Social Impact Voluntary Placements Scheme

Student Hubs specialises in recruiting talented and socially-engaged students for social and environmental impact organisations in the UK.

If your social impact organisation would benefit from extra capacity and fresh thinking this summer, this is for you!

Up to seven weeks over summer

London, Bristol, Cambridge, Winchester, Remote

What is the Social Impact Voluntary Placements Scheme?

Why do we do it?

The Social Impact Voluntary Placements Scheme has a dual benefit for organisations and students. Organisations in the social impact space often lack the capacity to pursue all the projects they would like to or to try out new ideas. Students are keen to develop their professional skills and gain experience in a work environment, often as an insight into a career in the third sector. We enable organisations to extend their impact and put some resources towards innovation, whilst providing professional experience for passionate students.

"Student Interns are capable of doing meaningful work that is being left undone, because smaller charities and businesses are constrained by not being able to resource as much as they have need for. Student Hubs helps to break that gridlock and allows a charity to begin to gain momentum with their key tasks."   - Albie Stadtmiller, St Vincent’s Family Project, Host Organisation 2015 - 2018

In 2018:

- 100% of hosts agreed their intern added value to their organisation.

- 100% of hosts agreed they benefited from engaging specifically with students.

- 100% of hosts agreed they gained better access to talent by recruiting through the Scheme.

What do we do?

Since 2008, Student Hubs has matched talented and dynamic students with exciting social impact organisations to carry out a placement in the summer for up to seven weeks. We recruit, train and support students from four of the Hub universities (Bristol, Cambridge, Kingston and Winchester). Students are matched with a host organisation based on their skills, interests and the role description, to complete a time-bound project.

"I think the value of having university students as interns is the opportunity to get a different insight into young people’s creativity and talents."   - Farah Mohammoud, YouPress, Host Organisation 2016 and 2017

How do we do it?

We are now welcoming applications from host organisations. After receiving your application, we check that the project meets our requirements and standards for a good placement. We will then contact you to welcome you as a host and you will receive a Welcome Pack.

Hosts must apply by the end of April to be matched to a student before the summer begins.

Students are recruited from our network of 21,000 students across England. We promote the scheme to our dedicated volunteers and social action enthusiasts at Bristol, Cambridge, Kingston and Winchester. This is followed by two rounds of selection: online application and an interview. Students who pass both rounds are accepted onto the Scheme. We then train students in sector-specific skills, before carrying out a matching process which aims to align the student’s skills and interests with the work project proposed by the organisation.

What’s the timeline?

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Why should you get involved?

Hassle free recruitment

Student Hubs takes all responsibility for the recruitment and placement of students with host organisations. We match students to host organisations where skills, values and interests are as closely aligned as possible.

100% of organisations agreed that they gained better access to intern talent by recruiting through us in 2018.

Access to socially-engaged, dynamic and talented students

Student Hubs reaches thousands of students through local university Hubs. Only the most engaged and motivated students are accepted onto the Scheme. The Scheme is a fantastic way to find a student who is a good fit for your organisation and to benefit from their fresh perspective and energy.

Support for you and the student

Student Hubs provides host organisations with a toolkit which includes guidance on inductions, personal evelopment and running a successful placement. We also offer a comprehensive training and support programme for students on the scheme, to prepare them for their placements as well as future careers in a social impact career. We check in with all students and hosts throughout the summer and are always on hand to help support and troubleshoot throughout the placement.

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How do you get involved?

Register your interest by applying to host a student through this form. You can edit at a later date as details of your project crystallise. We’ll be in touch to confirm details and send you a Welcome Pack nearer the time.

Example Projects

The student can work on whatever project is most helpful for you, as long as it gives them valuable work experience and an opportunity to develop skills. Previously, student projects have included: event planning, working on marketing and publicity materials, research, report writing, drafting fundraising bids, managing social media and analysing data. If you’re unsure about a project you have in mind, get in touch and we’re happy to talk it through.

What else do you need to know?

Finder’s Fees

We charge a small fee to cover the staff time required to run the programme. This covers advertising the Scheme, selecting, interviewing and training students, matching them to your organisation, on-scheme support for you and he student and monitoring the impact of the Scheme. We only charge the Finder’s Fee and invoice you once a student has begun their placement with you.

Our Finder’s Fees are based on the annual turnover of the organisation and are charged per student we place, as you can see in the table below:

Fair Internships Policy

Student Hubs is committed to ensuring the Voluntary Placements Scheme is accessible to all students, irrespective of ability to support oneself financially. We strongly encourage all of our host organisations to pay students or provide a stipend, at Living Wage if possible.

If you have any questions or issues concerning our Fair Internships Policy, please get in touch.

Equal Opportunities

Student Hubs is committed to ensuring the Voluntary Placements Scheme is accessible to all students, and we can help organisations we partner with to make reasonable adjustments for students with specific health, wellbeing or mobility needs. Examples of this include things like: flexible working hours, the use of assistive technology, remote working, food hygiene and non-contamination practices in communal kitchens and physical accessibility into buildings.

However, we understand that some organisations may be unable to make placements accessible, e.g. your building may not have accessible access. Please let us know if you anticipate difficulties in making your placement accessible, or if you may need support from the Student Hubs team to do so.


If you have any questions about the Social Impact Voluntary Placements Scheme or would like to discuss a potential project, please get in touch with Sonia at

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