Students are always looking for new things to get involved in whilst at university, especially in areas where they can have autonomy and responsibility for what they do and how they spend their time. Student-led volunteering projects are an excellent way for students to gain a wide range of skills that they may not be able to gain through regular volunteering, such as budget management, volunteer recruitment and project planning. It also gives students the autonomy to run with their own ideas, without so many restrictions that set volunteering opportunities might bring.
Student-led projects should support a community need, often new projects develop because a student sees a gap in a local service, supporting new areas that are not currently supported elsewhere. This could involve working with a specific charity or directly with school/youth group/old persons home or other organisation. Running their own project requires a greater commitment to the cause, as they are fully responsible, therefore less likely to miss weeks, lose interest. This is mainly true of the project leaders.
This guide aims to help you in supporting these students to design and deliver these activities, to ensure they are feasible and do meet a local need as well as providing the students with an enriching volunteering experience.