Volunteering and Widening Participation Projects

 

With the support and guidance of KCLSU, you and your society can set up and deliver a volunteering project related to Widening Participation or other worthwhile causes, which gives back to the community and offers great project management experience for students.

Widening Participation Projects

A project focusing on Widening Participation (or WP) involves volunteering with target groups of people who are statistically less likely to progress to university e.g. young people from lower income households. The aims of a Widening Participation project can include providing useful information and support on the university application process, specific courses, university life and many other things! To find out more about past Widening Participation projects click here.

Volunteering Projects

A volunteering project dedicated to causes not related to Widening Participation can focus on, well, almost anything! Previous projects include activities such as delivering food to homeless people, sustainability and conservation, and running social activities with isolated elderly people. If you're looking for ideas of other volunteering roles, take a look at our KCLSU Volunteering Record for some inspiration.

Support and Essential Steps

When running a Volunteering or Widening Participation project, the safety of your volunteers and those you are working with should always come first. By setting your project up through KCLSU, we are here to support you with all of the training and resources you need to make sure your project runs safely, especially in light of the Coronavirus pandemic.

Below are the essential steps you must take before setting up or continuing an existing project. Please read each section carefully.

1. Project Planning Training

At least one committee member from your society must attend Project Planning training. We recommend that the students who are most involved in leading on your WP/Vol project attend this training. This must be attended before project delivery begins.

This training will cover crucial content such as adapting your project to online delivery, your Theory of Change, Data Protection, how to ensure your volunteers are DBS checked and completing a risk assessment. We recommend that you try to attend this training before attempting the other essential steps.

2. Risk Assessment

Before you are permitted to start your project you must submit a general risk assessment which cover key areas such as data protection and safeguarding.

We recommend you attend Project Planning training prior to writing and submitting your risk assessment, as at this training we will outline the best practice.

To submit your risk assessment please send the document to either [email protected] for a Volunteering project or [email protected] for a Widening Participation project. We will aim to respond to your risk assessment within 12 working days, not including office closure days. We may request more detail be added to your risk assessment before we approve it, so keep this in mind before promising a start date for your project.

3. Safeguarding Training (Under 18s)

All students volunteering on your Widening Participation or Volunteering project and interacting, in any sense with under 18s or vulnerable adults must attend Safeguarding training before volunteering. This could include interation over email, zoom any any other written or verbal interaction.

It is the responsibility of the students leading on the project to ensure their volunteers attend this training before they begin volunteering.

4. DBS Checks (Under 18s)

All students volunteering on a Widening Participation or Volunteering project and interacting, in any sense (via email, Zoom, in person etc.) with under 18s or vulnerable adults must have a Disclosure and Barring Service check with a clear result.

This DBS check must be issued by either KCLSU or by King’s through an academic course, and must be no older than 3 years.

5. Data Protection

There are several steps related to data protection you and your society must take before beginning your WP/Vol Project, these are covered in depth at Project Planning training.

These include ensuring that your society has a data policy and promise (which is linked in your application form), and also ensuring you have created an internal Data Protection Impact Assessment before starting your project.

6. On Campus?

If your project is running on campus, you will also need to provide contact details for two responsible adults/volunteers on the day of your event using the form below.

7. Getting Started

Before you start organising your project and recruiting volunteers, you should get in touch with either the Widening Participation Coordinator or the Volunteering and Fundraising Coordinator to organise a meeting, depending on your project. Get in touch by emailing [email protected]

Before your appointment, you should begin filling out a Theory of Change template for your project idea. Don’t worry if you don’t know the answers to all of the sections, just make sure that you have included a summary of your project, and use the prompts to get thinking about what else you might need in place. During the meeting, we will talk more about what Theory of Change is, and help you to make sure all of the relevant safety measures are in place.

Funding

Find out about funding for your project, and how the application process works. The Widening Participation Fund is open to WP projects only, and below you can find more information about the Development Fund and King's Community fund to check whether your project meets the relevant criteria.

Other Ways to Get Involved

At KCLSU we have many other opportunities beyond delivering a project to get involved in Widening Participation.

If you are hoping to do some volunteering with an existing charity, as an individual or as a group, you can find roles through the KCLSU Volunteering Record.

Don't forget that as the person setting up your project, you are a volunteer project leader! All of the time you put in to building your project will go towards your KCLSU Volunteering Award. Find out more information about reward and recognition for you and your volunteers here.

Get in touch

For all inquiries: [email protected]

Community Project Exhibition 2021

The Community Projects Exhibition is an end of year celebration and showcase of the Widening Participation and Volunteering projects that student groups have been delivering throughout the academic year. You can watch the event recording below to hear from a selection of groups on the impact of their work, as well as guest speaker and KCL alumna Jessica Schofield-Wood, on how her experience in student-led volunteering led to her career in the charity sector.