Want to do something worthwhile but don't know where to start? Take our quiz and learn about the great student societies in our Social Action Network here at Oxford University...
All over Oxford
Using this Guide
Step 1: Take ourBuzzFeed Quiz and get matched to your perfect social action personality.
Step 2: Then, browse options below! Opportunities have been handily separated into four broad categories depending on your interest: "Rights Protector, Ethical Entrepreneur, Teaching Guru, and Environmental Activist". Hit ctrl + F to search for key areas that interest you and see text in italics ('Perfect if you're interested in') for the relevance of that society to certain social action issues and career areas.
We've included opportunities from across our Social Action Network (40+ student groups affiliated with Oxford Hub), but you can look out for Oxford Hub's very own projects which have a "🌟" next to them!
N.B. If you are a student group interested in joining the Social Action Network (and therefore receiving free publicity, use of events spaces, and training in key skills) please get in touch, or apply directly via this form.
You really care about equality and human well being in all its forms. The world should be a more accepting place and you want to make that happen. Check out the following groups:
Perfect if you're interested in: law, prisoner rights
AMICUS is a legal charity based in London which supports lawyers representing clients on Death Row in the US through active involvement in frontline work. It provides students with the opportunity to apply the skills they have learnt at university through training to work with the charity to support Death Row clients. Applications for training open in October, the start of the academic year. Like their Oxford Facebook page to stay in the loop here.
Perfect if you're interested in: international action, politics, human rights, law.
The local student branch of this International human rights charity runs a meeting every Monday, often with speakers or film followed by discussion, and other awareness raising events. Get in touch and sign up to their mailing list here: email@example.com
Free To Be
Perfect if you’re interested in: working with children, health issues
The Oxford branch of this charity aims to support vulnerable children’s emotional health in the local area. Volunteers help provide a safe space in which children can express themselves, build self-esteem, and develop social skills. To find out more, find the Oxford branch here.
🌟 Branch Up:
Perfect if you're interested in: volunteering with young people, fun extra-curricular activities!
Branch Up aims to provide disadvantaged children in the Oxford area with extracurricular opportunities Help out at activity days (going to the zoo, running an art workshop, ice-skating etc.) or at a youth group supporting the children of prisoners. Find out more here.
Curry Runners Oxford
Perfect if you're interested in: homelessness, local action, food waste
This initiative relies on volunteers to collect fresh curry from Oxford restaurants and distributes the food amongst the homeless community. The aim is to add some spice to the lives of the homeless in central Oxford, so if you want to get involved, contact Curry Runners via their Facebook page.
🌟 Good Neighbours
Perfect if you're interested in: a variety of issues, flexible volunteering with no strings attached
Only got an hour to spare? Never volunteered before? Want the flexibility to try different things? Small actions add up to big changes! Find out how you can lend a hand in your local community today by signing up to hear about opportunities with Good Neighbours. Check out the details here.
Oxford Development Abroad
Perfect if you're interested in: international development, sustainability, poverty alleviation
Works to harness the energy, enthusiasm and resources of the Oxford student body to assist with small-scale, community-initiated development projects in the developing world. Runs projects in collaboration with local NGOs, including in Bolivia, Nepal and Uganda. Check out their Facebook page and website for more information.
Perfect if you're interested in: tackling social isolation, befriending the elderly
LinkAges encourages students to volunteer with Oxford's elderly community. There are opportunities to run activity sessions at a local residential home, become a long-term befriender or go on one-off trips to play boardgames! Find out more here.
Perfect if you're interested in: Mental health
Oxford Nightline aims to provide every student in Oxford with the opportunity to talk to someone in confidence about anything on their mind from 8pm-8am. Nightline offers an IM and call service, and relies on the amazing work of student volunteers. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org to find out more about becoming a volunteer.
