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Finding Volunteering Where You Live How careers can help

  • This resource has been created by Edge Hill University Careers
  • Authors: Helen Rimmer, Volunteering Adviser
  • Latest Update: November 2021.

Volunteering can help you to build your experience; put the skills you have learned into practice whilst trying something new. It can be a way into your graduate career and provides a great opportunity to give something back to the community.

The majority of volunteering opportunities we advertise are within 20 miles of the Ormskirk campus. However, you may be interested in looking for opportunities closer to your home address, or are looking for a role to engage with over the summer. This resource is designed to help students find opportunities close to them, wherever they live in the country.

What you will find on these pages:

  • How to get help from Volunteering Advisers
  • Links to useful volunteering resources
  • Links to Volunteer Centres near where you live
  • Information on how to volunteer with the NHS
  • Advice on contacting organisations such as schools
  • How Edge Hill rewards student volunteers

Volunteering Resources

You can find out more information about Volunteering on the Careers website, read about students who have volunteered and been recognised for their contribution, and access resources including:

Student Volunteer Handbook We recommend that all students read the Student Volunteer Handbook. This gives more information on how volunteering can benefit you, support your career goals, and give back to the community. It includes hints and tips to help you choose the right role for you.

International Volunteering Handbook International volunteering is an exciting experience, but it also means hard work far from home, so it is vital that you are passionate and enthusiastic about it. Whilst we do not advertise opportunities abroad on our online vacancy pages, if you are considering volunteering overseas we would recommend that you read our International Volunteering Handbook.

Volunteering From Home The Volunteering From Home resource provides information about opportunities you can get involved in without leaving the house.

Free Online Careers Vacancy Service Opportunities currently advertised on the Careers Vacancy Service include volunteering local to the university (usually within 20 miles), part time jobs, and graduate jobs

Edge Hill University Student Opportunity Fund The Student Opportunity Fund is an exciting initiative which contributes financial support that helps you to take part in activities which enhance your employability, build your confidence and develop your transferable skills.

Volunteering Advisers

Volunteering Advisers are here to help you in sourcing and applying for volunteering roles. EHU students can book an appointment with Volunteering Advisers to discuss what you are looking for, the opportunities available locally, and to research what's available further afield within the UK.

Once you have found an opportunity Advisers can help you in the application process by checking and giving feedback on application forms or CV's. You can contact us using the Ask A Question service.

Advisers invite organisations onto campus throughout the academic year to events to promote the opportunities available, and to deliver information sessions to find out more about the work they carry out. Find out more through the Events and Workshops sections of the Careers website.

Points to consider

We recommend that students commit to no more than 16 hours per week of a combination of paid work and volunteering.

Careers classes volunteering as activity that takes place outside of studies or accredited modules. It is unpaid and undertaken on a voluntary basis. Hours recorded for a placement undertaken as part of your course at Edge Hill, are not considered volunteering. If you are researching a placement opportunity you should first speak to the Placement Coordinator in your academic department.

Although some opportunities can be one off roles or short term, most organisations looking for volunteers will often seeking an ongoing commitment of between 6 months and 2 years. Be realistic about what you can commit to.

Volunteering roles can be competitive and applications should be professional. Volunteering Advisers can advise you here.

Edge Hill University do not have agreements in place with most of the organisations listed and we recommend you read the Student Volunteering Handbook before you sign up. We cannot guarantee the level of support you will receive from the organisation. However, this is a starting point for students looking to see what is available near them.

Researching roles near you

Most areas have a CVS (Council for Voluntary Service), Volunteer Bureau, or similar hub for volunteers and voluntary organisations. These organisations are experts on what volunteering is taking place near you and can help match you with a role.

Many of these organisations advertise their opportunities through the do-it website. You can find details of organisations offering support to volunteers in your area below.

