Project information

Student Hubs Digital Connections Project

Our Digital Connections Project will support Student Hubs' work to mainstream volunteering and 'giving back' on campus. By using technology to place opportunities in the palm of students' hands, it will help us to ensure that universities produce not only world-class minds, but world-class citizens.

Student Hubs is an organisation that will continue into the long-term

Charity information

Student Hubs

Student Hubs logo
  • Need


    Young people in the UK are civically disengaged andfeel less connected to society at large than previous generations.The Cabinet Office Giving White Paper shows 8% of the UK population give 47% of charitable income - a philanthropic division replicated amongst the young. The 2013 British Social Attitudes Survey study showes that young people are less supportive of the NHS than their parents, and less likely to favour higher benefits – despite being more likely than their elders to be unemployed.


    The Student Hubs Digital Connections project addresses this need by breaking down barriers to civic engagement amongst university students by making use of technology. Our experience of working with 22,000+ students has shown that a multi-purpose digital platform is vital to mainstreaming social action because civic disengagement is not a concerted decision on the part of young people – but rather fostered by the disempowering lack of clear opportunities to give back to society.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    Increase our membership to 30,000 students across nine universities through digital communications


    » -Undertake in-person Freshers Fair activities and online social media drive to increase awareness of 'members' newsletters for student beneficiaries

    -Concrete proof displayed through numbers of recipients shown on newsletter tool MailChimp

    Aim 2

    increase their access to social action opportunities including mission-driven design and targeting.


    » -Tie new Student Hubs and local Hub websites in with CRM system to provide tailored opportunities to students and drive their long-term engagement

    -Use CRM system Salesforce to track take-up of opportunities by students, and click-through rates from our newsletters too

    Aim 3

    Provide a range of e-learning packages for students setting up their own projects and ventures


    » -Invest staff time during summer 2013 to create e-learning packages for students setting up their own social ventures and volunteering projects

    -Calculate numbers of students taking part in e-learning courses and practical project incubation provided by Student Hubs and local Hubs

  • Impact


    Our support of student ventures at every stage of this journey will indirectly benefit the hundreds of people and communities – in the UK and abroad – with whom they will work to benefit society, measurable through take-up of the opportunities we promote. By investing in tools to eradicate civic disengagement among young people, our project will generate a sustainable positive impact by catalysing future generations to give back to their local and global communities throughout their lives.


    There is a risk that our student beneficiaries won't engage with our digital platform. However, unlike many other projects designed to inspire ‘giving back’ in the digital sphere, we have a huge audience who are ready to engage. In five years, we have grown from a small student initiative to a national charity supporting 22,000+ students, 150+ student societies and 50+ student-run community initiatives to deliver tangible activities tackling a range of pressing social issues.


    We will ensure to steward our donors through providing regular updates on the implementation of our new website and digital communications tools. We will also more widely add donors to our stakeholder newsletters so they can see the impact the project has on the growth of our networks and impact.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £35,000

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      Amount Heading Description
      £20,000 Data & Website Manage staffing Staff member who will create new websites
      £5,000 Design Manager staffing Staff member who will design front-end of websites
      £5,000 Office costs & resources Overheads associated with Digital Communications Project
      £3,000 Server costs & plugins Expenditure to make site 'live' and improve functionality
      £2,000 Student Hubs video Creation
  • Background


    The Student Hubs Digital Connections Project will primarily benefit students on campus in the cities of London, Oxford, Cambridge, Bristol, Southampton and Warwick. It will solve the challenges experienced within these locations that students are often disengaged from social and environmental issues, and unaware of opportunities available to them to make a difference. It will also help to solve problems associated with the town/gown divide by mobilising students to volunteer in their communities


    Student Hubs’ Digital Connections project produces a dual social impact. The primary beneficiaries will be students who will have access to the digital platform. They will develop greater knowledge of social disadvantage and employability skills by taking up the opportunities presented to them. The secondary beneficiaries will be hundreds of local community members – whether school students, elderly people or young asylum seekers and refugees – with whom the students will consequently volunteer.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    Student Hubs is uniquely positioned to connect students, university departments and the community. We also have the internal expertise and external support systems necessary to take our existing digital tools, and fully integrate them with our mission to inform, inspire, connect and support students about social issues. We are driven by a passionate and experienced staff team, and have already secured pro bono support on this Digital Connections project from consultants at Google and Deloitte.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Jon Whitehead

    Jon is Student Hubs' Data & Website Manager, and will use his significant knowledge of websites and CRM systems to manage and implement the Project

    John Mellor

    John is a Consultant at Google and Student Hubs Trustee and will advise on the Project's development using his expertise, knowledge and contacts