University of Nottingham: Game-changing project tackles Nottingham’s social problems

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Businesses and charities are teaming up with students at the University of Nottingham to address some of the key social challenges facing the city.

The Social Impact Game is an award-winning project that has led to big changes such as preventing hate crime, increasing mental health support and reducing waste. Students collaborate with advisors and partners from local organisations to turn a business or social problem into a project. The project then enables the teams to make a real difference to the lives of people in Nottingham.

The university wants to encourage more local businesses and charitable organisations to get involved this year.

Now, more than ever, young people are looking for ways to help others and to create more equal, sustainable communities. The Social Impact Game harnesses this wave of activism by supporting the professional development of our students and enabling them to make a real difference to Nottingham.
Wayne Crawford, Volunteering and Advocacy Manager, University of Nottingham
Wayne goes on to say: “We can’t do this without the vital support of volunteer advisors and business partners. In exchange for their guidance and project ideas, volunteers will receive first-class training from a team of social impact experts, as well as experiencing real tangible benefits to their own professional development and organisational output.”

Last year, Darren Eaton from the Morgan Sindall Group worked with a group of students to boost mental health support for construction workers. In 2020, a report by the Chartered Institute of Building found that 70% of respondents had experienced depression and 87% had suffered anxiety. Darren worked with the students to develop a toolbox aimed at supporting mental health on site.

Through our project with Morgan Sindall, we were able to improve access to mental health support by 45% and increase awareness of mental health charity, MenUnite. We also provided Morgan Sindall with a six-step process to help them roll this out to staff on other sites.
Shahaz-Ali Bharwani, Student
Previous projects also included a campaign with the Nottingham Women’s Centre to tackle violence against women. The team created and delivered their own training workshop aimed at improving men’s understanding of the issue and encouraging men to report it. The workshop and training material are still used within the community today.

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