Volunteering gives you the opportunity to help out in the community, with a charity, or another organisation.

What is volunteering?

Volunteering is a way to make a difference to peoples’ lives and the community around you, but can also look great on a CV, apprenticeship application, or personal statement. 

What is volunteering?

This video from the University of East Anglia shows what volunteering is all about.

What types of volunteering can I do?

There are lots of opportunities for volunteering. Some of these might include:

  • fundraising for a charity or campaigning for a cause like climate change
  • going abroad to help with international aid
  • volunteering with a local sports team for young people
  • spending your time in an animal shelter
  • working with the elderly in a care home
  • giving first aid or handing out supplies to the homeless
  • supporting in a local library or a community centre
  • You can help make a difference to people’s lives and the world in lots of roles.
  • Volunteering can look great on CVs, personal statements, or apprenticeship applications.
  • It’s a great way to demonstrate you’re passionate about a particular cause.
  • You don’t get paid for your time.
  • It can be time-consuming alongside working or studying, so make sure you don’t over-commit yourself.

Is volunteering paid?

No, volunteering is not paid. You will be giving up your time on a voluntary basis.

It’s important you know what you’re signing up for before you start volunteering. Make sure you’re getting good experience from it, that what the organisation is asking from you is reasonable, and that you’re able to commit to the time.

Find out about rights for volunteers

Number of volunteers who said volunteering had helped their communication, influencing and relationship skills
Source: Education & Employers
Number of volunteers who felt they had gained a better understanding of society and social issues
Source: Education & Employers

Can volunteering help me get a job?

Volunteering can look great on your CV. It can help show you’re passionate about a particular cause or organisation and have gone the extra mile to demonstrate that. It can also give you something to talk about in job interviews or assessment centres, and help show good personality traits like kindness, helpfulness, and time management.

However, it completely depends on the job you’re applying for. For example, if you’re going into a retail apprenticeship, a part-time job in a shop may be able to demonstrate those skills better. Or if you’re going for an office job, an internship or a week of work experience might be able to show those skills.

Think about the skills you’re going to need for the job, apprenticeship, or course, and how you can best get experience that demonstrates them.

Read more on identifying your transferrable skills.

Where to find volunteering opportunities

To find a volunteering opportunity, you can:

  • search on volunteering websites like DoIT or Reach
  • look for local opportunities in your community, town, or city
  • use social media channels like LinkedIn or Facebook groups to find opportunities
  • ask around with friends or family if they know of any causes