We believe that every student should participate in social action, positively impacting their community at university and beyond.
High quality student social action has the potential to benefit all three of these groups:
Gain skills (including project management, leadership and teamwork), frontline experience tackling social and environmental issues, and professional experience working on projects or in social impact organisations.
Are able to engage with young people who have the time, energy and skills to make a positive impact in the local area.
Benefit from an enhanced student experience, strengthened community relations and more employable graduates who are more likely to give back to their institution in the future.
The demand for our work from young people, communities and policymakers is high.
In 2015, the Government pledged to support increasing participation in youth social action (volunteering, fundraising and campaigning) by 50% by 2020.
The latest NCVO research shows that in 2015/16, rates of regular formal volunteering among young people have increased by 4% compared to the previous year, which is the highest since 2003.
Universities do not have the resources or expertise to meet this demand alone.
Recent research highlights the need for a national infrastructure to ensure the sustainability of student social action. Infrastructure support has fluctuated from decade to decade. Various organisations have provided some level of sustained support, but funding has been unreliable.
Students, Volunteering and Social Action in the UK, Student Hubs 2014, p.29
The problem remains to this day: the Higher Education sector does not have the expertise or resources to support social action activities that are cost-effective, able to give students the opportunity to engage with a national network of likeminded young people, and able to achieve maximum impact for students and communities.
Student Volunteering in England: A Critical Moment, Education + Training 2001, Darwen & Rannard, Vol. 53, pp.17-18
Student Hubs exists to fill this gap.
Need for our work
We provide the expertise and a national network that enables us to support social action programmes in multiple locations at high cost efficiency.
Our organisation was established by students committed to improving the delivery of student social action. Our staff team all have first hand experience of planning, implementing and evaluating projects that bring students and the community together.
Power of the network
Our Hubs benefit from the opportunities to share learning and resources across our network, whilst students have the unique experience of being part of a wider movement for high-impact social action.
Working closely with University partners, we provide students with opportunities to engage in a wide range of social action activities.
Volunteering projects address challenges ranging from conservation to social isolation amongst older people. We offer long-term programmes, day-long projects and events during Student Volunteering Week. Learn more.
Through our two Skilled Placement programmes, the Social Impact Internship Scheme and the Social Innovation Programme, students develop their skills by working with social impact organisations during term time and over the summer. Learn more.
Through a tailored programme of support, we help students to develop ideas into fully fledged social enterprises, campaigns and community projects. Learn more.