LESS

The Organisation

LESS, based in Lancaster, is a not-for-profit Community Interest Company which was set up in 2007 to promote sustainable living. LESS’s strategic aims include giving down-to-earth support and advice to individuals, communities and organisations to enhance their wellbeing and resilience to climate change. LESS helps people build skills in sustainable living and to make ethical products and services, and their local suppliers, more accessible.

LESS

The Challenge

The company wanted to improve its reach into the local community by developing the LESS website, newsletter and social media platforms, and expand LESS’s network of partners and community reach.

Skills Sought

  • Marketing and communication skills
  • Research, analysis and reporting skills
  • Customer service skills

The Solution

Samantha Gray, BSc Hons Geography, was recruited through the Science and Technology Internship Programme for a six week internship with LESS. Samantha was responsible for marketing and communication of LESS projects and services, including via the LESS website, Facebook, Twitter and a regular newsletter.

Samantha undertook research and consultation, and produced effective analysis and reporting of data, building relationships with local people and organisations, and expanding LESS’s networks of partners. She also worked with the organisation’s Funding Coordinator to investigate funding opportunities for LESS and its services, and helped to complete applications for funding.

CostSantandar Universities Logo

The internship was part-financed by LESS at £750 +VAT, and part-financed by Santander, with a total value of £1,650.

Impact

Through improving the LESS website and social media presence, LESS’s profile was raised, helping to attract more clients, volunteers and potentially new sources of funding, as well as contributing to making ethical products and services, and their local suppliers, more accessible.

Benefits to the company

  • Knowledge and expertise of a Lancaster University Science and Technology student
  • Increased exposure for the company in local communities
  • Saved management time
  • Increased potential for more sustainable communities

Company Feedback

“The project helped us to raise our profile, saved us time, and ultimately helped towards our aim of deepening understanding within local communities of sustainability issues and opportunities. We also benefitted from having a new pair of eyes and a perspective on the motivations of students and young people, a key target group for our work.

“Samantha was a committed member of staff and a quick learner – she fitted in with the team straight away and was happy to work on any task we gave her. We wish she could have been with us longer!” Emily Heath, Director, LESS.

Student Feedback

“I have developed skills in communications, such as website development and newsletter writing. I have also learnt to prepare funding applications and had experience writing these.

"I know I want to move into a career within sustainability. The internship has also assured me that I want to do work involving interaction with other people.” Samantha Gray, Geography BSc, LESS Intern.

Future Plans

“We regularly collaborate with university researchers to develop and deliver new projects, and offer dissertation projects. We would be pleased to host student interns in the future if possible.” Emily Heath, Director, LESS.