Branch Up

A project by: Caitlin Ripley



from 41 donors

This project received pledges on Fri 20 Mar 2015
Exciting Activity Days for Children and Volunteers

Our Campaign in Brief

We are Branch Up and we're raising £700 to run fantastic activity days for disadvantaged children in Southampton.

What is branch up?

Branch Up is part of Southampton Hub, a network of students from the University of Southampton who are fully embedded in the wider community with every singe student engaging in social and environmental issues for the betterment of the community. Branch Up's aim is to run activity days for children from disadvantaged backgrounds. Each activity day is led by a student volunteer and mentor, who provide the children who take part with the best opportunities available to young people today, allowing them to be a part of new and exciting experiences that contribute towards their future.

Why branch up is so important!

Branch Up aims to raise the ambition and aspirations of local children from disadvantaged backgrounds, whilst promoting volunteering opportunities to students at the University of Southampton.

Children who come from disadvantaged circumstances are more likely to suffer emotional and behavioral problems that can have a life-long, negative effect on their future health and wellbeing. Branch Up offers these children the chance to experience activities such as pottery, baking, museum trips and zoo trips that give disadvantaged young children a chance to enjoy opportunities they may otherwise miss out on. These activities also provide a myriad of health, social and cultural benefits, whilst developing the soft skills which are so important in school, further education and employment.

Interacting with positive and motivated university students can build young people’s future aspirations. Research has shown that 80% of young people from disadvantaged neighborhoods live in close proximity to a highly selective university but only 1 in 25 will go on to attend such a university. In Southampton 55% of children under the age of five live in the 30% most deprived areas in the UK. 10 small areas of Southampton fall into 10% most deprived in England for income deprivation, affecting children, whilst less than a third of students in schools or colleges in Southampton go on to university.

Activity days plan to get the children out of their usual environment, experiencing new adventurous, cultural and educational activities, whilst creating a strong bond between them, their volunteer and the other children.

This year we will be able to put on two activity days during the 2014-15 academic year. But with the help of our supporters to this project we hope to increase the number of activity days to as many as three per term.

Where will your money go?

 We have great aspirations for what we hope to do with the support we receive from our project: from playing "Muggle Quidditch" on Southampton Common to a day out at the Zoo or a trip to Legoland. These are all things the kids might not be able to do without the help of Branch Up and without your help. Helping us to make our aspirations a reality will really make a difference.

The most important thing, however, is that funding will ensure that Branch Up can continue its good work far into the future. We aim to be a long term and sustainable project, working with as many children and volunteers as possible.

Here's exactly how your money can make a difference..

  • Just £3 will pay for a child's lunch
  • £5 will pay for an entrance ticket to a museum
  • £7 will pay for one seat on a minibus
  • £27 will pay for a child's ticket to Legoland
  • £95 will pay for an activity day playing Quidditch for 20 kids
  • £175 will cover DBS checks for 25 volunteers, to ensure the safety of the children.

What do you get in return?

As well as helping make a difference in the lives of both children and volunteers, we're offering personalized rewards for all donations over £10!

However, UoS students have the biggest reward possible: keep an eye out in The Week for any volunteering opportunities coming up with Branch Up or any of our other programmes or events.

Find us here

Want to be kept up to date? All donations will be reported on our Facebook Page, as well as all progress with Branch Up in general. We'll also post weekly updates in Southampton Hub's newsletter The Week (Click here! to subscribe) Southampton Hub also has a Twitter account so please feel free to subscribe, like and follow all of our social media accounts so you can keep up to date!

Got something to say? We're always happy to hear from our supporters! New ideas and feedback are a pleasure to receive, so please send on any thoughts you might have.

Help us succeed!

Like the project? Want to see Branch Up succeed and grow? Traditional philanthropy isn't the only way.

Here are some other things you can do to help us out:

Share this page on Facebook, Tweet it, in fact any social media coverage is fantastic news for us. What did we do before the internet, eh?

Struggling to think of what to get Grandma for her birthday? Donations are good presents, and if its for £10 or more, we'll even send her a card.

Do you know people who would feel for this cause? Drop them an email, phone call or text and let them know about us. 

Whatever you do for us, THANK YOU. I means a lot, and you're helping change a child's life.
2 years, 3 months ago

With the crowdfunding now over and SUCCESSFUL, thank you to everyone here who donated and supported us. Very literally we wouldn't have been able to do it without you.

Looking forward to running some exciting activity days next term.

If you want to receive our post-activity day newsletter please get in touch with

Thank you all so much again!

The Branch Up Team x

2 years, 3 months ago

You may have already heard, but there's BIG news!!

We reached our minimum, which means Branch Up will be receiving all the donations meaning we can run three more exciting activity days!!

But can we reach our target to make those days bigger and better? There's two days left, let's see what we can do together!

Interested in making regular donations to Branch Up? Please don't hesitate to get in touch with our coordinator via

2 years, 3 months ago

Our First Activity Day to Marwell Zoo

by Simran Dhanjal

On Saturday 14th March 2015, Branch Up went on its first activity day! Our intrepid volunteers met at Highfield Campus, whilst our excited children met at Wordsworth Primary School and formed a small walking bus with a few of our volunteers including Simran and Sabina. We all met on the Avenue, where our coach picked us up and off we went to Marwell Zoo.

We had a lovely group of five children and six volunteers. Each child was paired with a student volunteer, who would be their partner for the day. On the bus journey to the zoo, each pair took the time to get to know each other, and there were many rounds of eye-spy. 

