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Started: June 2011
Based: Cheltenham and Gloucester
Website: www.greenergloucestershire.co.uk/news/article/7458/BiGGY-Gloucestershires-Big-Green-Gap-Year
Twitter: @greenerglos
Categories: Community Action, Education

The Big Green Gap Year (BIGGY) is a new University of Gloucestershire Students’ Union initiative that will offer students six month work placements to bring positive change in their community for reduced tuition costs.

BIGGY was set up in June 2011 by James Derounian, funded by the National Union of Students (NUS). The average gap year can be very expensive for many 17-19 year olds. BIGGY aims to close the gap by offering students a living wage.

The scheme, which has already been piloted with five students, will offer placements provided by third sector bodies that contribute to sustainability and localism. On completion of their placement, students will receive a certificate and a University fee waiver of around £3,000 and £4,500.

In the future, James and the team are hoping that BIGGY can become a national scheme, attracting school leavers to do good in their communities before they go to university.