Oxford students set to help charities tackle the impact of COVID-19

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Oxford students have joined a national consultancy effort to support local charities that have been negatively impacted by the coronavirus crisis.

Six Degrees Oxford, a sustainability consultancy group, has partnered with the COVID-19 Student Response Network (CSRN), led by University of Bristol students. They aim to create teams of student consultants who will deliver projects to support local charities. 180 Degrees Consulting Oxford are in the process of joining the network, with the Oxford Student Union supporting the initiative.

COVID-19 has had a significant impact on the UK charity sector. Charities are expecting to lose over £4 billion pounds of income as a result of the pandemic. The aim of the consulting initiative is for students to provide charities with support over the summer, gaining first-hand consulting experience and helping charities to rebuild.

The initiative has so far worked with a range of charities, including Student Minds, CoppaFeel! and Age UK. The projects run for  six to eight weeks and students contribute three to five hours per week to their project.

These projects range from marketing strategies to data analysis. The student consultants involved receive ongoing training from the CSRN’s partners, including Accenture, Tata Consulting Service and Data Cubed.

The partnership between the CSRN and Six Degrees Oxford is the latest collaboration in an expanding network. The Universities of St Andrews, Edinburgh, Nottingham and Bristol are all involved in this initiative. So far, over 290 student consultants and 55 charities have participated.

Jasmine Yim, Managing Director at Six Degrees Oxford has said of the new partnership: “We’re really excited to be part of this new initiative and look forward to working with a range of charities and students.

“In particular we’ll be focusing on sustainability charities helping to tackle the climate crisis as well as supporting charities hit by the coronavirus.”

The partnership is also supported by the Oxford SU, with Ben Farmer, Vice-President for Charities and Community at OUSU saying: “Charities are facing a really tough time at the moment with huge budget gaps from a loss of fundraising income whilst also dealing with an unprecedented demand for services.

“This is a great opportunity for students to get involved, learn new skills and help support some incredible causes, we’re delighted to be supporting it here at Oxford SU.”

Founding members of the CSRN at Bristol University have similarly welcomed the partnership with Six Degrees Oxford.

Co-Founder and Managing Director, Jack Elliott, has said: “CSRN is already proving to be something really special.

“I’m so excited to see the scale of the impact we can make with the help of some of the brightest students in the world from Oxford.”

Co-Founder Lee D’arcy has also highlighted the value of working with Six Degrees Oxford, saying: “One of the main reasons for creating the CSRN was to boost the impact of each consultancy by sharing skills and expertise.

“We are very excited to be partnering with Six Degrees Oxford as their focus on sustainability brings a new, positive dimension to the COVID-19 Student Response Network’s offering.”

Image Credit: Annie Spratt