Perfect if you're interested in: human rights, environmental action, international development, refugee rights
Oxfam holds weekly meetings, sometimes with speakers and discussions, as well as many fundraising and awareness raising events on a variety of local and international rights and environmental issues. Like the Facebook page here to stay in touch with events and meeting details.
Oxford Children's Rights Network
Perfect if you're interested in: children's rights, working with children, law
OCRN consists of researchers, students and practitioners who work on a broad range of issues related to children's rights. They offer a collaborative platform to exchange ideas and work together on research linked to children's rights. The network hosts a variety of talks linked to children's rights and laws affecting children. To get in touch, visit their website and like their Facebook page to keep up with events here
🌟 Oxford Homeless Action Group
Perfect if you're interested in: homelessness, equality, building community
Homelessness is one of Oxford's most striking epidemics, and as students it's easy to feel like we just don't have the time, money or means to contribute to the alleviation of the issue. It can be especially disheartening to see homelessness in the broader context of Oxford's architectural beauty, in a place where there is so much invested in our education and the preservation of the city's heritage. That's where we come in: the role of the Oxford Homeless Action Group is to establish direct links between students and community services for the homeless that need their support, by co-ordinating and facilitating student volunteering in partnership with these local charities. Find out how to get involved here.
Perfect if you're interested in: Health, flexible low-commitment volunteering
This student group works alongside the charity Anthony Nolan to help recruit people to the stem cell register which aims to match potential living donors with individuals in desperate need of a stem cell transplant. Registering at one of the Marrow recruitment days is a quick way to do good and feel good! Like their Facebook page to keep up to date with recruitment days and committee vacancies.
Oxford Migrant Solidarity
Perfect if you're interested in: human rights, Campsfield House, refugee rights, racial rights
Founded as a student-run campaign to empower the 'Close Campsfield House' movement, the society has recently been involved in supporting migrants via anti-Trump rallies also. Get in contact here: email@example.com and like their Facebook page for information on upcoming solidarity events.
Perfect if you're interested in: Animal rights, sustainability, the environment, health
Oxford VegSoc provides a welcoming community for vegans and vegetarians at Oxford University. The society runs socials, food events, talks and is involved in campaigning. Join the Facebook group here and message their Facebook page to sign up to the mailing list.
Oxford Lawyers without Borders
Perfect if you're interested in: law human rights, international development
OxLWOB mirrors the work of its parent organisation, Lawyers Without Borders, in assisting on various pro-bono projects in areas including FGM and Anti-trafficking. They also host speaker and fundraising events. Like their Facebook page to keep up to date: Lawyers without Borders- Oxford Student Division
Public Health Film Society
Perfect if you're interested in: Health, film, public engagement
The Public Health Film Society screens films, documentaries and shorts linked to health issues, highlighting the importance of well being. Keep up to date by liking their Facebook page: Oxford Public Health Film Club
Perfect if you are interested in: supporting refugees
STAR is a national charity of 26,000 students welcoming refugees to the UK. They offer opportunities to volunteer, campaign, and fundraise. Check out their Facebook page.
Perfect if you're interested in: Mental health
This is the Oxford branch of the national student mental health charity. Supporting students with mental health issues, promoting discussion and raising awareness of mental health. From free fortnightly yoga, to weekly support sessions for a variety of needs, the Student Minds committee has a weekly schedule designed to support students and their mental health. Like their Facebook page and check out the website to get in the know about events/sessions. Keep your eyes peeled for committee recruitment every October.
Students Supporting Street Kids
Perfect if you're interested in: children, human rights, international development
Run by a student committee, this group works locally to to highlight awareness of international child homelessness. [Email](firstname.lastname@example.org or check out their Facebook page to stay up to date with events
You have a business savvy mind and are competitive, but you also have a conscience. Being able to combine this into something that has an ethical heart would be amazing! Check out the following opportunities:
Perfect if you're interested in: Local action, social enterprise, business
A non-profit student-run Social Enterprise society at the University of Oxford, Enactus receives support from partners such as Teach First and EY to use innovation and social entrepreneurship in solving community projects. Current projects include OxTute and Oxygen. To join a current project or create a new initiative with the Innovation Team, check out the Enactus website for project and contact details.
Perfect if you're interested in: social enterprise, finance, education, international development
OxMak is a collaboration between Oxford University and Makarere University on social action and grassroots development projects in Uganda. Projects are varied and focused on a wide range of issues, from environmental action to female rights. OxMak also runs an annual 3 week trip in the Trinity vacation to Uganda, which they recruit for every January. To view and get involved in current projects, visit the Oxmak website and like their Facebook page to keep up to date with project recruitment.
🌟 Social Enterprise Support Programme
Perfect if you're interested in: starting your own social enterprise
The programme is designed to help students and university staff to develop a vague idea for a project or launch a fully fledged social enterprise. The programme consists of support and guidance combined with financial grants to help test your ideas and grow your ventures.Two different types of financial awards are available through the programme: the Try It Award of up to £500 and Do It Award of up to £5000. Find out more on this page Award applications open at the end of each university term.
You enjoy being with people, and you’re not scared to take the lead and stand up in front of a class or work with young people. Sharing knowledge and helping others to feel better and do better sounds great! Check out the following opportunities:
Aid to the Balkans
Perfect if you're interested in: international development, working with children, teaching
OXAB provides volunteering trips to the Balkan region. Student volunteers can be part of camps in the vacations for orphans, spending between a couple of weeks to months in Albania, Bosnia or Bulgaria. Activities include teaching English, community projects and organising crafts sessions. Check out their website to sign up for an Easter or Summer camp.
Perfect if you're interested in: teaching, languages, building community
FELLOW, or Free English Lessons for Overseas Workers, is a local voluntary organisation that offers free English classes to recent immigrants, refugees, foreign workers and students in a safe and friendly environment. The classes give overseas workers the opportunity to practise conversation, develop their vocabulary and grammar, and learn topics useful for work and day-to-day life. Find out how to get involved here.
Perfect if you're interested in: Working with young people, EFL, teaching, education
Jacari is a charity based in Oxford which provides at-home teaching support for children who do not speak English as a first language.Volunteers visit the homes of local children for one hour a week to provide support in areas in which they are struggling. Click here to complete an application and to find out more.
Perfect if you're interested in: Working with young people, volunteering with the disabled, sport, health
KEEN provides sporting and social activities for Oxfordshire young people with special needs. Our regular sessions are: AllSorts, an inclusive multi-sports session; Zig-Zag, a creative workshop; KEEN Teens, a social club for teenagers; and GrEAT, a social club for over-18s. Interested in volunteering? Click here to get involved!
🌟 Language Exchange
Perfect if you're interested in: Arabic, sharing skills, meeting new people.
The language exchange connects recent Arabic migrants whose native language is not English and English-speaking members of the community who want to learn or improve their Arabic language skills. Check out the details here.
🌟 Schools Plus
Perfect if you're interested in: working with young people, educational inequality, teaching
Schools Plus helps local school pupils to achieve their academic potential by matching them with university student tutors. You can choose how you volunteer based on your subject preference (everything from Reading to Maths to History or Music - from primary to secondary level) and availability (all projects take place Monday- Friday between 8:30am- 4:00pm). Click here to find out more and get involved.
Perfect if you're interested in: health, the right of sexual consent, working with young people
This Oxford branch of the national organisation empowers young people to make choices about sex and relationships through sending volunteer student teachers into local schools. Volunteers provide non-judgemental, unbiased and reliable information to secondary school students in an engaging format. Check out their Facebook page for how to get involved.
🌟 Teach Green
Perfect if you're interested in: Environment and sustainability, working with children, teaching
Teach Green is a student-run volunteer organisation that provides environmental education to primary school students in Oxford. To become a volunteer, apply via the website.
