We support students to deliver a wide range of quality social action activities in their communities.

The variety of opportunities enables students to progress, building on skills they have already refined.

Some of our activities focus on getting students involved in social action, particularly those who have not engaged before:



students on our mailing list of social action opportunities across our network of Hubs.



attendees inspired at our critical engagement events.



supported and prepared through our training sessions.


of students who volunteered or came to a conference had not participated in social action prior to their engagement through our activities.


of students who attended a conference or event were inspired to take further action on a social or environmental challenge as a result.

Next, students take action through the following activities:

Student-led volunteering


students volunteered long-term through one of our


community volunteering projects

Our one-off volunteering opportunities also gave 951 students the chance to get a taste of volunteering, many of them for the first time.

Students take frontline leadership roles in tackling local social and environmental need. Opportunities vary from volunteering in a community garden, to befriending an elderly person, or leading a team of volunteers tackling educational disadvantage in local schools.

Student placements


interns placed in charities and social enterprises this summer


students supported to undertake social consultancy placements during term time

Through our Social Impact Internship Scheme and Social Innovation Programme, students gain professional experience and skills working with social impact organisations - both during term time and over the summer.

Project incubation


student projects incubated


incubated projects launched

We provide students with the resources and support that they need to set up their own social action projects, across a wide range of different issue areas.

Our incubation framework helps students get their ideas off the ground - whether it’s a social enterprise, awareness raising campaign or event, or a community volunteering project.

Student Volunteering Week (SVW) is one of the highlights of our year at Student Hubs. For the last three years, thanks to support from Barclays, we’ve delivered this nationwide campaign to get more students participating in social action.

We work with partners in the education and social action sectors to enable students and staff at colleges and universities, plus charities, businesses and government, to take part in activities throughout the week.

In 2015 our focus was to celebrate the positive impact made by student volunteers in their communities, and to inspire more students to get involved. We achieved the following:








of those attendees were new to volunteering


felt inspired to volunteer again as a result of participating

“We enjoyed the whole SVW experience from start to finish. We saw more engagement and a lot of students have signed up to projects since. It’s a great way of showing volunteers what they can do and see how all the institutions are different but manage to do great things.”

Volunteer Manager at a participating university

Schools Plus places students as tutors in local schools, aiming to tackle educational disadvantage in the community. Student volunteers are provided with a comprehensive package of training and support to ensure their efforts are effective and sustainable.

Schools Plus is now running in 9 Hubs, across 45 schools and supports 693 student volunteers. This year:


of tutors said it enhanced their university experience


felt they better understood the needs of beneficiaries


of teachers felt our volunteers had a positive impact on pupils’ interest, knowledge and confidence in their studies

In total, we estimate that Schools Plus reached over 6,100 pupils and that our volunteers contributed over 10,000 hours of tutoring.

The Social Innovation Programme (SIP) brings groups of students together to consult on projects for local charities and social enterprises. SIP combines consultancy, research and critical thinking with training and support, utilising students’ passion and entrepreneurialism to help address community need.

In Cambridge, we supported 56 students to work on projects with 10 community partners. Projects varied from preparing feasibility studies on routes to market for ethical products to research projects identifying the advice needs of vulnerable groups in the area.


of participants said they would be able to apply the skills they had learnt to their future careers


were glad they had taken part in the SIP


rated the SIP ‘Good’ or ‘Excellent’

"The students embraced the challenge I set them and were able to come up with several innovative ideas to solve the problem. Their ideas were well researched, and they provided me with several concrete leads for implementation."

SIP community partner