Start your own
Interested in starting a Student Led Project (SLP)?
An SLP starts with an idea for a project or scheme that will make a difference to the lives of not just students but the wider community.
The first step is to set up a meeting with a development coordinator to see if your project/idea fits as a potential student led project. Email firstname.lastname@example.org or come in to see us to request an initial appointment.
Below is a list that is meant to guide you through what you will need to prepare and consider for your project proposal and your initial development meetings with your development coordinator. This is meant to help you create a sustainable project that will hopefully be approved as an SLP.
Please draft a plan/document/ or presentation that demonstrates you have considered all of the below and bring it with you to your first meeting. This is your chance to sell your idea to us and prove that this should become an SLP- so be creative, and include as much detail as possible. Check out: SLP Resources
- Do your research- Make sure that something similar doesn’t already exist! Google it and prove it to us that you’ve looked into this.
- Is the service or volunteering you will provide wanted or needed? Make sure to ask those that it will benefit.
- Is your project idea realistic? Make sure to consider Time, Cost and volunteer members
Plan your project
- What will your aims and objectives be?
- What will your key activities be?
- Who will lead the project? You need a Project Leader, a Treasurer and then you will need to decide on a project leadership structure that fits your group’s needs (e.g. General Secretary, Member engagement…)
- Who do you need to help you get the project off the ground?
- Will you need volunteers? Cash? Room Bookings? How many?
- What support do you need? Training, Recruitment, Publicity?
- Is your project sustainable? Will it run year to year? Who will take it over?
- Your project will need to abide by the SU policies (i.e. Equity and Diversity…)
- Is Safeguarding an issue?
- Are there any health and safety risks you are aware of?
Funding your Project- MAKE BUDGET!
- What are your start-up costs?
- What about ongoing expenses?
- What will your estimated yearly income/expenditure be?
- Fundraising? Can fundraising cover your yearly costs?
- Will you have to apply for small grants?
Branding your Project
- What will your SLP look like on the website?
- What will student volunteers be able to read about your project?
- Will you have social media accounts- Facebook and twitter needed to promote yourselves and keep your volunteers engaged and updated on events and news.
- Design a logo (round- see our website)
- You will need to decide on clear roles to advertise for volunteering so they know what is expected of them.
- Where will you advertise those roles? Online, SVC, word of mouth?
- How will you recruit, interview, informal chat, email?
- How will you maintain the volunteers you have so that they keep coming back?
Sustainability of your project
- How will you monitor and report on the progress of your project and produce up to date list of active volunteers for our records? – Hint, you can use the SU website page you will create to help with this (check out existing SLP pages).
- You need to plan ahead for a comprehensive handover to new committee members. How will you ensure the project lives on? You need to demonstrate to us that there is no chance of this project disappearing when you leave.
- Evaluate the effectiveness of what you are delivering
- Will you meet regularly with your volunteer coordinator so they can help, promote and advertise as well as share success stories?
What we expect of a Student Led Project.
- We ask Student Led Projects to be sustainable; they will run from year to year.
- The previous project leader will provide a comprehensive handover.
- To Recruit a Project leader and a treasurer.
- Decide the leadership structure of the project depending on what is relevant for your project.
- The Project will attend a compulsory initial SU development meeting and group leader training.
- The Project will abide by SU policies, i.e. Equality and Diversity policy, alcohol at events policy etc.
- The Project will submit event forms for every event, and if necessary a budget and event plan.
- Produce relevant Public Liability insurance (food at events etc.)
- Provide an up to date list of active volunteers for our records.
- Produce a risk assessment for the project and any large events.
- Use only the SU bank account for in goings / outgoings.
- Show evidence of match funding / fundraising.
- Keep the relevant volunteer coordinator up to date on any significant changes within the group.
What Can the SU do for your Project?
- Offer 1 on 1 dedicated staff support for all of the above and more.
- Links with other projects / societies / groups / community groups.
- Offer community contacts and link you with the relevant organisations.
- Health and Safety Training, SU group training, Role Specific training, Fundraising training, Events training, Publicity training, leadership training and more.
- Recognition in our annual awards ceremony.
- Offer you space on the Student Volunteer Centre’s website to advertise your group.
- Offer you your own web space on the SU website including an online sign-up and own newsletter option.
- Link your Twitter / Facebook with the official Student Volunteer Centre Website.
- Access to booking Rooms.
- Access to booking stalls in The Portland building / around campus.
- Promotion on the Students Union and Student Volunteer Centre social media.
- Promotion through the SVC newsletter.
- Stall opportunities at Welcome and other events
- Keep your coordinator up to date with anyone that attends your activities if they are not signed up on the SU website.
- Attend any relevant development training.
- Facilitate your volunteers and be a good leader.
- Amend your risk assessment when necessary.
- Hand in your event forms.
- Send the volunteer coordinator any ‘win’ stories or photos.
- Have fun!