We may be a relatively young organisation, but we learn fast. We find out what’s really needed, analyse the impact of our activities and iterate until we get it just right.
Our key recommendations
1. National support is a vital element and must be strong and sustainable
Recommendation: Support for student social action should not be beholden to boom and bust. We need to hold a cross-sector review of how national support can be sustainable and reliable long into the future.
2. Students must must shape and lead their social action for this work to be both effective and popular amongst students in the long term.
Recommendation: National infrastructure and frontline delivery organisations should exist to guide, support and incubate student leadership in social action. A tri-annual audit of the state of student-led volunteering should be conducted both locally and nationally.
3. Students do their best work in the community when it is relevant to their academic skills and interests, following the service learning model in the US.
Recommendation: A review should be conducted to look at barriers to the uptake of service learning in the UK.
4. A desire to make a difference continues to be the primary motivation for student volunteers
Recommendation: To encourage more students to volunteer, we need to appeal to their interests, skills and desire to make a difference. Even if enhanced employability can be a positive outcomeconnectionbetween volunteering for individuals, these messages and should not be overemphasised effort to increase levels of involvement.
5. A plurality of routes into student volunteering and social action exists, depending on the culture and needs of individual institutions, and many students engage in activities without formal support from their institution
Recommendation: A range of tailored, localised approaches should continue to be supported. No one-size-fits-all model can be adopted, but setting more common standards of impact measurement would help to raise the quality of provision at different institutions.
Read a digested summary of Georgina Brewis’ research on our Sector History page.