Projects and Opportunities

Student Community Action engages students in community volunteering, providing vulnerable members of the community with social, practical and educational support. We offer a multitude of volunteering opportunities. Several of these projects are managed by us and known as “internal projects” since they cater ideally to the interests of Cambridge-based students. We also offer several other opportunities offered by a range of external organisations which we recruit via our regular bulletin emails.

Please note that volunteer capacities on all projects and opportunities vary throughout the year. The best way to keep up-to-date with what volunteering projects and opportunities are available is to sign up for our bulletin. If you would like to sign up for the bulletin, please email mail@cambridgesca.org.uk with your request.

A note on travel: All our projects take place within cycling distance of Central Cambridge (4 miles from the Market Square). However, we are able to reimburse bus travel to and from your volunteering placement. For those who have relevant accessibility requirements we are now also able to reimburse taxi fare. Please do email mail@cambridgesca.org.uk if you would like to make an enquiry.


SCA Internal Projects

Big Sibs

Our most popular project, Big Sibs aims to provide volunteer befrienders to children aged between 5 and 12 who are vulnerable in some way. Examples of such vulnerabilities include (but are not limited to) bereavement, social exclusion, disability, learning difficulties, issues with behaviour, or having family members who have disabilities or learning difficulties.

Our volunteers act as an “adopted” older brother or sister to the child, visiting the child around once a week during term time. Big Sibs can take their Little Sib out to the local playground, go bike riding, to the cinema, do arts and crafts, cooking, or even just watch TV with them. The important thing is that the sessions provide some well-needed down-time for the child, giving them the chance to explore their own interests, have fun, and form a connection with a young person. We have a budget of £15-20 per term/per child for you to use for organising sessions.

Bounce

Bounce is SCA's very own Saturday afternoon kids-club for vulnerable and disadvantaged children. An hour and a half of high-energy, fun-filled sports games, arts and crafts and board games - prepare to be exhausted! This is an opportunity for the children (aged 5-10) to let off some steam and have fun with our enthusiastic volunteers. Some of the children who participate may have learning difficulties, behavioural issues or physical disabilities so we do our best to get lots of volunteers involved to offer one-to-one support where necessary.

If you would like to help organise a session, or to come along and support the kids during the sessions, please get in touch. You don't need any experience or training, just a willingness to get involved! Bounce takes place in the north of Cambridge.

Betty's Musical Entertainment Group

Betty's Musical Entertainment Group meets on Wednesday evenings during term-time to provide up-beat, informal music performances to residents of local Cambridge care-homes, visiting a new home each week.

Volunteers entertain in the form of sing-alongs, group performances, solos and occasional readings. They also have refreshments and chat with the residents during the evening – an aspect as important as the entertainment! Volunteers of all musical standards are welcome. Although this project's aim is to deliver musical performances, we also welcome volunteers who simply want to befriend the elderly. Many of the residents look forward to chatting with students as much as listening to a few classic songs.

Craft Room and Storytime

Get out the glitter, glue, paper and paints and prepare to get your hands mucky! Located in local community centres, Craft Room gives disadvantaged children the chance to have some creative fun whilst enjoying the attention of SCA volunteers. Similarly, Storytime involves engaging the children in reading and stories, be that by reading with them, performing a story to them, or helping the children to engage using drama.

For safeguarding reasons, this project is for female volunteers only and we need volunteers who are able to commit to come at least every other week.

Homework Help - Primary School Clubs

The aim of this project is to help children from mainstream primary schools who are having difficulty with their academic work. This is typically in the form of an after school club. This is a great project if you are looking for experience of working with children in an educational environment. Teaching can be in small groups or on a one-to-one basis. This project currently runs on weekday afternoons in Cambridge Primary schools, starting from 3.15.

Homework Help - Individuals

Homework Help is a one-to-one scheme for children who need extra support with their homework. This may be because of learning difficulties, family upheaval, or simply because they are behind in one or two subjects. All clients have been referred to us by their school because they are significantly behind their peers.

Volunteers usually visit their child at home once a week during term-time and concentrate on helping with the homework set each week by the school. However, the volunteer can come up with their own activities to help the child achieve the outcomes e.g. writing stories with the child, developing practical maths puzzles or reading their favourite books with them.

Taskforce

Taskforce is an umbrella project capturing all the work our volunteers do to support vulnerable adults.
Examples of requests include:
- Befriending lonely elderly people in their homes
- Helping physically disabled people to get out of their homes (for walking, shopping, exercise classes, to the library etc.)
- Befriending young adults with physical and learning disabilities.
- Gardening for elderly people or walking their dogs.
- Teaching English as a Second Language for adults
- Befriending people suffering from depression or other forms of mental health problems.

Teaching English as an Additional Language (TEAL)

TEAL is a one-to-one scheme for multi-lingual children who need help with their English. Volunteers usually visit their child at home, once a week during term-time, to help with reading and writing and communication skills. All clients have been referred to us by their school because their teacher has identified them as needing additional support.
We do not require our TEAL volunteers to have any specific training – it is mainly about providing one-to-one support so the child can work at their own pace. However, if you do have experience or training in TEAL, we would love to hear from you!



Other Ways to Get Involved

Become a College Rep

Promote SCA in your college, run college events and recruit people to volunteer with us. If you are interested, contact this year’s College Rep Officer – details can be found on the ‘Contact Us’ page.

Organise a Fundraiser

Whether it’s on a small scale or a large scale it doesn’t matter, we’re always on the lookout for new fundraising ideas. Why not organise a charity run or a bake sale? A few years ago there even was an SCA Leg Wax. Ouch!

Become a Project Leader

All SCA’s internal projects have Project Leaders to coordinate volunteers and make decisions on how your project is run. If you are interested in gaining some fab leadership experience, email mail@cambridgesca.org.uk for more information.

Join the Steering Group

The SCA student Steering Group has a key role in managing SCA from year to year. Get involved in everything from planning large events and our budget to our recruitment strategy and HR. Elections take place at our Annual General Meeting in March each year. If you are interested in joining the Steering Group, contact mail@cambridgesca.org.uk or email current SG members directly using the details on the ‘Contact Us’ page.



External Opportunities

We also offer several other opportunities offered by a range of external organisations which we recruit for via our regular bulletin emails. If you would like to sign up to the bulletin, please email mail@cambridgesca.org.uk with your request.



One-off Opportunities

We understand that not everyone feels able to commit to a regular project. So, we also offer one-off opportunities that require you to commit to a chunk of between 2 and 8 hours to support an event.
Some of the one-off events we need volunteers for every year are:
- Bonfire Night Collection - Volunteers collect bucket donations during the annual public display on Midsummer Common
- SCA Children's Christmas Party - We always need volunteers to help with our annual fun festive get-together for all our child clients.
In addition, we advertise a wide range of one-off events via our bulletin, so do sign up if you are interested.