How has COVID-19 impacted the Student-Led Volunteering Programme?
Currently, all of our Student-Led Projects will be delivering their projects online. This is to ensure that our students can stay safe and still deliver their projects successfully - we'll also be delivering our Project Leader Training and Volunteering with Children Training online and carrying out remote supervision meetings with our Project Leaders.
How much of my time will it take up?
Running a Student-Led Project will demand around half a day per week of your time - exactly how much will depend on the nature of your project. It’s certainly possible to fit it in with a student timetable – in fact, many of our Project Leaders come from courses with heavy time commitments like medicine and law.
How do I decide what sort of project to get involved with?
Think about what issues you're interested in. Have you volunteered before - and if so, would you like to do something similar? Would you like to do something related to your course, like the English students who set up a book club in local schools, or the Law students who ran citizenship & crime workshops for children? Or you may want to set up a project based on your hobbies such as Double Exposure's photography workshops for beneficiaries experiencing homelessness. You might also want to consider what kind of skills and experiences you want to develop that can help you in your future career.
Alternatively, if you're a member of a club or society, you can deliver a project that represents your groups' interests - we have a page dedicated to our Clubs & Societies Student-Led Projects if you want to find out more.
What support do I get?
Those running a Student-Led Project receive one-to-one supervision from a dedicated Project Supervisor from our Student-Led Projects Team. We also offer an extensive training and personal development package, administrative support, funding of up to £750 and comprehensive resources containing lots of useful information. We'll also help you recruit other student volunteers once the project is up and running.
What does the training programme cover?
The project management training has been designed especially for Student-Led Projects. It covers topics such as:
- Setting aims and objectives
- Writing a project plan
- Recruiting and selecting volunteers
- Managing volunteers
- Relevant regulations and procedures
We also provide 'Volunteering and Your CV' training to help you make the most of the skills you have gained and training for those who work with children and young people.
Running a project costs money - where am I going to get this?
You can apply for up to £750 towards your project from the Volunteering Service. We can advise you on your application, and can also help you identify other sources of funding.
We'll also pay for the travel expenses you incur as Project Leader, and also those of any UCL volunteers on your project.
Please note: all activities must be conducted within our COVID-19 volunteering guidelines, our Student-Led Projects can currently only deliver remotely.
Can a group of us run a project together?
In fact, we now require all projects to have at least two leaders. If you're setting up a new project, and do not know anyone else who can assist you, we'll help you find a co-leader.
What do I get out of it?
Firstly, you'll develop skills that will prove invaluable, whatever your career plans are for the future. The Institute for Volunteering Research found that UCL student Project Leaders developed skills in project management, planning, leadership, communication and motivating and organising people. Being a Project Leader is also a great opportunity to meet new students, and people from all walks of life outside of UCL. We'll also be able to provide you with a reference, certification when you complete our training, and you'll get a certificate of achievement at the end of the academic year.
How do I get involved?
You can submit an idea for a new Student-Led Project. Don't worry if you do not have an idea, we recruit Project Leaders for our existing projects at different points in the year. You can view our current Project Leader vacancies on our Volunteering Directory. If you cannot find a vacancy that interests you email us to request to be added to our mailing list and we will notify you when we are recruiting Project Leaders, at the end of the academic year. You can also make an appointment to discuss the programme beforehand with Cynthia Allen, Student-Led Projects Manager, by email.