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Place Category: Education & Training and Gold MarkPlace Tags: Gold Mark, Higher Education, University, and Winchester

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Social Impact Declaration
Social Impact Statements
  • The University of Winchester has been in the business of Higher Education for over 170 years.

    The University is a values-driven institution which offers excellent programmes of study sustained by teaching and research of the highest quality. Our values underpin all that we do – our teaching and learning, our research, and our flourishing partnerships, which are increasingly global in reach.

    Our mission is “To educate, to advance knowledge and to serve the public good”. The value of social justice is at the core of our work and we seek to extend and employ the resources of the University in ways which address in equalities and encourage the development of potential, wherever it is found.



  • Address: Sparkford Road
    SO22 4NR
    United Kingdom
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  • Social Impact Statements:

    Social Impact Statements

    The Social Enterprise Gold Mark criteria includes a requirement that the applicant can demonstrate that social and/or environmental objectives are being achieved.

    In support of this, new applicants and renewing Mark holders must submit Social Impact Statements that summarise their headline activities and achievements, helping show how they are striving to make a difference and stand up to scrutiny of purpose as a social enterprise.


    Updated June 2017

    1) Reducing environmental impacts

    The University is deeply committed to reducing our environmental impacts and has achieved a significant amount since the inception of our Sustainability, Carbon Management and Environment Strategies in 2006/7. Sustainability metrics are core KPI’s for the University, and the Environment Strategy and Carbon Management Strategy are reported annually direct to the Board of Governors. Sustainability is also listed in our University Strategic Plan.

    As highlighted in our strategic plan, institutional sustainability and global sustainability are at our heart. We have been an integral part of the City of Winchester’s community for 175 years and take very seriously our continuing responsibility to this and the wider ‘Society’. A key part of our mission is ‘to serve the common good’ and this is lived through numerous initiatives to engage with and enhance both our local and wider communities. We see widening participation in HE as beneficial to UoW and to the wider UK economy and society. The university strives to remain an exemplar of environmental sustainability. As well as taking steps as an organisation to reduce our impact on the environment, we aim to develop our students’ understanding of global issues, including climate change.

    Examples of initiatives and approaches include:

    • The University has just launched its strategy to integrate Climate Change across its curriculum, ensuring that every student who leaves the University has a good understanding of the impacts of climate change in their areas of study.
    • 100% of grid bought electricity is sourced from renewables.
    • Around 2% of electricity used is generated on site.
    • Committed to BREEAM Excellent as a minimum standard for all new buildings.
    • Target reductions have been set for carbon emissions, waste energy and water consumption, leading to a reduction in carbon intensity of the estate of 45% since 2006/7 exceeding the 2015 target of 30%.
    • 5th highest reduction of carbon emissions intensity in the HE sector and the University also has the
    • 4th most carbon efficient estate in Higher Education.
    • 41% reduction in water intensity since 2006/7
    • 0% waste to landfill with a 70% recycling rate.
    • Launched an innovative new 25p tax on disposable coffee cups which has increased sales in reusable cups from 3% to 25%.
    • The University has won the City of Winchester’s Gold Award in the Carbon Smart Environment Awareness scheme, its third since 2012.
    • The University was also honoured to receive the British Quality Foundations award for a Sustainable Future in 2016.
    • The University is leading within the sector for sustainably sourcing its food. Since 2014 we have been awarded the 3 star rating from the Sustainable Restaurant Association, Gold/Silver/Bronze Awards from the Soil Association, the Good Chicken/Egg and Dairy awards from CiWF, Green Impact Gold winner’s status and we have been a Fair-trade university since 2007.
    • We support Winchester Action on Climate Change with office space and services and an annual core grant, this organisation is looking to reduce the carbon footprint of the Winchester District.


    2) Engaging with the local community

    The UoW takes its responsibility to society very seriously and this can be seen at many levels, through partnerships, links to other community groups and our commitment to widening participation in HE. We offer facilities and expertise in both sports and academic output to society, for example members of the public are encouraged through our local partnerships to use the University’s sports facilities at Bar End and on campus. Many academics offer papers at academic conferences, as well as to local interest groups. The University also supports several centres for research in areas that facilitate good citizenship, e.g. Centre of Theology and Religion in Public Life and the Centre for Arts as Wellbeing.

    We have invested with the local council in shared sports facilities; this includes the shared sports stadium (Bar End), which is highly utilised by the local community. The UoW and Winchester City Council are working together on a project to enhance these facilities for both user groups to encourage their even greater participation in sporting activities.

    The University encourages staff and students to be involved in the community through a wide range of activities supported by the Community Engagement Strategy. Staff are encouraged to work as teams in the community, e.g. decorating, marshalling events. The Employer Supported Volunteering (ESV) scheme is used by UoW to help staff engage in this way. Students are also encouraged to volunteer, e.g. in Winchester City Museum, or can opt for a more formal volunteering role through accredited volunteering modules.

    The University conducts a bi-annual Community Engagement Survey. This serves as a very efficient monitor of UoW’s achievement of its Mission to ‘serve the common good’ and Community Engagement strategic objective. The survey also highlights areas of concern and allows a communication channel of ideas and recommendations to flow between the respondents and UoW’s internal structure.

