Branch Up

Branch Up provides fun, social and educational Saturday activity days for local children aged 7-11. Applications are NOW OPEN - Deadline 1st February 2023!

Informaton icon Branch Up provides fun, social and educational Saturday activity days for local children aged 7-11. Applications are NOW OPEN - Deadline 1st February 2023!

Location icon Highfield Campus and locations around Southampton and Hampshire

Clock icon Various Saturdays throughout the academic year

What is Branch Up?

Branch Up provides extra-curricular Saturday activity days for children aged 7-11 in Southampton, who would benefit from opportunities outside the home. Children from different backgrounds are referred to the programme through local primary schools and the Southampton City Council. The reasons for a child’s deferral will not be disclosed unless absolutely necessary, for safeguarding reasons

Why do children need Branch Up?

Children from lower-income families generally have fewer opportunities to enjoy extra-curricular activities when compared to children from wealthier backgrounds. Additionally, studies have shown that having a disadvantaged background has a significant impact on a child’s educational attainment, and on their social development and emotional wellbeing.

Branch Up aims to provide equal opportunities to all children through these activity days, and encourage them to raise their aspirations for their future, through exposure to positive role models and new experiences.

Placement experience

As a volunteer you will be placed 1:1 with a child for the duration of the 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! Examples of activity days we have done in the past include rock climbing, donutting at Alpine Snowsports Centre, visiting Woodmill Activity Centre, a day trip to Bournemouth, society-led sessions and much more.

The student committee and a member of staff will be present throughout the day to support you with your designated child, and any other issues. You will have a briefing a couple of days prior to each activity day, and will debrief following the end of the day to report any issues and feedback.

Volunteering commitment

We expect all volunteers to do a minimum of 6 activity days across the year. This is a requirement of the programme and allows the young people to have a level of continuity.

Skills and employability

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. Through taking part in Branch Up you will gain skills in:

  • Communication and mentoring
  • Teamwork and leadership
  • Adaptability and time management
  • Safeguarding, behaviour management and pastoral support
  • Liaising with parents and customer service

Training and support

All of our programmes are supported by students and staff. As part of Branch Up, you will have sub-committee members, the Branch Up Coordinator (Adélia Bernard-Patel) and the staff team (Sapthi Santharuban) to speak to.

After submitting your application, you will be invited to an initial information session online. You will then be invited to a selection workshop that will take place on Highfield Campus, and if successful at this stage, you will be invited to a final training workshop. Dates for selection will be shared after the information session and you will be able to select your preferred workshop that you would like to attend.

The Coordinator and staff team will be leading on your information session, selection workshop, initial training and additional training provision (behaviour management, routes into education etc) throughout Branch Up, as well as any issues with the children the project supports. The staff team will also be in touch with you during your placement to get mid-year and end of year feedback, which is required from all volunteers.

Reasonable adjustments

Branch Up is committed to being an inclusive programme, and encourages all students to get involved. We can make reasonable adjustments to application processes, selection workshops, training sessions, your volunteering placement, 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 if you want to disclose a disability or special educational needs, please do get in touch with Sapthi at and let us know how we can make the activity more accessible.

Volunteering with Branch Up won't cost you

This project takes place on Highfield Campus and around Hampshire, so all activity day transport and activity costs will be organised for you. We also cover the cost of your Enhanced DBS check which must be completed and valid in order for you to start volunteering. We only need you to bring your own lunch, ideally a healthy lunch to set a good example for the children.

DBS Checks

A DBS check a police background check which enables you to work with vulnerable people, including children. Southampton Hub covers the cost of this, so you will not need to pay! All you will need to do is complete an online DBS application form and then meet a member of Hub staff (Sapthi) with 3 different identity documents to prove your identity and current address to complete your DBS application.

You will need to gather your documents by Monday 20th February at the latest, in order to have your DBS check processed in time. If you have any concerns about this, please contact Sapthi at

Examples of documents that you can provide are:

  • Current valid Passport
  • Biometric Residence Permit (UK)
  • Current Driving Licence - photo card (UK/ Isle of Man/ Channel Islands) (Full or Provisional)
  • Birth Certificate (UK/ Isle of Man/ Channel Islands) (Issued within 12 months of birth)
  • Adoption Certificate (UK/ Channel Islands)
  • Current Driving Licence – photo card only (not UK/ Isle of Man or Channel Islands)(Full or Provisional)
  • Current Driving Licence – pre-1998 paper version (UK / Isle of Man / Channel Islands) (Full or Provisional)
  • Birth Certificate (UK / Isle of Man / Channel Islands) (Issued after the time of birth i.e.: +12 months after birth)
  • Bank/Building Society Statement (UK / Channel Islands)
  • Bank/Building Society Account Opening Confirmation Letter (UK)
  • Credit Card Statement (UK) *
  • P45/P60 Statement (UK / Channel Islands) **
  • Council Tax Statement (UK / Channel Islands) **
  • Utility Bill (UK) - Not Mobile Phone *
  • EEA National ID Card – must be valid

Key: * - issued in the last 3 months ** - issued in the last 12 months

Why not volunteer with a friend?

Volunteering for Southampton Hub is social and you'll have the chance to meet many like-minded people, but why not ask a friend to sign up with you too?


Email Sapthi at who will be able to answer any questions and direct you to the Branch Up committee for any further help and support.

You can also check out our other youth projects over on our What's On page.


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