If you have a project that involves directly working with people in the community, then the Volunteering Service can support you to plan your project, connect you to a community organisation or school, provide training, apply for funding and guide you through policies and procedures.

If you have not submitted your project idea yet, you can complete this form to let the Student-Led Projects team about it!

If you are part of a Club or Society, see how to start a project with your club or society.

Step 1: Plan your project

Identify the aims and objectives of your project and what needs in the community you would like to address. For example:

  • Run weekly science workshops for local primary school children
  • Do a gardening event at a community centre
  • Run art and photography workshops for homeless people
  • Run a one-off tea party for older people

Once you have decided to start a project, read and sign the Project Leader Agreement. You will be provided with Project Leader Training and a Project Supervisor to guide you through the planning and operational aspects of setting up a project.

When completing your project plan, you can apply for up to £500 of funding for operational costs such as equipment, specialised training or catering for an event. All travel expenses are reimbursed by the Volunteering Service (see claiming expenses for further information).

Once you have planned the specifics of your project, you will need to complete a risk assessment form before you start any project activity.

STEP 2: Find a community partner

The Volunteering Service can help you with this. We have strong links with over 400 community organisations and distribute our SLP Partners’ Newsletter, where you can advertise your project to local schools and community organisations.

Visit the Finding a Partner Organisation page for more information on how to contact community organisations and how to write an advertisement for your project!

STEP 3: Recruit other volunteers

There’s quite a lot to do in planning and running a volunteer project and it helps to share the workload. You’ll need a group of committed volunteers to deliver the project and it’s a good idea to have at least one other Project Leader. The Project Leaders will be in charge of managing the project including communicating with your partner organisation and volunteer recruitment.

See Recruiting Volunteers for more advice and resources on recruitment.

You will need to make sure your volunteers are registered with the Volunteering Service for insurance purposes and if you are working with a vulnerable group such as children or older people, you and your volunteers may need to complete a DBS check - we can process this.

You can use this checklist to keep track of the steps you need to follow, and visit our Project Leader Resources webpage for important forms and useful information that will help you with the management of your Student-Led Project.