Community Engagement Programme

‘Ultimately, the Community Engagement Programme is about harnessing the collective power of the LSE community to make a difference in the wider world.’

Student Volunteer Consultant, 2023


The LSE Community Engagement Programme is a supported initiative that offers LSE students the opportunity to volunteer as consultants for charities and social enterprises (UK and overseas).  The volunteer consultants work in interdisciplinary teams to answer project briefs that focus on challenges the organisations face.

Past projects have focused on improving volunteer recruitment and retention strategies, enhancing fundraising practices, contributing to a charity’s knowledge bank on an issue/cause, advising on environmental policy and sustainability, evaluating a charity’s marketing and social media provision, creating a database, and evaluating the impact of a charity’s events and/or services.  Projects have been for charities operating in the field of sustainable development, women’s rights, access and inclusion, saving lives at sea, social care, homelessness, global hunger, community-building, educational equity, and mental health.


  • The programme connects excellence in higher education and community outreach.
  • It offers LSE students a fantastic opportunity to put into practice the skills they are developing on their degrees, make a social impact, learn more about a cause, meet new people, gain professional experience, and develop expertise.
  • At the same time, the programme presents charities with skilled, passionate volunteers, supported by a top UK higher education institution, who will apply themselves to projects some charities may not otherwise have the resources to begin.
  • The programme is open to everyone.  As a supported initiative, we see this as an excellent opportunity for students who have not volunteered before to get involved in their community.


When does the programme run?

The orientation for the programme is held at the end of the Autumn Term.  The programme then runs during the majority of Winter Term.

What is the time commitment?

We ask every student on the programme to commit to approximately 5 hours of volunteering a week during the Winter Term.

How big are the teams and who is on them?

There are approximately 6 students on each team. All teams contain both undergraduate and postgraduate students from a variety of disciplines. We encourage applications from students who have not volunteered before.

How many teams are there?

There are approximately 10 projects each year.

Can I choose a project or will I be assigned to one?

Applicants can express a preference for their ‘top 3’ projects when they apply to the scheme.  We endeavour to match all applicants with one of their top 3 choices.

Will we be supported or are the projects student-led?

The projects are student-led in the sense that the volunteer consultants will need to be proactive in steering them along in the way that they decide.

At the same time, support will be provided to every team.  The LSE Volunteer Centre will provide every team with an information pack that includes a project brief; and access to a Moodle page with useful resources and a suggested agenda for each week of the programme.

The LSE Volunteer Centre also offers workshops throughout the programme and additional forms of support regarding research ethics, for example, and safe data management.  Additionally, each team is given an LSE Alumni Mentor, who acts as a sounding board as the team develops their ideas and confronts challenges.

Who are the LSE Alumni Mentors?

The mentors are all LSE alumni.  We have had alumni join us from fields including research, consultancy, the non-profit sector, the civil service, the UN system, and higher education.

Every team will have their own mentor.  The mentor acts as a sounding board as the team develops their ideas and confronts challenges.

What are the project deliverables?

The main deliverable is a consultancy report, which each team will submit to their charity partner approaching the end of the programme.

The teams will also be required to present their project to the other teams and an internal LSE judging panel at a Finals Day conference where we’ll celebrate what has been achieved.  Each team will also write a short reflective piece for the judging panel on what they have gained from the programme.

How do I apply?

Applications to the programme open in Autumn Term each year.  We advertise the programme via our social media channels, blog, newsletters and email.  We also run at least one information event for students during the application period to which anyone can come with questions.

What does the application process entail?

Applicants to the programme complete an application form on CareerHub.  If any applicant has adjustment requirements regarding the application process, please contact the LSE Volunteer Centre at

How do I contact the LSE Volunteer Centre?

If you have any questions regarding the programme, please email