Careers and Employability Service


Volunteering can give you a wide range of experience and help develop skills, such as communication skills, team-working, leadership and problem-solving, as well as extend your network of contacts.

Where can I find volunteering opportunities?

Please bear in mind that it can take time to match you with opportunities, and you may need to undergo a DBS (Disclosure and Barring Service) check, which may take time, so apply well in advance.

  • HUSSO volunteering - the University of Hull has one of the best Students' Union Community organisations and volunteering hubs in UK universities, HUSSO, which offers a range of volunteering opportunities.
  • Do-it - search opportunities, based on location, type of opportunity, and your availability in terms of days and times. Opportunities range from retail volunteering to supporting people with disabilities, from play-workers to administrators, from fund-raising to organising events.
  • CVS Volunteer Centres - if you prefer to speak to someone about local opportunities, there is a regular drop-in service at the at The Strand, 75 Beverley Road, Hull. T. 01483 324474 and the Volunteer Centre in Scarborough at Allatt House, 5 West Parade, Scarborough, North Yorkshire, YO12 5ED T. 01723 362205
  • VInspired  - for 16 and 25 year olds - opportunities and gaining recognition for volunteering. 
  • CSV - Community and Voluntary Service or CSV. Opportunities for volunteering across a range of projects in various locations across the UK.
  • UNA Exchange - opportunities in 60 countries (inc India, Japan, Iceland, Kenya)
  • Do something brilliant - new Lottery funded initiative to encourage volunteering.

Volunteering locally

Search for local organisations, which recruit volunteers. You can also generate your own opportunities, for example, contact schools directly to find out if you can gain some classroom experience.

Don't forget that you can volunteer to help out at local events e.g. music, comedy and literary festivals, both at the University, in the wider Hull and Scarborough areas and in your local area during vacations. Find out what is happening in your area, and contact organisers.

Volunteering Opportunities:

  • Emmaus - marketing, campaigns, social enterprise, retail and e-commerce roles available to support homelessness charity
  • Humberside Probation Service are recruiting volunteers for their Circles of Support
  • SOVA - National volunteer mentoring organisation working with the socially and economically disadvantaged.
  • Goodwin Trust - Wide range of projects working in four key areas: Health, Social Care and Wellbeing - e.g. Doula Project, Children & Young People - e.g. Children's Centres, Employment, Education & Training and Safer & Stronger Communities - e.g. community wardens
  • Hull & East Yorkshire Mind - Mentors
  • COMPASS - helping to solve drug and alcohol abuse
  • ARKH - drop-ins and befriending on asylum seekers
  • Walker Street Contact Centre - Providing supervised contact
  • Humberside Police - Community Engagement Team/Special Constable opportunities. Apply via the Do it website above
  • Shannon Trust - prison reading initiatives
  • Relate - relationship counselling
  • ELDIS - Portal of volunteer opportunities and volunteer websites
  • NACRO - National Association for the Care and resettlement of offenders. Nearest projects in Sheffield and Bradford
  • Go to Work Placements - paid work opportunities

International opportunities

The University of Hull provides support for some international placement/volunteering opportunities, including some of those listed below.  Go to International placements to find out more.

  • International Service (ICS) is an international development charity, which supports people in practical ways to understand their rights and put them into action. They have a young people’s overseas volunteering scheme offering 12-week placements that give young adults the chance to make a positive difference to the lives some of the world’s poorest communities. This is a great opportunity to learn about life in another country, work on real-life development projects, and develop important life skills such as teamwork, leadership, communication and decision-making.
  • Balloon Kenya - work with entrepreneurs to change lives.
  • Concordia volunteers
  • VSO Voluntary Service Overseas or VSO is the world’s leading independent international development organisation that works through volunteers to fight poverty in developing countries. They are particularly interested in recruiting volunteer specialists, such as medics and teachers. They have opportunities from 6 months to 2 years for qualified professionals with post-qualification experience, and opportunities for people between 18-25 years in their Global Exchange and Youth for Development Schemes.
  • UN Volunteers - contributes to peace and development through volunteering worldwide. The Programme is active in around 130 countries every year.
  • Ist Plus - teach English overseas, for example the Ist Plus 'Volunteer Thailand' programme. Some opportunities are paid, but you may be charged a fee. Ist Plus operates in Australia, China, New Zealand, USA, Thailand and Singapore.
  • Read International - collection of books and establishment of libraries in East Africa
  • Institute for Cultural Diplomacy - voluntary Internships in Berlin
  • AIESEC - opportunities to work and volunteer overseas
  • EU Youth Volunteering Portal - lists of Volunteering Programmes
  • Book Bus - charity dedicated to improving child literacy in the developing world by providing books and a mentoring service to children from disadvantaged backgrounds
  • Go to Work Overseas - paid work opportunities

Kenyan Orphan Project - offers a scheme "Charity Apprentice" a part-time year long course including a months stay in East Africa

SKIP Peru - SKIP is a UK, US and Peruvian registered charity working in the impoverished districts of El Porvenir and Alto Trujillo. Find out more about their placements.  Click to view the PowerPoint presentation here

Be aware that some of the volunteering opportunities listed above may charge you to participate, and you may need to pay for flights and accommodation.

For other overseas opportunities, check out the Working Abroad and Work experience pages of this website - links below.

Top ten reasons why you should consider volunteering

  • Volunteering can contribute significantly to the development of employability skills, such as communication skills, team-working and organisational skills. You will be able to draw on your volunteering experience as evidence of these and other skills.
  • Volunteering work often provides opportunities and a level of responsibility, which you might not obtain from part-time, paid work.
  • Volunteering can help you to develop your network of contacts.
  • Volunteering can help you to gain self-confidence and develop new interests.
  • Volunteering helps your local community and benefits others.
  • Volunteering can be very rewarding.
  • Volunteering adds to your CV and helps it stand out from others.
  • Volunteering enables you to meet new and interesting people.
  • Volunteering makes you feel good.
  • Volunteering is good fun!

Careers -Picture of Tom P case studyRead Tom's story about how volunteering helped him develop invaluable skills, confidence and contacts. Until recently, Tom was the Students' Union Vice-President (VP) Community. Read Tom's story here.

Why not create your own opportunities?

Not all opportunities will be advertised. Consider a more direct approach to charities and not for profit organisations to generate opportunities or make speculative enquiries/applications. Use any contacts you make have, such as friends or family.

Unpaid Experience

Whilst the Careers and Employability Service and our professional body, AGCAS, may take the view that, if you undertaking a placement or internship, you should be paid, there may be occasions when you might shadow a person in a job or get a taste of a type of work, or seek to develop your network, when not actually employed for a day or so.

The BBC offers over 1000 opportunities to gain such experience. Go to BBC Work Experience for details.

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