There are many opportunities to work voluntarily whilst you are studying, during vacations and after graduating. Although generally unpaid, many placements include a small payment for expenses and help with accommodation.
If you want to gain experience in a particular occupation, such as journalism, fundraising, or social and community work, then volunteering could be a good way of getting started. You could, for example, volunteer to do clerical work for Amnesty International, work in an Cancer Research charity shop, fundraise for national charities, help to organise campaigns, work with environmental and conservation groups, staff help lines, befriend prisoners, etc.
Websites featuring volunteering opportunities in the UK
- Do-it Database of UK volunteering opportunities.
- DIVA Bradford Information on volunteering opportunities in Bradford.
- vInspired Connects 14-25 year olds with volunteering opportunities.
- Volunteering Matters A range of volunteering opportunities across the UK.
- Volunteer Centre Bradford Opportunities to volunteer within the local community.
- Cityyear Challenges young people to tackle educational inequality through a year of full-time voluntary service in schools.
The majority of overseas volunteering opportunities incur costs which organisations suggest may be met through fundraising. Some organisations offer bursaries to those volunteers with particular financial difficulties. Start with:
- ICS International Citizen Service A UK government-funded development programme for 18 to 25-year-olds offering volunteering opportunities in international development work. Volunteers are asked to fundraise £800.
- VSO Voluntary Service Overseas Leads the UK government International Citizen Service (ICS) programme in partnership with respected development organisations who have expertise in international and youth volunteering.
And other organisations offering international opportunities include:
- Lattitude Global Volunteering
- International Service
- Restless Development
- Y Care International
Some of these organisations also offer volunteer opportunities for people over 25 years but there will be higher costs attached.
There are many other organisations offering volunteer opportunities that are not part of the ICS programme.
Career Ambassadors - WE NEED YOUR HELP!
At Career and Employability Services we’re here to help our students and graduates through every stage of their career journey, with help and advice on part-time jobs, internships, further study, graduate jobs and much more.
We want to make sure everyone knows about what we offer, and this is where you come in – we’re looking for a team of Volunteer Career Ambassadors to help spread the word about our services.
So what would you do as a Career Ambassador?
- Tell your friends and classmates about careers – through shout outs in lectures and sharing info via social media.
- Help out at events on campus, including careers fairs and ‘careers on location’.
- Be our student voice and help us improve our services through focus groups and feedback activities.
What does it involve?
- Attending monthly meetings for briefings, review and support
- Helping out at events when you’re available – you can get involved as much as you like
- Keeping a record of what you have done so that we can give you university accreditation
What are the benefits?
- Get an insight into the Careers service and how it can help you!
- Improve your confidence and communication skills and interact with students and staff throughout the university
- And, Career Ambassadors are one of the University-endorsed activities for HEAR, your personalised record of achievement throughout your student life which can help you prove that you are more than just your degree.