Our projects and other opportunities

Cambridge SCA exists to encourage the involvement of students in voluntary community work, providing services to disadvantaged groups within the community and giving students a valuable learning experience. We actively recruit students from both the University of Cambridge and Anglia Ruskin University.

We offer a multitude of volunteering opportunities. Several of these projects are internally managed and known as “internal projects” since they cater specifically to the interests of Cambridge students; the other projects are run by a wide range of external organisations which we recruit for via our regular bulletin emails. If you would like to sign up for the bulletin, please email mail@cambridgesca.org.uk.

We aim to get every student involved in volunteering at least once during their Cambridge careers; if you’ve never tried it, how do you know you don’t like it?

Join us to make your mark.

SCA Internal Projects

Where relevant, the schedule is updated late September each year.

Big Sibs

This projects aims to provide a volunteer befriender for vulnerable children. They may have suffered a bereavement, be on child protection plans, be socially excluded, have disabilities, learning difficulties or behavioural problems, or have family members who have disabilities, learning difficulties or behavioural problems.
Volunteers act as an “adopted” older brother or sister to the child, visiting the child about once a week. Big Sibs often 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. About once or twice a term group activities are arranged as well, such as our termly children’s parties, zoo trips, pantomime trips etc. Only activities approved by the parent/guardian/ carer are undertaken.
Reliability is crucial as children and parents get very upset if they are let down.
The family will live within biking distance of central Cambridge (4 miles from the Market Square). If you take the bus to visit your Little Sib, we will reimburse your bus fares. Little Siblings are generally aged between 5 and 11 years of age. However, we also have teenagers who need extra support because of their disabilities or mental health.

Look at what our volunteers and Clients say!

Guardian of a Little Sib

"D has great time with Big Sib, D suffers from reactive attachment disorder and anxiety about going out, He is happy to go out with the volunteer and excited by his visits, D’s grandma feels that the visits are helping him go out with a good role model, especially as no contact with either parent and his Grandad past away last year .

Big Sib feedback

"Our time together usually consists of reading and playing together, and the focus of the time changes each week depending on what M has been interested that week - lots of animals, for example a week on big cats, a week on hybrids, a week on birds! M is amazingly clued up on the animals (Latin names and all!!) so tends to teach me about what he’s learnt during the week. We’ll watch a few videos/documentary clips of the animals and then have playtime with cut-outs of the animals. It’s fantastic to see him becoming more confident and relaxed around me."

Bounce! a club for disadvantaged children (Saturday afternoons)

SCA's very own free Saturday club for vulnerable and disadvantaged children. An hour and a half of manic, fun-filled sports games, board games, and crafts - prepare to be exhausted!
This is an opportunity for the children to let off some steam and have fun with our enthusiastic volunteers.
Some of the children who participate may have learning, behavioural or physical disabilities. We do our best to get lots of volunteers involved to offer one-to-one support where necessary.
If you want to organise a session, or just come along and support the kids during the sessions, please get in touch. You don't need any experience, or to be skilled in any sports, just a willingness to get involved!
This project also has a Crafty Corner, we need volunteers to help out with that too!

Betty's Musical Entertainment Group (Wednesday evenings)

Who? elderly residents of local care homes
When? 6.15pm on Wednesdays
Where? various locations around Cambridge City
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 are looking forward to chatting with students as much as to listening to a few classic songs

Craft Room (Tuesday afternoons)

Get out the glitter, glue, paper and paints and prepare to get your hands mucky! Craft Room gives disadvantaged children the chance to have some creative fun whilst enjoying the attention of SCA volunteers - re-live your Blue Peter days.
This project is for female volunteers only.
Due to the nature of this project we need volunteers who are able to commit to come at least every other week.
The details of this project are highly confidential. If you volunteer for this project, you must not discuss the details of this project.

Homework Help (after school clubs)

The aim of this project is to help children from mainstream schools who are having difficulty with their academic work. This is typically in the form of an after school club. We occasionally have requests for one-to-one help from children who are particularly struggling, e.g. those with learning difficulties.
This is great project if you are looking for experience of working with children in an educational environment. The aim is to help children from mainstream schools who are having difficulty with their academic work. Teaching can be in small groups or on a one-to-one basis.
This project runs in:
St Matthew's Primary School on Fridays
Girton Glebe Primary School on Tuesdays
Please contact the office for more details.

Homework Help (helping 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, or simply because they are behind in one or two subjects.
Volunteers usually visit their child at home and concentrate on helping with homework. However, the volunteer can come up with their own activities to help the child achieve the outcomes.

Taskforce (helping individuals, befriending the elderly

Anyone else that gets in touch with SCA to ask for a volunteer will be considered under our Taskforce project.
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
- Teaching English as a Second Language for adults
- Befriending people suffering from depression or other forms of mental health problems.

Taskforce Volunteer feedback

"I've been visiting C every week since last term (so around 5 weeks now?). I would usually make him and myself a cup of tea (hard for him to make a cuppa himself) and chat on the side as well. He's surprisingly cogent and usually we share how our week has been, but also some deeper topics like family, love, friendship, and occasionally the slightly gloomy revelation of his inner troubles. We even watched Black Panther together today at the nearby cinema; it was really good and we had a hearty lunch followed by a walk back to his house. Have thoroughly enjoyed my time with him so far and will continue to stick with him going into Easter break, term until going back for the summer."

Teaching English as an Additional Language - helping individuals

TEAL is a one-to-one scheme for multi-lingual children who need help with their English. Volunteers usually visit their child at home to help with general reading and writing skills but may include more specific aspects of the English language like spelling and phonics.

Get involved in running SCA and recruiting for us

There are plenty of opportunities for the really keen!

Promote SCA in your college, run college events and recruit people to volunteer with us.

Become a college rep

Promote SCA in your college, run college events and recruit people to volunteer with us.

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. A few years ago there even was an SCA Leg Wax. Ouch!

Become a project leader

You get to coordinate volunteers on your project and make decisions on how your project is run.

Join the steering group

Plan large events, our budget, our recruitment strategy... It's amazing - you won't regret joining the steering group

External projects

We have a large database of volunteering projects that are run by other groups. These include student-run organisations, local charities, local branches of UK charities and many more.

Pop into our office for a chat, or e-mail us describing what sort of thing(s) you're interested in, and we'll do our best to find an opportunity that is right for you!

One-off opportunities

These are opportunities that require you to commit to a chunk of between 2 and 8 hours to support an event.
The roles include stewarding fairs, sport and cultural events; extra pair of hands for gardening / building; or extra pair of hands to run activity.
Some of the one-offs we need volunteers for every year are:
- Bonfire Night collection - 4th of November (people to stand with buckets for 2 hours)
- SCA Children's Christmas party - first week after the Michaelmas term has ended (help to run activities and mind the kids for 2 hours)
- SCA Children's Easter party - during primary school half-term around Easter (help to run activities and mind the kids for 3 hours)