Skip main navigation

Hurry, only 9 days left to get one year of Unlimited learning for £249.99 £174.99. New subscribers only. T&Cs apply

Find out more

Volunteering opportunities

At university, there are so many opportunities to get involved, and volunteering is one of the most rewarding. Fran outlines more here.
two people in the woods
© University of York

Volunteering means you give your time for free to a cause you’re passionate about. Thousands of students volunteer at universities across the country each year. Not only is this a great way to get involved in your local community and make a difference, it also means you have the opportunity to make new friends and you’ll be developing great skills which will really impress employers.

Additionally, lots of volunteers say that volunteering has helped build their confidence and boosted their wellbeing. You may choose to volunteer at a ‘one-off’ event or as part of a more sustained project.

There are lots of different ways you can volunteer. For example, the University of York runs a programme called ‘York Students in Schools’. This scheme connects students from the University of York with local schools, to help make a difference to the lives of young people in York. This award winning scheme was first set up by students in 1994. Each year, the University works with around 50 schools at all levels and on average 600 students a year participate in the scheme, from a full range of departments and levels of study. This equates to around 16,000 hours of time given to a great cause.

Students support teaching and learning through a wide range of placements and projects, from nursery to college levels. There are a large number of possible roles including classroom assistants, EAL support assistants and GCSE maths and English tutors. If you are keen on a career in teaching after your degree, this is an ideal opportunity to gain valuable experience to add to your CV.

Check out your university’s website for more information on similar schemes. In particular, the Students’ Union and Careers service can be a great starting point. For example, York’s Student Union offers a tea and coffee volunteering opportunity that brings local elderly residents into the university for a cuppa and game of bingo.

Over to you

What sort of projects might you be interested in volunteering for? What kind of skills would you personally gain from engaging in volunteering?

© University of York
This article is from the free online

Pathways to Success: Making the Most of Your Time at University

Created by
FutureLearn - Learning For Life

Reach your personal and professional goals

Unlock access to hundreds of expert online courses and degrees from top universities and educators to gain accredited qualifications and professional CV-building certificates.

Join over 18 million learners to launch, switch or build upon your career, all at your own pace, across a wide range of topic areas.

Start Learning now