Welcome to the 2017-18 Student Hubs Impact Report, an opportunity for us to share the amazing work carried out by student volunteers in their local communities in the past year as well as to look towards the future direction of our work.

In 2017-18 2,643 students took part in our social action opportunities.


of students had never taken part in social action before.


of students increased their confidence in approaching challenges.


of community partners reported that their organisation benefited from student expertise/perspective

2017-18 highlights

Sports England: Student Hubs received a grant from Sport England and the #iwill Fund to help young people use sport to make a positive difference in their communities. The project builds on two existing Hub volunteering programmes, Branch Up and Empower, broadening their scope to include sport activities. In doing so, we aim to reach more children who are in the care system or underachieving at school, and to engage more volunteers, attracting students who would not normally consider giving back to the community. Learn more about how we’re doing in this blog post.

Linkages Housing: Cambridge Hub launched a pioneering housing project bringing together postgraduate students and older residents living in sheltered accommodation, the first project of this kind in the UK. The student residents are able to access quality housing by living and volunteering with the older residents. Read more in this blog post.

Skilled Placement Growth: This year we have seen exciting growth in our skilled placement provision. Our Impact Labs programme, which takes place during term time, allowed us to engage more students with this area of our work whilst our Social Innovation Programme continues to grow and strengthen. Our students have added capacity to hundreds of community organisations this year, giving them an insight into the skills young people can bring to social change.

Worthwhile Graduate Scheme: We welcomed the Worthwhile Graduate Scheme back in to Student Hubs as a strategic decision to consolidate our graduate outcomes and create a clear social action journey for students engaged with us at university. Our internship and graduate placement schemes will now sit closer together ensuring a more joined up approach in delivering high quality experiences for students and organisations. Read more about this in our Future section.

What we do

We believe that every student should participate in social action, positively impacting their community at university and beyond.

Working closely with university partners, we provide students with opportunities to engage in a wide range of social action activities.

Why does this matter?

High quality student social action benefits these groups:


develop skills, including working with others, leadership and confidence. They gain frontline and professional experience tackling social and environmental issues, working on projects in collaboration with organisations.


are able to engage with young people that 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.

Spotlight on: Branch Up Active

"I find that it's very easy to slip into the Oxford bubble and be unaware of everything else going on in the world during term time, so getting involved with Branch Up Active reinforced the sense of the world being far bigger than the immediate surroundings of the university and made me far more conscious of all the things students can do to help out in the local community and really make a difference.

A real highlight for me was spending the afternoon teaching one child to skateboard and feeling that I was directly responsible for that child having a great time that day."

Milo, Branch Up Active volunteer, University of Oxford

"The service provided by the team at the Oxford Hub is absolutely fantastic and of incalculable value to vulnerable children and young people and the wider community itself.

There is no doubt that being partnered with us means that the Branch Up programme reaches the children with the highest level of need in the city. The participants really enjoy having older peers to support them on the programme, they are great role models."

Simon, Social Worker, Oxford