Branch Up

Have fun, see Bristol and support local children to do the same at Saturday activity days.

Informaton icon Have fun, see Bristol and support local children to do the same at Saturday activity days.

Location icon Various locations around Bristol

Clock icon Periodically throughout TB1 and TB2

Applications for Branch Up volunteers for 2019/20 are now closed. Applications aim to reopen in August, which could change given the current circumstances during Covid-19.

Branch Up provides extracurricular Saturday activity days for children aged 7-11 and student volunteers. In 2019/20 we had a sports day at the university, visited the zoo, went to a trampoline park and more. The programme aims to improve young people's confidence and relationships with others as well as giving them exciting new experiences and the chance to have fun!

Why do children need Branch Up?

The referred children often have challenging home lives, low confidence and often no access to extracurricular activities outside of school. Having a disadvantaged background has a significant impact on a child’s educational attainment and on their social and emotional well-being and development.

Branch Up Active ensures these children have equal access to new opportunities and exposes them to positive role models. This improves their quality of life and helps to raise their aspirations.

Your volunteering experience

As a volunteer you will work with a small group of children for the duration of an activity day. You will chat to them, support them throughout the day, and help them to engage with the other children and volunteers. Ultimately, your role is to help them have fun!

A staff member from Bristol Hub will be leading the day and you will support by organising the children and helping with any behavioural issues. You will recieve details of the day beforehand through a brief and will have the opportunity to feedback afterwards. Volunteers will also have the opportunity to run a session during an activity day if they would like. A staff memeber will reach out during your time on the programme to offer this.

We ask that all volunteers attend training and get a DBS - which we pay for! This is to ensure you are prepared for your volunteering role. Ideally we want volunteers who are able to attend majority of the 6 sessions throughout the academic year.

Here's what some of our volunteers say:

I love that it’s a simple and fun way to volunteer as I only have to make sure the kids are safe and enjoying their day while at the same time meet new people who are always lovely to talk to. It’s a great way to mingle with people of different ages and improve how I communicate to others.


I enjoyed giving back to the community through fun activity days for children who would not normally be offered such an opportunity. I enjoyed seeing the children having fun, along with seeing their personal growth when exposed to different activities. In addition, I enjoyed the experience of getting to know different children one-to-one and seeing them come out of their shell and explain their interests and what they want for their future. These experiences have been extremely rewarding.

If you want to hear more about our volunteers experiences, you can read our case studies here.

Training and support

To ensure you are equipped with the right knowledge and confident to start volunteering, you will attend a short training session. It covers an introduction to the relevant social issues, how the project works and an opportunity to learn some skills that will be valuable to you as a volunteer. We occasionally run optional training throughout the year on topics and skills that will support your volunteering and benefit your CV.

This volunteering opportunity is excellent for anyone who wants experience working in schools and with young people, or is exploring a career in education/youth work. We've found that this project can significantly develop the following skills:

  • Communication
  • Teamwork
  • Leadership
  • Adaptability
  • Behaviour management and safegaurding

We are happy to provide a reference to anyone who takes part in the project.

Throughout the programme you can contact a staff member at any point if you would like additional support, or have a concern. The staff team will also be in touch with you during your volunteering to get feedback, which is required from all volunteers so we can continue to improve the programme.

What our volunteers have said about training:

I feel that the training is really elaborate. We had a chat with Hub staff, then attended to a introduction presentation and finished a online training course, which all makes me feel prepared and safe.


Accessibility and inclusion

Bristol Hub is committed to making our activities inclusive to all students. We can make reasonable adjustments to application processes, training sessions, volunteering projects and other activities on a case-by-case basis. We also provide ongoing support for the students we work with, so if you have particular accessibility needs, including special educational needs, please email [email protected] and let us know how we can make this activity more accessible.

This project won't cost you! Branch Up takes place on campus and locations around Bristol, so all transport and activity costs will be organised for you. We only need you to bring your own lunch, ideally a healthy lunch to set a good example for the children.

Other support

Volunteering for Bristol Hub is social and you’ll have the chance to meet many like-minded people. If you are apprehensive about getting involved, you can always chat to our staff team beforehand.

If you are worried about attending alone, why not ask a friend to sign up with you too? We have had a lot of positive stories of friends volunteering together.

Joe and Brandon, two of our volunteers that joined together said:

Volunteering with a friend is a lot less daunting. It’s a lot easier to get involved as well if you have someone next to you or sitting with you that you already know. If you get socially anxious as well you aren’t as comfortable in those situations and it helps to have someone next to you that you know. It makes the whole process easier. It was wholesome for us and it inspired our friends to go and do something similar.


Questions?

Email [email protected] and a staff member will be able to answer any questions.

The Bristol PLUS Award

Students can get recognition for taking part in extra-curricular events and projects run by Bristol Hub through the Bristol PLUS award, which is run by the Careers Service.

The Award provides a framework for students to reflect on the skills they have gained and learn how to articulate them effectively to future employers. For more details and learn how the PLUS Award could benefit you please see the Careers website.


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