Volunteering

Why Volunteer?

Volunteering can be a route to employment, or a way to try something which may help you choose a career. It also provides a great opportunity to give something back to the community.

It is also possible to obtain funding to help with your Volunteering via the Student Opportunity Fund and some organisations may offer travel expenses etc

You can volunteer from a couple of hours per month to a couple of days per week. Find out more in the Student Volunteering Handbook.

Volunteering and COVID 19: Update

The Volunteering Advisers have been working hard to update all of the current volunteering opportunities we advertise in light of the current virus. Although many opportunities to volunteer face to face have been suspended, you can still get involved, make a difference, and gain useful skills:

Remember:

· Only volunteer if it is safe to do so

· Follow social distancing rules

· Further details on staying safe can be found on the NHS Website and information from the government on How to Help Safely.

Do you want to volunteer but don’t know where to start?

black and white picture of flower bud

If you are looking for ways you can volunteer from home wherever you are; we have put a guide together to help you to know where to look, including examples of what you can do, and with information of the support available through Careers. Roles included will help you build skills and experience, as well as making a difference.

hands holding autumn leaves

If you are looking for volunteering opportunities that aren’t local to the university, you may find it helpful to get in touch with your local Volunteer Centre or hub, for more information and advice. The Finding Volunteering Where You Live resource gives information on the support available through Careers, and includes a directory of regional/county volunteer centres/hubs throughout the UK and Ireland

Careers Volunteering Advisers can help you in sourcing volunteering opportunities wherever you are in the country, and you can get in touch using Ask a Question or by booking an appointment.

Opportunities advertised through the Careers Vacancy Service are being updated to make sure you have the current information regarding volunteer recruitment . Many roles are still accepting applications with a view to commencing volunteering after restrictions have been lifted.

Volunteering Abroad

Careers do not endorse any individual organisations offering international volunteering opportunities, as quality of experience and support can vary. We can however, offer advice and guidance on where to start looking for opportunities. Take at look at our International Volunteering resource for further information.

Benefits of Volunteering

Employability and Networking

Volunteering can help you:

  • Gain vital work experience
  • Gain new skills and develop existing ones
  • Gain accredited training
  • Go into paid work with the same organisation
  • Build up a network of contacts
  • Get a professional reference
  • Get the edge over other applicants for jobs

Remember, when you graduate you will have a valuable qualification.
If you can combine this qualification with the skills, confidence and experience needed for the career of your choice, you will be a stronger contender when applying for jobs.

Community Benefit

Volunteering isn’t all about improving career prospects – it’s also about enjoying yourself! You might want to volunteer in a role that’s not related to your studies at all, simply because it’s something you love. Volunteering is a great way to get involved in University life and the local community, and to make friends who share your interests.

Volunteering gives you the chance to:

  • Join in activities you really enjoy
  • Get to know your local community
  • Make new friends
  • The ‘feelgood’ factor – knowing you’re helping other people
  • Have fun

Personal Development

Volunteering can help you:

  • Make career decisions by trying different roles
  • Improve your confidence
  • Give something back to your community
  • Build your self-esteem
  • Find out what you’re passionate about
  • As a volunteer, doing a valuable job in a real workplace can help you see yourself as a professional, and give you extra confidence which you can carry forward into your graduate career

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