March Digest

Posted on: 25 March 2022

It’s March, which means the Student Hubs staff team are in full swing delivering our programmes on the ground. This month’s digest will put four of our projects centre stage, sharing with you what our local Hubs have been up to this month. 

Branch Up

Branch Up provides free Saturday activity days for 7-11 year olds in Southampton and Bristol. This month we have had three days across our network.

In Bristol, young people joined the Hub for a trip to the zoo. With their student mentors they saw tortoises, bats, flamingoes and even some ants! They also spent some time playing team games and reflecting on their self-esteem and aspirations. 

8 young people and students stand in a line looking at some flamingoes. They are outdoors stood on a wooden bridge.

In Southampton, at the beginning of the month Branch Up got together for a day of music. Enjoying performances from student musicians and getting the chance to try out the violin and piano for themselves. Last week things got a bit more active as the young people headed to an indoor play centre before spending the afternoon with The Confucius Institute learning about East Asian culture through crafts. 

A young person is playing the violin and a student mentor is next to them helping them 7 young people and students sit around a table making crafts. On the table is a red table cloth and a range of paper, scissors and tape.

The Social Innovation Programme

Our flagship skilled placement, the Social Innovation Programme, is running in Bristol and Winchester this term. Connecting teams of student consultants with local organisations to work on a brief.

In Winchester the Hub has brought together 8 university students to work with WinACC (Winchester Action on the Climate Crisis) and ReadEasy Winchester to support them to make more impact in the local community. In Bristol, the launch event was hosted by our partners Burges Salmon at the start of the month (pictured below). 20 students came together and will be working on briefs from Creative Tuition Collective, Action Tutoring, BrunelCare and Suicide Prevention Bristol

In the foreground 4 people sit at a wooden table in conversation. In the background 1 individual is stood listening and you can see 2 other tables in conversation.


LinkAges promotes intergenerational connection in Winchester, Cambridge and Bristol. This month Winchester Hub has been running a string of one-off events in the community including a Sing-a-long (which I’ve heard featured a lot of Abba), a Board Games afternoon and a Crochet and Craft session. These events have reached seven students and 15 residents this month alone. 

In Bristol, three LinkAges programmes are up and running. Friends with Pens is a pen pal scheme connecting students with local residents to get to know each other through the medium of writing. Tech and Talk sessions have launched with our partners at the Wellspring Settlement, providing a drop in space for locals to come in and ask questions about tech – or just have a chat. Finally, Phone Pals has paired up students with community participants to support them to get the best use out of their new smartphones. 

Woolly Matters

Woolly Matters invites students to knit and crochet for good. In March over 30 items were donated to the St James Shelter in Southampton to be passed on to their intensive hostel, and 10 Bobby Buddies were donated to Portswood Police Station. Bobby Buddies are knitted teddies which are carried in patrol cars and used to comfort young children. The Woolly Matters team also did a yarn fundraiser, raising a huge £100 for the Hub. 

2 students stand behind a table covered in yarn. Winchester Hub Programmes Manager, Lydia, stands in front of Portswood Police Station holding a small knitted bear.

In the Spotlight

This month we are putting the Hampshire Hub committees in the spotlight. Hub staff Lydia and Sapthi got the Southampton and Winchester Hub student leaders together for a day of connection and collaboration earlier in the month. Sessions included public speaking training, action learning sets and peer support. 

6 individuals stand smiling at the camera in front of a Digital screen showing a slide reading “Hampshire Hub Day”

What to Look Out For

Sophie Payne

Sophie Payne is the Network Operations Manager, she also oversees Student Hubs alumni network. If you have questions or want to get in touch you can email her at

Tags: Alumni, News

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