Aged 18-25 and want to use your talent for good?
We need different people to come and join the social impact workforce. People like you.
Working in social impact is all about using our talent for good and there are a ton of different career paths you can follow in social impact, such as campaigning, design, fundraising, policy, research and evaluation, programme delivery, business development, service delivery and frontline working with communities. And you can work across a massive range of issues: health, education, democracy, poverty, inequality, human rights, housing- the list goes on and on. We think it’s just about the most exciting sector you could work in.
But right now our workforce doesn’t represent our whole society and this matters. Just 6% of our sector leadership is BAME and working-class people and groups who have had experiences such as being in care are also missing. This means we need more, and different, talent coming into the sector. Research shows that having people in our teams who’ve got with lived experience of the kind of challenges we want to tackle gives us a greater understanding of the communities we want to serve and the problems we need to address. There is also lots of evidence that having more mixed teams helps organisations be more creative, resilient and more effective.
Whatever you studied, or didn’t study, we are sure there is a place for you in the social impact workforce. And that your life experiences can be a force for change. Anyone aged 18-25 can become a member of Room for Change for free and learn about working in our sector and how to build careers here.
Do I need to have been to university and/or studied a certain topic to apply?
No. While many inequalities in the job market specifically affect graduates, if you are aged 20-25 you can join whether you have been to university or not. People from all kinds of academic backgrounds come to work in social impact. Including the arts, politics, economics, sociology, psychology, business, computer and tech, design and so on. So there is no particular area you need to have studied in.
When can I apply?
You can apply if you are aged between 18 and 25. If you are at university you need to be in your final year of study before you intend to start working to join.
Do I need to live in a certain area to apply?
Our pilot scheme is for students and graduates living in England and you can be from anywhere in England. While our accommodation scheme is designed to help graduates from outside London access career opportunities in London, all other parts of the programme are open to every member, including those in London.
How do I know if I am eligible for mentoring and accommodation support?
Room for Change is about supporting young people and graduates who are underrepresented in the social impact sector to have equal access to opportunities.
There is no single criteria for deciding if you are eligible but if are interested in mentoring you’ll be asked if any of the following are true for you:
I received a Student Maintenance Loan, in addition to a Tuition Fees Loan
I received additional financial support to attend university on top of my Student Maintenance Loan, such as additional Maintenance Loan, a charitable grant or funding from my university’s Hardship Fund
I have experience of being in care
I have experience of living in social housing (council or housing association housing)
I have had personal experience with the justice system
I identify as Black, Asian or another minority ethnicity
I am the first in my family to attend university
If one of them to all of them are true you will most likely be eligible. If none of them are true you’ll still have a chance to say why you think the scheme is relevant to you and how you think it could help you and we’ll consider your application individually.
For accommodation support you’ll need the following to be true for you:
I have an interview, work experience, internship or job confirmed in London ( you will be asked to prove this by showing e.g. a confirmation email)
I would be unable to take up the opportunity without accommodation support from Room for Change i.e. I don’t have family or friends to stay with or resources to pay for accommodation on the open rental, or lettings market or in a hotel (you will be asked to confirm this)
How does the mentoring work?
Through Room for Change mentoring you can be matched with an experienced social impact professional who has been trained to use their career experiences to support Room for Change mentees who are starting to build their careers in social impact. Your mentor will work with you for between 3-6 months and will usually speak with you around every 3-4 weeks. You can speak with them face to face or on Skype. They will explore your specific plans with you, whether it’s to prepare for interviews, make the most of an internship or settle into a new role and then use your time together to help you work on those plans in a supportive and friendly way. It’s a great way to get insider tips and help, and also to build your network of people in the sector, which is a really useful tool for career development.
If you want a mentor you’ll be asked to fill in a very short form to say what you’re looking for help with and then we’ll send you profiles of relevant mentors so you can pick someone who is right for you. You’ll be able to have an initial chat to see if you get on ok before you both commit. Room for Change will be available to support at any time during the mentoring process.
How does the accommodation support work?
Room for Change has a small and growing network of volunteer hosts who have a spare room in their home in London that they are happy to let a Room for Change member to use for free if they need it to take part in a career opportunity like an interview, work experience or internship. The maximum stay offered is a month, although many hosts offer less than this, usually a night or five days (Monday to Friday). While it won’t solve your long term struggles with London rent, it can help you practically with short opportunities or give you breathing space while you find a long term accommodation option that works for you. All our hosts have undergone a strict application process including a home visit from Room for Change.
If you need accommodation support you’ll be asked to prove you have an opportunity coming up in London. We’ll then share the details of relevant hosts and you’ll be able to approach who you’d like to stay with (don’t worry, we’ll help with introductions!). If you find a match you’ll both need to sign a contract confirming the stay is free and that you’ll respect their home and they’ll respect your space. Room for Change will be available to support during the stay.
I don’t think I would be eligible for mentoring or accommodation support, should I still become a member?
If you want to join the social impact workforce then yes, definitely! We want ALL kinds of different people to come into the sector and our tips about key ideas and info around social impact and how to work in this sector will still be relevant and useful.