    Our Community Engagement Strategy draws together our community engagement activities into one overarching strategy so as to ensure that our community engagement is planned, coordinated, efficient and meaningful. It also serves as a mechanism for monitoring our achievements, identifying best practice and driving continuous improvement.  The strategy has two key priorities; to embed community engagement activities in teaching, learning, research and knowledge exchange and involve staff in all areas of the University and to strengthen our partnership with the Student Union in this area to realise a step change in student awareness and participation in community engagement.


    3) Creating social impact

    Examples of the social impact we create:

    Supporting Social Enterprises Locally

    We launched a new project to help budding entrepreneurs in the M3 corridor thanks to a significant grant secured from the Big Lottery Fund and European Social Fund (ESF). The University is one of the partners in ‘Inspiring Enterprise’ the new project within the Building Better Opportunities programme.  Led and managed by WSX Enterprise, other partners include Action Hampshire and Surrey Community Action. Working with unemployed and economically inactive people the programme aims to help those interested in creating and running their own Social Enterprise.  It will include a web portal full of information, tools and resources, ‘is it for me?’ taster sessions, workshops, and dedicated mentors.

    Starting in the New Year, the University will be holding events for unemployed or economically inactive graduates who would like to find out more about starting their own enterprise, followed by a range of workshops, advice and mentoring for those wishing to develop their ideas.

    Student Hub

    The University also supports a Student Hub. The Winchester Hub supports University of Winchester students to engage with the local community and increase their impact on the world around them, through student-led community volunteering projects, social impact internships, and incubation support for new student social enterprises. They also engage students with social issues through training, critical engagement events, and campaigns. The Winchester Hub is a local branch of Student Hubs, a youth social action charity working with 30,000 university students across universities in the UK. They partnered with the University of Winchester and launched the Winchester Hub in 2014, to provide Winchester students with more opportunities to have a social impact alongside their studies.

    Widening Participation

    The WP team have numerous initiatives in place to encourage those who are under-represented in HE to progress to HE. These include bursaries and awards for those with obstacles to entering HE and schemes such as Compact Partnerships (CP) with schools and colleges in the Southern Region, where the UoW provide opportunities for their students who may need additional support to progress to HE. Some examples of their work are as follows;

    • Working with schools from low participation neighbourhoods - the WINdow on HE Programme works with 17 local primary schools and 18 local secondary schools from targeted low participation areas to provide opportunities for young people to engage in a learner framework of aspiration raising school workshops and assemblies, parent talks and on-campus taster days.  In 2015-16, over seven thousand Year 5 to Year 11 students took part in the WINdow on HE programme.
    • Working with children in care and care leavers - the University leads bespoke activities for Children-in-Care and Care Leavers through a collaborative partnership with Hampshire County Council Children’s Services and Virtual School including an annual spring school residential for 14-19 year olds and work-ready training for interns. In 2015-16 over one hundred children-in-care and care leavers engaged in the programme.
    • Working with young carers and young adult carers - the Widening Participation team provides outreach to young carers and young adult carers, working in partnership with Hampshire Young Carers Alliance, The Children's Society, Carers Trust and Hampshire Children's Services. We also aim to provide excellent support to young adult carers who are studying at the University. In 2016 the University was shortlisted for the Guardian University Awards ‘Student Diversity and Widening Participation’ award and won the Times Higher Education ‘Widening Participation or Outreach Initiative of the Year’ in recognition for our work supporting young carers, working with The Carers Trust to help OFFA recognise young carers as a disadvantaged group. In 2015 the University was a major contributor to a toolkit produced by the Carers Trust and the National Network of Universities Supporting Young Adult Carers, and hosting a symposium on the issue.
    • Working with military service children and families - the University is the lead institution for a Ministry of Defence Directorate of Children and Young People (DCYP) funded national alliance: the Service Children’s Progression (SCiP) Alliance. The university continues to support the alliance aims to improve the national coverage, coherence and evidence base to support military service children’s participation in higher education, through working collaboratively with its partners.
    • Working with vulnerable young people - the University is a partner within the Southern Universities Network, a group of  Higher Education Institutions from across Hampshire and Dorset who work collaboratively to reach targeted young people from WP backgrounds. As a member of SUN the University of Winchester has committed to collaborative targets within its Access Agreement to run 4 events per year, with at least 3 universities participating, relating to vulnerable children and young people and/or those who support them (via Southern Universities network). The Southern Universities Network will also be working collaboratively to increase the number of young people from wards with low participation rates as part of the HEFCE National Collaborative Outreach Programme.
    • Working with refugees and asylum seekers - our Sanctuary Award supports up to five students per year seeking sanctuary in the UK to undertake a course in higher education and covers fees, help with additional costs and a bursary of up to £3000 per year. We have established a partnership with the Rural Refugee Network to support its aims of helping Syrian refugees resettle into rural communities in the UK. The university is developing educational activities and resources to raise awareness and challenge misconceptions of refugees entering the UK. In the summer of 2017 we will be hosting a family activity day, welcoming refugee families onto campus and we will also host an Asylum Seekers residential for up to thirty 14-19 year olds to attend the university for 3 days and experience a number of academic taster workshops, life skills sessions (e.g. budgeting, confidence raising etc.) and get to meet current asylum seeker students.