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 

Save the Student has a volunteering guide for beginners, which highlights the benefits of volunteering and gives examples of the types of opportunity available.

Prospects offers advice on volunteering, including how to find volunteering opportunities in both the UK and overseas.

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 on My Career, under Vacancies. 

Volunteering in the North East

Go Volunteer 

Go Volunteer is part of Newcastle University Students' 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 200 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 Go Volunteer

Additional opportunities available in the North East: 

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:

  • 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
  • Volunteer World - organisation offering a range of worldwide volunteering opportunities 
  • Original Volunteers - organisation offering volunteering opportunities across the world

For more information on organisations offering international voluntary work, see Taking time out and the Development section in Sector-specific Information.

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. The work can usually be completed remotely, from home so it's a very flexible way to gain work experience. Virtual volunteering can include:

  • 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.

For information and advice on funding projects, see our Student Initiative Fund pages.  

Go Volunteer, part of Newcastle University Students' Union, provides grant schemes for new student-led volunteer projects.

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

The Gov.uk website has information on applying for funding for community projects, including links to local government contacts.

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.