We arrived at Marwell Zoo at 11.30am, and following a swift exit from the bus, we made it into the park! Each of the pairs partnered up with another pair and set off on some free-time before lunch. Every child was given a map, and had to navigate themselves and their partner around the zoo. This meant that everyone got to see their favourite animals straight away, and allowed everyone to get acquainted with the layout of the park - something that would be very important for the afternoon activity. 

We met at Cafe Graze at 12.30pm for a minipicnic of sandwiches, fruit and crisps. In this time all sat together and had a chat about all the things we had seen so far. The groups had seen everything from meerkats to wallabies! 

After lunch, before our big activity, we found some open space and played a few games. We played a few games of Splat, before moving on to games suggested by the group. This lead to an excellent few rounds of Wink Murder being led by Crystal. After this we set up our afternoon activity - a scavenger hunt around the zoo. Each pair had a list of questions to answer and things to do and find, which they could only answer by going around the zoo. As soon as this was said everybody was off for over an hour and a half! 

We met up back by the penguins, and started to talk about some of the cool things we had seen during the hunt. When we got back on the bus, and went through all the answers. Everyone had found different answers and got to see some really cool animals. 

From our feedback, it seems that everyone had an excellent time. 5/5 kids said that the day was ‘brilliant’, and that they wanted to attend another one. They also gave us lots of ideas like the cinema, Legoland, and baking! This was amazing to hear, and we can’t wait to see everyone again, hopefully with some new faces too!

If you'd like to receive our full newsletter, complete with more pictures, please email

2 years, 3 months ago

Thanks to everyone who has donated to Branch Up so far!

We're currently at £388, £112 off our minimum with FIVE days to go!

If you'd like to help out by sharing our campaign with your friends, family, pet dog, next door neighbour, boss... other acquaintances, we'd really appreciate it!

In other (very very exciting) news, guess what? Branch Up held its first ever activity day!

On Saturday, five children, six volunteers and the Branch Up team all headed to Marwell Zoo for a scavenger hunt and most importantly to see the penguins!

It was a roaring success. Sim (our fantastic kids officer) is currently writing up our post-day newsletter and it will be appear here soon.

For now, please enjoy this picture of the Branch Up team being very big kids, taking our Scavenger Hunt selfie!

Caitlin Ripley

generated 148 clicks and donated


generated 127 clicks and donated

Rachel Tait

generated 108 clicks and donated £4.00


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donated £50.00


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donated £20.00


donated £13.00


donated £10.00


donated £10.00

Barbara Goodwin

donated £10.00

Lucy Walsh

donated £10.00

Jenny Bortoluzzi

donated £10.00


donated £10.00


donated £10.00

Gemma Dunning

donated £5.00

Laura Archer

donated £5.00


donated £1.00



荩娴 彭


Florence Ann






Augusta Higson

followed this project and signed up to help

Jonathan May

followed this project

17 anonymous donations totalling £158.00

Only project creators and their sponsors can post comments.

Thank You Robin and yet another mysterious anonymous donor!! We're doing so well with just over 24 hours to go!!

A belated thank you to Ben and Laura Trigg, GBh, Esther Rimes, Judy and Sammi for their donations. What a day!! We reached our minimum, let's see if we can get the target!!

Great project! Hope this helps you reach your minimum target! Ben & Laura.

Thank you Gemma and Catherine for your pledges!

Thank you Hannah and Georgina who have just donated!!

Good luck guys!

Thank you kml1g14 whoever you are!!

We've reached over £400! Yay! Thank you to donors Aby and Nikki who donated today!

Thank you Lucy and Branch Up volunteers Rory and Tom for donating yesterday!

Thanks to Branch Up volunteers Isobel and Laura!

Thank you Molly, Maddi and Charlotte for donating today!

Thank you to Barbara Goodwin, KAL and Anonymous for your donations today!

Thank you Jenny!

Good luck :) you guys are amazing!

Thank you to our two new donors yesterday, Gillian Thawley and Will Ripley!!

Big news! Branch Up will be running its first activity day on 14th March! A link to our post-event newsletter will be uploaded afterwards.

Thank you Tasha! We're really looking forward to running our first activity day soon!

This is a fantastic project and the students involved are doing a brilliant job, well done everyone and good luck with the campaign

Thanks to our latest anonymous donor!!

Thank you to Jennifer Harris, our latest donor!

Aurora's mum

Big thank you to our latest donor 'Aurora's Nan'!

Good Luck with your project.Here's hoping you reach your target!!

Thank you to yesterday's donors Mike, Alix, Christa and Rachel!! We've hit £200 now, we're really on our way!

Thank you to this weekend's donors: Laura (who is also a Branch Up volunteer!), Garth, Florence and Lucy.

Good luck with reaching your target! Such a great initiative :)

Yay! This is such a great cause and I only wish I could give more!

Hey, studying Education Studies at the University of Winchester and saw a friend share this great cause. Hope this helps!

Thank you's to today's donors Alex Owen and Chris Hicks!!

The donation is a thank for your work on the Student project at Holbury Hardware Stores. Good luck with your work at Branch Up.

Thank you MelRip, 荩娴 彭 and the anonymous donor who've all made pledges today!

It's great that students at Southampton University are getting together to support disadvantaged young people in their area. I'm sure this project will be a great success!

Thanks to all our sponsors so far: Sammi Watts, Catherine Mitchell, Devon Lewis, Dan Corbishley and June and David Bedford!

Good luck team Branch Up!