Volunteering is an enjoyable way for you to make a difference. It provides a fantastic opportunity for you to develop key employability skills for your future career and to check out possible career paths. But most importantly of all, it’s a great way to make new friends, to do something different from your studies and to get a different perspective of life.
Here at BCUSU, we have a range of volunteering activities that students can get involved in. Whether that’s as a committee member in a student group, joining a volunteering society, creating your own volunteering activity or working with a local or national charity, there is something for everyone.
If you would like further details contact us by either dropping into our Development & Opportunities office, 1st floor, Curzon Building (City Centre Campus) or through the iAsk system.
You can also contact us through our Team BCU Facebook page which can be found here: Team BCU on Facebook
Check out this page for details of what opportunities are currently available through BCUSU: Volunteering Opportunities
Stand Out Award
Stand Out Award is a recognition scheme where you can record the number of volunteering hours you have complete. When you reach certain milestones, you can receive certificates for your hard work and commitment to volunteering.
Click here to set up your profile and start recording your hours: Stand Out Award
International Students and Volunteering
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:
- 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.
- 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.