Community Action and Knowledge Exchange is an annual UWE-based project which has been running for 30 years drawing on the interests and knowledge of IT Management for Business and Computing and Web Design BSc students in partnership with a wide range of community or voluntary groups, social enterprises and others in the Bristol area. The projects range from developing websites to designing social media strategies and enhancing databases and creating IT strategies, allowing students to develop and nurture a wider skill set which will help them develop and succeed in their degree programmes and beyond, as well as helping our community groups who otherwise would not have the skills or resources to create their own online IT solutions.

Students work in groups of four or five and will meet with organisations to explore the problem posed, undertake research into potential solutions and depending on the nature of the problem work towards a solution with the client. Outputs produced by students include a revamped website for St Werburghs Community Centre and the development of a social media strategy for Circomedia.

“We were very lucky to win a bid for the consultancy run by UWE Bristol as the scheme is well known now and has a reputation for delivering excellent work. The student team were fantastically professional in their approach and have helped us to develop a new website that is easy for us to use. The team also extended our social media presence growing our twitter following from a handful of followers to over 1,500. We are delighted with the work they have done for us.”

Guy Rawlinson, Chairman of the Thornbury in Bloom group and Mayor of Thornbury

The scheme is embedded in the curriculum, so students deliver tangible benefits in real organisations with real needs. They learn by doing as a powerful complement to classroom learning about information technology management for business. The teams do real projects for real organisations so they get a real flavour of working for a client. Clients discuss what they want and this may well end up being very different from what they need, so the students have to unpick the best way of doing things creatively and collaboratively.

Each academic year we work with small local organisations as partners in our unique student consultancy scheme. Unfortunately, due to the success of this project we now have greater demand than we can match. However if you think your business would be the perfect match, please contact us and and see how you can get involved.