Social Innovation Programme

Become part of a team of consultants and provide innovative solutions for charities and social enterprises in Winchester. No experience necessary! *Applications now open for Summer 2022*

Informaton icon Become part of a team of consultants and provide innovative solutions for charities and social enterprises in Winchester. No experience necessary! *Applications now open for Summer 2022*

Location icon Winchester

Clock icon Semester 2 and Summer

Winchester Hub will no longer be facilitating volunteering and is in the process of wrapping up operations with an aim to fully close by the end of September. Please see our joint statement with the University of Winchester. If you wish to register for our celebration event in September please see our Eventbrite page. If you are a partner who wishes to work with Student Hubs please see the main Student Hubs website. If you are a University of Winchester student who wishes to volunteer please contact the volunteering team at the university. Thank you for all your support

Winchester Hub are following goverment guidance and making volunteering COVID safe. Read our COVID safe guidance. To keep up to date with our opportunities, sign up to our weekly newsletter.

"'The Social Innovation Programme is a great way to enhance your employability skills and make a real difference to the local community! I have thoroughly enjoyed my time on the project and would recommend to anyone!" - Megan Orledge, Autumn Cohort 2020

Image of students at work

What is the Social Innovation Programme?

The Social Innovation Programme (SIP) is an initiative for university students to address challenges in their local area through research, ideas generations and project development. In a team, you're faced with a real-life challenge faced by a local organisation, and act as external consultants to propose and implement an innovative solution to a problem.

The programme provides the perfect opportunity to apply and develop your research, problem-solving and project management skills to address social and enviornmental issues. For example, in the past Student Hubs has helped research ways to increase online donations and website efficiency for non-for-profit organisations or helped solve challenges at homeless shelters.

Important things to note

  • Skills: We're looking for organised students who can work as a team and are committeed to social action. No previous experience is required!
  • During the programme you will develop key skill in time management, stakeholder engagement, problem-solving and teamwork.
  • The training workshops are held in addition to team meetings each week.
    • These are designed to develop skills and help you progress through the project. We ask that you only miss one of the training sessions.
  • Time management is very important! We ask that students commit 4 - 6 hours a week to SIP (including the trainings). Please think about how best to fit this into your studies. Contact us at if you need support.
  • You will have seven weeks to complete your project!

Who can apply?

The programme is open to all students at the University of Winchester, no matter your skills, interests, accessibility needs or degree level. Visiting students are absolutely welcome. We are not looking for any particular year, degree subject or background, just the enthusiasm to see your own ideas in action.

No prior experience of consultancy or the non-profit sector is necessary, and whatever your skills and interests are, we'd love to hear from you. If selected for the programme, you will receive training and support to help you develop the skills needed to meet the challenge, we only ask you bring enthusiasm and potential to the course!

Girl listening to training

"Getting to meet and work with other like minded students and engage with both our mentors at IBM and the Winchester Hub." - Beth, Winter Cohort 2020

What projects do you work on?

We partner with local organisations, charitites, community groups and social enterprises on this programme. The challenges are put forward by these community partners and the Hub helps to refine them.

You will be assigned a team by Winchester Hub, although you can express areas you are interested during the selection workshop! We have previously worked with; Winnall Rock School, Wickam Community Centre, WinACC, Tower House Horses, MHA Communities and many more!

Key Dates

Students will attend a introductory workshop, the launch event, training sessions and the showcase event.

The programme takes place over the course of 7 weeks, beginning with the Launch Event. The introductory workshops will take place a week prior to this.

For the Spring Cohort the 7 weeks will be across February and March For the Summer Cohort the 7 weeks will be across June and July

Here are an example of SIP dates as a guide:

  • Beginning of February or June: Applications Close
  • Week 0: Selection Workshops (during the application you can select your preferred date). (Typically 1 week after applications close)
  • Week 1: Launch Day and Training for Team Leaders
  • Weeks 2-6: Training sessions will occur weekly and you will be working with your team to research and find innovative solutions!
  • End of Week 6: Report Deadline
  • Week 7: Showcase Day!

You will be expected to attend training each week. The timings of this will be confirmed closer to the project start, depending on participant availability. All trainings will be recorded.

Showcase Day photo


The Social Innovation Programme is committed to being an inclusive programme, and encourages all students to get involved. All travel expenses are reimbursed and we can make reasonable adjustments to our activities on a case-by-case basis. Please read our safe space policy.

We also provide ongoing support for the students we work with, so if you have particular accessibility needs, including if you want to disclose a disability or special educational needs, please do get in touch with Liz at and let us know how we can make the activity more accessible.

Any Questions?

If you have any questions about the application process or the course itself, please contact us at

Information for local organisations

If you are a non-profit organisations based in Wincheter and would like to host a group of student consultants, please contact us at