships to increase the number of ‘unusual suspects’ participating in social action as students. While employability is often an incentive for these students to volunteer, we will use our critical engagement model to position a desire to make a difference at the centre of all of our volunteers’ social action.
    In the 2015-16 academic year, we have made significant progress towards these goals. Since December, we have:

  • Supported 450 new volunteers, taking us to over 1,200 for the year. Over 50% of these volunteer with Schools Plus.
  • Supported 269 new one-off volunteers, making a total of 425 this year. Many of these were involved in Student Volunteering Week in February, which we ran in partnership with the National Union of Students.
  • Supported 129 new Social Innovation Programme consultants, taking us to 273 for this year – up from 87 in 2014-15.
  • Recruited 90 student interns to work with socially impactful organisations this summer.
  • Supported 43 new incubated projects, taking us to 69 new projects this year (half of which have launched).
  • Trained 1,061 students, creating a total of 3,153 for the year.
  • Attracted 3,643 attendees to events, bringing us to an annual total of 5,611.
    At Student Hubs, we believe that volunteering has a double benefit on both the students who volunteer and the communities they support. As this impact data demonstrates, there is a demand for effective, sustainable social action at universities.
    We look forward to continuing to work with higher education, business and voluntary sector partners to meet this need. We are proud to be an #iwill campaign partner and encourage other organisations to join them in supporting youth social action.

    Learn more about Student Hubs’ #iwill pledge here and the #iwill campaign here.

    Sara Fernandez

    Sara is the Executive Director of Student Hubs, supporting the development and growth of our Hubs and Programmes across the network and working to increase the impact of our work. Alongside her work at Student Hubs, Sara volunteers with Oxfordshire Children’s Services and she is also a trustee for Age UK Oxfordshire.

    Tags: Education, Impact, Policy, Social Action, Third Sector

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