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Our Social Hackathons took place over the November reading week, with 5 charity partners, 79 students, Zoom and a whole lotta collaborative thinking! In case you missed our social media updates during the week we are giving you a run-down of how they went.

Social Hackathons are problem-solving and solution creating events that give UCL students first-hand third sector experience and the unique opportunity to devise solutions to current problems faced by our charity partners. The charities students worked with during our November Hackathons were all facing different problems and had set varied tasks for students to work on throughout the day. 

If you want to find out more about Social Hackathons, you can read about all of our past events and how to get involved next February here.

Monday - Girls Friendly Society 

Our first Hackathon of the week saw students collaborating with Girls Friendly Society. We kicked off the day with an introduction from the Head of Fundraising and the CEO who gave an insight in to the history of the charity and how students we can help them. Groups were tasked at undertaking competitor analysis and using this new found knowledge collaborated to form ideas of increasing the reach of the charity - lots of great suggestions came out during final presentations including branding and marketing strategies, new digital platforms and the use of inclusive language. 

Tuesday - Age UK Westminster 

Age UK Westminster hosted our second Social Hackathon. Students worked in groups to conduct in-depth research in to ways the charity could engage people over 60 to volunteer without the reliance on digital technology. Students came up with creative ideas such as making an ambassador volunteering role, in which an older volunteer would be able to recruit and recommend others to volunteer.

AgeUK Hackathon

Wednesday - Keen UCL 

For our third Hackathon Keen UCL posed some challenging questions around accessibility into university and the workplace. After a day of research and idea sharing students presented project reports that suggested creative proposals to new initiatives that tackle accessibility issues. 

Keen UCL were impressed by the thoughtful proposals and are currently working to implement one! 

Thursday - Caritas Westminster 

On Thursday students were tasked with identifying and developing intergenerational volunteering opportunities as part of the briefing from Caritas Westminster. 

Groups fed back in the final session and representatives from Caritas Westminster were so impressed with how the students collaborated and came up with so much in 6 hours!  They’re going to take away the report and experience from the day to share with their teams to identify ways they can implement solutions and recommendations from the students over the coming months. Find out from Leina how it went. 

Friday - Business Education Events 

We went out on a high on our final Hackathon of the week. Working with Business Education Events students devised plans of how to digitise an enterprise day for young people, and delivered their own dragons den presentation.

You can read Liyann’s experience here.

Our opinions and ideas helped the charity realise some of it’s strengths, weaknesses and opportunities that it was less aware of, and also sparked some fresh thoughts in the charity about their operations and the work they do

After a day online students log-off having met new people, built a greater understanding of the charity sector, picked up new skills and the knowledge that their contribution has made a difference to local communities. 

Inspired to join our next Social Hackathons? Don’t miss our announcements and subscribe to our newsletter to find out when the next one will be held. You can also support charities anytime from home - check out our virtual volunteering roles here