Social Impact Voluntary Placement Scheme
Will I be paid?
In 2018, around one fifth of our internships were paid. We actively encourage all of our host organisations to pay interns. Many charities cannot afford this and you may be volunteering.
We are working to ensure that Social Impact Voluntary Placements are available to all, irrespective of background or ability to support oneself financially. At Student Hubs, we operate a Fair Internships Policy to make sure you get the support you need if you can’t afford to work for free. At a minimum internships will cover reasonable travel and lunch expenses (this is normally around £10 per day). We make sure your placement can be flexible or part time so you can choose to undertake paid employment at the same time (see "Part time or full time?" below). There may be funding available at the University of Cambridge to help with costs; more information will be made available soon.
When are the internships?
Internships take place throughout the university summer holidays from mid-June to the end of September. You can choose a preferred start date according to your availability. You will be asked to give us your availability at interview.
How long do internships last?
Internships last 7 weeks
Part time or full time?
This is often agreed between the intern and the organisation, with support from Student Hubs. As a guideline, paid internships are usually full-time or close to full time. Unpaid internships could be anywhere from 14- 28 hours per week. As part of our Fair Internships Policy, we ask host organisations to remain flexible around working hours to allow students to work alongside their internship, complete coursework or anything else!
Where can I do my internship?
Internships are based in Bristol, Cambridge, Oxford, London, Winchester/Southampton.
You can choose your preference of city. We advise you to choose a city where you will have accommodation already. We also have some remote internships if you will not be in these cities but would still like to take part.
With what sort of organisations could I be working?
We work with a range of organisations both in terms of size and theme. Some are social enterprises, others are start-ups where you may be working with just the founder. We also have charities and CSR departments of businesses.
Most of our organisations are small and locally focused because students have the opportunity to really get involved and take on responsibility, but we also work with some national organisations and businesses.
We don’t have limits on what type of organisation can take part, as long as the work in meaningful and the organisation has a social impact. Only charities can ask you to volunteer under minimum wage law - if you are working for a social enterprise or a business, you are classed as a worker and will be paid.
Who can apply?
Current students, including PhDs, from the following universities that Student Hubs works in can apply: University of Bristol, University of Cambridge, Kingston University, University of Oxford, Oxford Brookes University, and University of Winchester. This includes any student presently studying at these universities, from first year to final year to post graduate.
The Scheme is best suited to students who know they would like to pursue a career in social impact but who are perhaps less clear on their preferences in terms of job role (e.g. fundraising, communications, finance, project management) or sector (e.g. health, environment, youth, education). We want to help you find out what you want to do and don’t want to do in your career, whilst having fun and knowing that you’re creating positive social change at the same time!
What experience do I need?
We’re looking for a combination of passion and potential. A successful applicant will demonstrate in their application and during interview that they have the potential to work well in a team, manage themselves effectively, and make a valuable contribution to a socially impactful organisation. We will also be looking for evidence that the applicant is committed to social action and has demonstrated competency in any previous volunteering activities.
If you are not already volunteering, get involved in one of your local Hub projects, there’s lots to choose from!
I am an organisation, how can I get involved?
The host registration form can be found at, along with more information about how the Scheme works for hosts.
Can I intern more than once?
As places are limited on the Scheme, we do not accept interns for more than one year.
If you are a final year student, have you considered the Worthwhile graduate scheme?
How do I get matched?
We will offer you internships based on your availability and location preferences as well as your skills, experience and interests.
What is covered in training?
Topics covered in pre-placement training include fundraising, impact measurement, organisational communications, project management and productivity. We also run post-placement training that focuses on your next steps including interview and CV support, and further opportunities in the social impact sector.
What is the application process?
Applicants are asked to submit a CV and answer three short questions via our website. We will then invite successful applicants to interview. After interview we will let know students whether they have been accepted onto the Scheme or not.
What will I do?
Every role is different but we ensure that organisations offer meaningful internships. Your work should be engaging and allow you to take ownership and responsibility. We have roles in communications, marketing, event organisation, research, report writing, fundraising and many more! You can let us know what you’re interested in but you will learn a lot in any of our internships.
Can international students apply?
Yes, if you have the right to work in the UK. T4 visas are usually limited to 20 hours of work max per week.
I have problems with the application form, what can I do?
Why can't I see the application form?
If you can't see the application form, it might be because of the browser you are using. Try accessing our website through Google Chrome.
Why can't I Iog in / access the website?
If you are trying to log in and it is taking a long time (you may see 3 orange dots rotating), try applying in an incognito window (right click the Chrome browser icon and select 'New Incognito Window').
I still can't log in, what should I do?
Please email and inform us of the problem, and which project application you are unable to access. We can then report it to our Digital Systems Manager.
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