Supporting our students to #GetInvolved and make a difference

How to start a Student-Led Volunteering Project

There are five steps to forming a Students’ Union ‘Student-Led Volunteering Project’. These projects can do wonderful things if they are set up correctly and have passionate people behind them and the SU is here to support you every step of the way.

Step 1: Putting together your ideas
Step 2: Create your Project Plan
Step 3: Meet with the SU
Step 4: Submit to Student Council
Step 5: Approval/Let’s get started

Step 6: Supporting you through your first few months 


Step 1: Research the Need

When you have a possible idea for a project that you would like to start, you need to find out “is there a need for it?” By researching this you save yourself time and can also find some great ideas to make the project realistic and sustainable. A number of other Students’ Unions might run a similar project so look into how they make it work! We want to you to feel confident when starting your project so feel free to come and speak to the SU they can answer questions you have at this stage. You will need 3 students in total to set up a project, they will make up your committee. You can have a look at these roles here. You may need other positions within the committee to support your project aims, these are optional but recommended.


Step 2: Create your Project Plan

Once you are happy with your project idea you will need to submit a Student-Led Volunteering Project Proposal. In this proposal you will outline purpose of the project, the key aims and provide a brief summary of your proposed project. This will include details such as, why you have chosen to do this project; the need for the project; how it will benefit students, the community, and any additional organisations you plan to work with. The process can be completed at any time of the year - Submit your proposal here.


Step 3: Meet with the SU

Once we have received your proposal, we will invite you in for a ‘Start-Up Meeting’. This meeting is your opportunity to show us your passion for the project. The main aim of this meeting is to discuss your project in more detail, how we can help you to get started and what support we can offer you throughout the year.

We will also discuss the following:

  • Guide to the Committee Hub (Including, finance, events, and committee meetings.)
  • Funding, your income/expenditure
  • Marketing the Project and finding volunteers to get involved


Step 4: Submit to Student Council

Once you have had your ‘Start up Meeting’ and developed your final proposal, this will be submitted to the next Student Council meeting for approval.

Deadlines for Student Council are as follows: TBC

During the Christmas and summer breaks applications will be approved by Council electronically.


Step 5: Approval/Get Started

Once your Project is approved, the SU will work with you to get officially started with your planned activities. This can include recruiting any additional committee members you feel you will need and starting to recruit for volunteers. You should start planning your first event and get started promoting your project to students. Once your new project has been approved you will be given a page on the website, this is where you will be given access to this page, where you can edit your information, telling potential volunteers and other students what your project is all about, advertise events, and provide contact details and social media links.


Step 6: Supporting you through your first few months

From your initial set up there will be regular checks from the SU to how everything is going and review of your progress as a project. The SU is a constant source of guidance for student-led projects so at any point you can access for support or if you have any questions.

  • 2 Weeks after Set Up: This will be a progress check either over the phone or in person, to see how everything is going to start with.
  • Review 1: One Month after Set Up

Your committee will meet with the SU to review the progress that has been made so far. The SU will work with you through any of those first hurdles that may occur during the first month of getting started.

  • Review 2: 3 Months after Set Up 

After the first 3 month’s you will meet with the SU again, in this meeting the SU and the committee with review your progress from your one month review. This will involve looking at what you have achieved so far, what volunteer involvement do you have? It’s an opportunity for us to talk through any concerns you have, answer any questions that you have.

  • End of Academic Year Review (A six month review may be had first depending on which comes first.)

The final meeting of the year as a new student-led volunteering project, this will be a review of how your first academic year has gone, how viable it is to continue next year, and finally a review of your aims from the beginning of the year. It is an opportunity to talk about next year and what you plan to do.

  • These projects can do wonderful things if they are set up correctly and have passionate people behind them and the SU is here to support you every step of the way.


Some of your Key contacts when starting a Student Led Volunteering Project: