The University of Exeter prepares for the launch of a new Community Partnership Hub

The University of Exeter is developing a brand-new ‘Community Partnership Hub’, which aims to support closer connections between the University and public and voluntary sector organisations (charities, community organisations and social enterprises).

Students and academics at the University already engage closely with charities and other voluntary organisations, but our research shows that at present these connections can be quite ad hoc, and that it is difficult for voluntary organisations to know where to begin, or who to contact, if they want to engage with the University. The idea of the Community Partnership Hub is to provide a single point of contact for such organisations to approach the University with queries, requests for support or collaboration, project ideas and so on. The Hub will then connect the organisation with the right people, and work to support relationships in the longer term.

In practice, this might mean helping organisations to advertise opportunities for volunteering, internships or placements to students, or connecting them with academics who can provide relevant research expertise, which can be used to help organisational or programme development, inform policy making, support funding applications and develop join projects.

The Community Partnership Hub is based on the principle of mutual benefit, with each partner contributing and gaining something from the collaboration. It also aims to support the University’s Civic University Agreements and the three strategic goals outlined in the University’s Strategy 2030:

·       Lead meaningful action against the climate emergency and ecological crisis.

·       Make key breakthroughs to transform human health and wellbeing.

·       Lead progress towards creating a fair, socially just and inclusive society.

The Community Partnership Hub is preparing for a launch over the summer of 2022. We would love to hear from EUniverCities partners who have set up similar initiatives, or would like to know more about our plans - please contact k.shingler@exeter.ac.uk.

 

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