Careers Service

Volunteering

Benefits

Volunteering to give your time, energy and experience helps others and there are also many benefits for you.

As a volunteer you can gain:

  • valuable employability skills
  • practical work experience
  • a network of contacts
  • potential employment opportunities
  • the chance to try something new

Voluntary work can be flexible to fit around your commitments. You can choose to volunteer alongside your course, as part of your study, during vacation periods or in a gap year.

It's also worth bearing in mind that some careers are difficult to get into without previous volunteer experience, for example working in development or the environment.

If you are giving up your free time and wanting to give your best, it is wise to do something you are passionate about.

Further information 

Read about the impact of volunteering on university students in London in the Student Volunteering Survey 2011 (PDF: 1.25MB), produced by Workers in Student Community Volunteering.

Guardian careers: Q&A includes a student and graduate guide to volunteering.

Watch our Journey to Work video (University login required) to see student and employer insights on the benefits of volunteering. 

Finding Opportunities

We've listed below a range of websites to help you find volunteering opportunities in the North East, the UK and overseas.

Newcastle University students and registered eligible graduates can also search for voluntary opportunities via Vacancies Online

Volunteering in the North East

The following opportunities are available in the North East: 

Go Volunteer 

Go Volunteer is part of Newcastle University Student Union (NUSU) and aims to help Newcastle University students find volunteering opportunities. 

As well as projects within NUSU and student-led projects, they also have links to over 100 charities and not-for-profit organisations within the local community. They offer one-off as well as regular, long term opportunities, and can even help you start up your own project.

For further information and to get involved, visit the Go Volunteer website

Volunteering in the UK

The following websites provide information about volunteering in the UK:

Volunteering overseas

The following websites provide information about volunteering outside of the UK:

  • World Wide Volunteering
  • WorkingAbroad
  • InterVol
  • European Voluntary Service
  • International Citizen Service - government initiative providing young people (aged 18-22) with three month voluntary work placements in deprived areas overseas, funding is available on a means-tested basis
  • Raleigh International - charity offering five to 10 week voluntary expeditions in Borneo, India, Costa Rica and Nicaragua.
  • Lattitude Global Volunteering - international youth development charity offering volunteering and gap year placements for people aged 17-25, bursaries are available for UK applicants who need financial support to take part
  • Madventurer - non-profit volunteering opportunities in Africa, Asia and South America
  • POD - non-profit organisation offering one week to six month volunteer projects around the world
  • Concordia - non-profit organisation offering volunteer projects in over 60 countries
  • UNA Exchange - non-profit organisation offering one to 12 month volunteer projects in over 60 countries

For more information on organisations offering international voluntary work, see Taking time out and the Development section on our Occupations site.

Virtual Volunteering

Working from home as a volunteer can be a good option if you want experience which is flexible around your study commitments.

Virtual volunteering allows you to contribute your spare time to a good cause, while building up experience and skills in a variety of areas, such as:

  • writing
  • editing
  • translation
  • research
  • IT
  • training

The following websites provide further information and opportunities:

Funding a Voluntary Project

Find opportunities and information on funding voluntary projects.

See the ncl+ website for information and advice on funding projects, including details of the Alumni Association Student Initiative Fund.

Newcastle University Student Wellbeing Service have a section on funding expeditions. See also the University’s Expeditions web pages for inspiration and more information.

The following links provide further information on funding:

More Help

Get help from the Careers Service and find information about employment rights as a volunteer.

Advice from the Careers Service

For further help and advice about volunteering, drop into the Careers Service, no appointment necessary.

Employment rights 

Visit gov.uk for information about employment rights as a volunteer.