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Volunteering involves offering your time (on an unpaid basis) to take part in an activity that benefits people (individuals or groups) an organisation, or the environment. Many students and recent graduates see volunteering as an enjoyable way to gain valuable work experience and develop their personal and professional skills.

Why Volunteer?

  • Meet new people, make friends and increase your network  
  • Build confidence and increase your wellbeing   
  • Stand out in a competitive labour market  
  • Gain crucial experience to enhance your CV  
  • ‘Try out’ possible career paths  
  • Make a positive difference to a community, organisation, or cause  
  • Find opportunities that are flexible and can fit around your studies  
  • Try something new and stretch your comfort zone 
  • Learn new skills or refine existing ones 
  • Gain recognition via the Graduate + award  - Bronze, Silver and Gold!

To see all the latest opportunities, click the 'View Volunteering Opportunities' button below.


Find out more

More Information

People from the European Economic Area (EEA) are free to volunteer in the UK. The EEA countries are the countries of the European Union (EU) plus Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway. If you are from outside this area and are on a Student Visitor (3 month/short term) visa you will unfortunately not be permitted to volunteer.

If you are on a Tier 4 (long term) student visa and are a student from outside the EEA coming to the Birmingham City Students' Union then you are permitted to volunteer, however there are a few things you can do before you arrive to make the process a bit easier:

  1. Get a copy of your police record from your home country - It's not vital, however if you wish to volunteer on projects working with children or other people classed as 'vulnerable', it can help speed things up if you have a copy of your record. The project or organisation you are working for will apply for a UK police check on your behalf, so you should give them the police check from your home country when you go for your volunteer interview.

  2. Get contact details from two referees - Some of our projects ask for references for their volunteers. Before you come, ask two people you know if they can act as referees. These should be people who have known you for a minimum of six months and who are not related to you. It helps if you get an up to date postal and email address, phone and fax number. If possible, they should be able to read and write English. The organisation you are volunteering for will take their details and contact them to ask for a reference; they don't need to write one out in advance.

It’s possible to combine volunteering with travelling abroad and it can be a really rewarding and beneficial experience. There are a lot of companies that organise and run experiences like this but it is worth bearing in mind that there is a fee for a lot of these which is sometimes quite substantial. Such opportunities involve a lot of factors, such as travelling abroad, accommodation requirements, transport, visa requirements, etc, it is more complicated than volunteering in the UK.

Because of this Birmingham City University Students' Union are unable to look into individual overseas projects. Therefore, we strongly suggest that you do some research to decide if volunteering abroad sounds right for you.

If you are from an external organisation and would like to have a volunteering opportunity advertised to our students, please contact us - click here.

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Did you know that this activity can be logged on your Graduate + Award?