Community engagement programme

Introduction

The LSE Community Engagement Programme empowers students to make a difference to the communities we are part of through a consultancy challenge in which teams will work together to tackle issues which charities are facing. Each team will be assigned a project brief, and over the first nine weeks of the Lent Term 2021, they have an amazing opportunity to use their skills to produce an answer.

This project is part of the Civic Engagement strand of Student Futures, which helps students explore different ways to make an impact.

Why are we running this project?

  • We see this programme as a fantastic opportunity for students who have not volunteered before to get involved in their community in a supported initiative.
  • We recognise that our charity partners will benefit from the excellent research, consultancy and other skills our students possess and are developing at the LSE.
  • We also know that the opportunity will give our students the chance to develop new skills, make new friends, enhance their CV, enrich their experience of studying at the LSE, and build connections that will help to inform their future career journeys.

FAQs

What will I be doing?

You’ll be volunteering as part of a team of consultants for a charity over a period of nine weeks during Lent Term 2021 (academic year 2020-21).

A charity will task you with creating a plan to help them to address an issue that they are facing. This might involve deciding on the best area to position a new charity shop, for example, helping a charity to identify new fundraising strategies, or evaluating the impact of an aspect of a charity’s service delivery with an eye further to improving the organisation’s performance. You’ll be collaborating in teams of 6 to 8 students to produce recommendations for action, based on your research and analysis of the issue. In week 9 of the Lent Term, you’ll submit a report of your research to the charity. You’ll also be invited to present your findings at a ‘Finals Day’ at the LSE (or on Zoom!).

Who will I be working with?

You’ll be working in teams of 6-8 fellow student volunteers and your paired charity. Each team will be supported by the LSE Volunteer Centre, LSE Careers, other relevant departments within the LSE, an LSE alumni mentor and their partnered charity. The Volunteer Centre has created a programme which is structured and supportive. We suggest an itinerary for each week and will provide regular support sessions for the teams.

Do I need to have volunteered before?

We welcome applications from all students at the LSE. We are particularly keen to reach people who may find access to volunteering challenging for reasons related to an unfamiliarity with it, uncertainty regarding what to do, and time pressures resulting from doing something very different from one’s studies whilst working towards a degree.

Do I need to have expertise in research and/or consultancy?

No. Applicants who do have expertise in these areas are encouraged to apply and their experience will be very valuable. At the same time, we are very keen to hear from people who would like to develop their skills in these areas and/or can offer different skill-sets. Skill development is something which we hope to facilitate; particular skills are not prerequisites for signing up. A collaborative attitude and a desire to make a difference, however, are necessary!

Can anyone apply?

This programme is open to all current students at the LSE. Each team will be comprised of students from different degrees and degree levels and we pledge diversity in all respects.

How much time will I need to commit to this programme?

We have designed the programme in order to make it feasible for most. We anticipate that each participant will need to commit to 3 to 4 hours of work a week. Collaborating in medium-sized groups (of 6-8 people) makes delegation and the sharing of tasks possible. The programme’s comprehensive 9-week duration should equate to a manageable workload for each team member each week. Help from the LSE and the groups’ mentors (LSE alumni) will make it easier for the teams smoothly to overcome any challenges which might arise!

What will I get out of it?

You’ll have the chance to make a real difference to the communities we are part of. At the same time, you’ll get the chance to learn new skills and consolidate existing ones, make new friends, build your CV, enrich your experience of studying at the LSE, and acquire knowledge and connections in the consultancy and non-profit sectors.

 

We would love for you to join us! Any more questions? Get in touch with us at volunteer@lse.ac.uk.

Applications are now closed. Please watch this space for future opportunities.