Oxford Hands-On Science
Perfect if you're interested in: science, working with children, education
This new programme provides interactive science activities in schools as well as for the general public. Volunteers will be involved in inspiring a love of science: for more information, follow their Facebook page or check out their website.
Caring for the planet is your kind of thing. You want to spread the word about what’s facing today's eco-systems and stop our destructive habits before it’s too late. Check out the following opportunities:
🌟 Community Conservation
Perfect if you're interested in: wildlife, plants, the local environment
We want to help more students get involved in preserving and protecting our natural environment and the wildlife that lives in it. We work on local conservation projects, so if you want a hands-on environmental project this is the place to be. Events might involve birdwatching, plant-counting, or even some light landscaping. Our volunteers get to help out with important environmental work in Oxfordshire as well as getting outdoors and having fun.
Perfect if you're interested in: Gardening, nature, food sustainability, community engagement
We're a network of Edible Gardens across Oxford, helping students to set up their own edible gardens and learn to grow-their-own.
We run regular trips to community gardens that we work with across Oxford. Join us for some gardening and some veg to take home - if it's the right time of year! Apply to be kept up to date about our ongoing gardening opportunities and get involved - no experience required. You're always welcome to come along for a one-off taster and see how it goes!
Perfect if you're interested in: Tackling food waste, sustainability, local action, nature
Abundance is a community project to harvest & forage seasonal gluts of local fruit and food- nettles & elderflowers through to the more commonly picked apples, pears & plums. The groups redistributes, preserves, press' their finds. If you want to become a volunteer and stay in touch, join the Facebook group and sign up here straight away!
Perfect if you're interested in: Environmental action, waste reduction, fashion, ethical entrepreneurship, social enterprise
The Circular Collective enables unwanted household items and clothes to be re-used by new owners. The Collective relies on volunteers, so to volunteer or stay in touch with future events check out their Facebook page here
Perfect if you're interested in: climate action
Becoming a member of OCS gives students access to talks, debates, conferences and the chance to connect with others passionate about climate action. Click here to sign up to the mailing list!
Perfect if you're interested in: Sustainability, tackling food waste, ethical production, ethical entrepreneurship, social enterprise, flexible low-commitment volunteering
OxCo-op is a way of communally bulk-buying more socially and environmentally sustainable food. Drop by their pop-up stall at the Hub's Living Room (above the Turl Street Kitchen) on Friday between 3.00 and 6.00. Alternatively, buy via their website (<http://www.oxcoop.com/>) or over Facebook (<https://tinyurl.com/yb7wub39>)! Order by 12am on Sunday to pick up the following Friday. Volunteering for the Co-op isn't time consuming, but a great opportunity to meet new people. Sign up here: <http://www.oxcoop.com/pages/volunteer>.
Perfect if you're interested in: sustainability, nature, local action, flexible volunteering
OxGrow Community Garden is a green growing space open to all to come and help cultivate (and utilise!). Find out more here to become a volunteer.
Perfect if you're interested in: Tackling food waste, sustainability, local action, fundraising
Project Soup is a series of dinners bringing the community together to have fun, tackle food waste and raise awareness of and funds for local projects. The idea is simple: Using food that would otherwise be thrown away, a simple (yet delicious!) supper of soup and bread is cooked. People come, eat soup, and have fun. After the meal, a number of community projects pitch an idea. The audience then votes, and the winning project takes home all the money raised in the evening. Find out more and get involved here.
Push Your Parents
Perfect if you're interested in: cutting greenhouse gases, campaigning
This student campaign asks our parents to demand that their pension is invested in a fossil free future. Find out more and get your parents to sign up here: www.pushyourparents.org.
OxSU Climate Justice Campaign
Perfect if you're interested in: the environment, ethics
A campaign dedicated to the University of Oxford’s total divestment from fossil fuels, as well as campaigning for wider environmental issues. To check up on what they’ve been up to recently, have a look here, or check out their Facebook page.