Skip to main content

Social Hackathons are problem-solving and solution-creating events that give UCL volunteers first-hand insight into charity careers.

Volunteers are placed with a local not-for-profit organisation for one day, devising and implementing solutions to issues they currently face.

In teams, the volunteers develop skills, learn about the Third Sector from its own professionals and connect with new communities across London.

“We really achieved something today” - UCL volunteer with Age UK Westminster

Take a look at what the volunteers got up to…

“I’ve learned more about how small charities run” - UCL volunteer with Calthorpe Project

This year, volunteers went into four local charities: Fulham Good Neighbours, Age UK Westminster, Yes Futures and Calthorpe Project.

They worked on a range of tasks: compiling a Business Case for setting up a trading subsidiary; designing a visually impaired-friendly website; devising a marketing strategy and engaging an isolated community.

You can find out more about each Hackathon from our Photojournalists, who attended and documented the events.

For each charity, volunteers produced an incredible, comprehensive report on their research with suggestions and recommendations. These were gratefully received by the charity leads and have been presented to trustee boards and other governing staff members to implement solutions. 

“We now have fresh new ideas to work with and implement” - Yes Futures representative

We also spoke to Rhea and Dorad, Hackathon volunteers, about their experience. Rhea told us all about her day with Fulham Good Neighbours; researching and planning a Business Case for setting up a trading subsidiary. Although not usually a fan of group project, Rhea loved taking part in the project and seeing that her work had made a genuine impact - take a look at her full story!

Dorad was placed with Age UK Westminster and looked at designing and implementing a more visually impaired-friendly website. Looking for a career in coding and IT, he was super happy that the Hackathon enabled him to combine his passions with altruism. Make sure you read his story!

“I met some lovely and friendly people” - volunteer with Age UK Westminster 

We’ll be running these events again in the next academic year - so watch this space! If you’d like to register your interest in advance and get a reminder when applications go live, just let us know.

“I feel as though the charity will actually use our research, so it’s very worthwhile” - UCL volunteer with Fulham Good Neighbours

In the meantime, we’ve got loads of other time-light volunteering for you to get involved in. Take a look at our One-Off Volunteering page and see if there’s anything that takes your fancy!

For longer-terms placements, check out our Volunteering Directory - the great thing about this is that you can filter it by the categories that interest you most.

And stay in touch - sign up to hear more from us about volunteering.