(Anywhere missing?  Contact us)

England

NVCO (National Council for Voluntary Organisations)

Bedfordshire Bedford, Central Bedfordshire, Voluntary Works Bedfordshire

Berkshire BracknellReadingWest Berkshire, SloughWokingham

Bristol Bristol, Patchway, Filton and the Strokes, Thornbury

Buckinghamshire Buckingham, Milton Keynes

Cambridgeshire Cambridge, East Cambridgeshire, Peterborough, St Ives

Cheshire Cheshire, Cheshire EastCheshire West, Warrington

Cornwall Cornwall

Cumbria Cumbria

Derbyshire Chesterfield, Derby, New Mills and District, Derbyshire Dales

Devon Devon, Plymouth Guild Volunteer Centre

Dorset Bournemouth and PooleDorset, Weymouth

Durham Durham, East Durham

East Riding of Yorkshire East Riding, Hull

East Sussex Brighton, Hove, Adur and WorthingEast Sussex, Hastings, RotherUckfield

Essex Basildon, Billericay & WickfordCastlepoint, Chelmsford, Volunteer Essex, Harlow, Maldon, Rayleigh, Rochford and District

Gloucestershire Gloucestershire, Thornbury

Greater London  Barking and Dagenham, Barnet, Bexley, Camden, CroydonEalingGreenwichHackney, Hammersmith and FulhamKensington and Chelsea, Enfield, IslingtonKingstonLambeth, LewishamVolunteer London SouthwarkTower Hamlets, HaveringMerton, NewhamRedbridge, RichmondSutton

Greater Manchester Bolton, Greater Manchester, Oldham, Rochdale and Tameside, Salford, Manchester, Stockport

Hampshire BasingstokeEastleigh and Fareham, Hampshire, SouthamptonWessex (Winchester),

Herefordshire Herefordshire

Hertfordshire Broxbourne and East HertfordshireCommunities 1stDacorumHertfordshire, Welwyn Hatfield

Isle of Wight Isle of Wight

Kent Ashford, Bromley, Canterbury and Herne BayKent CoastNorth West Kent

Lancashire Blackburn, Blackpool (via Facebook), Burnley, Pendle and Rossendale, Lancashire Volunteer Partnership, Lancaster District, ManchesterWest Lancashire,

Leicestershire Leicester, LutterworthSyston

Lincolnshire Lincoln, North Kesteven and West Lindsay, Lincolnshire CVSNorth East Lincolnshire

Merseyside Halton and St Helens, KnowsleyLiverpool CVS, Sefton, Wirral

Norfolk Community Action Norfolk, Voluntary Norfolk

North Yorkshire Harrogate and Ripon , Community First Yorkshire, Hambleton

Northamptonshire Corby VCS, Volunteer Centre Daventry, Voluntary Impact Northamptonshire, Get Involved Northamptonshire, South Northamptonshire

Northumberland NewcastleNorthumberland CVA

Nottinghamshire Bassetlaw CVS, Eastwood Volunteer Bureau, Erewash Voluntary ActionNottingham CVS,

Oxfordshire Oxford Community and Voluntary Action, Volunteering in Oxfordshire,

Rutland Rutland Council, Voluntary Action Rutland

Shropshire Telford and Wrekin CVS, Discover Shropshire and Telford

Somerset Bath, North Somerset, Somerset Volunteering

South Yorkshire Barnsley, Rotherham, Sheffield Volunteer Centre

Staffordshire Bentilee Volunteers (via Facebook), Support Staffordshire

Suffolk Community Action Suffolk, Volunteer Suffolk, Suffolk County Council Volunteering

Surrey Central Surrey Voluntary Action, South West SurreyVoluntary Action Reigate and Banstead, Surrey County Council Volunteering

Tyne and Wear Newcastle Volunteer Centre, Inspire South Tyneside, Voda North TynesideVoluntary and Community Action Sunderland

Warwickshire Warwickshire Community and Voluntary Action, VASA Stratford Upon Avon,

West Midlands Birmingham VSCDudley CVS, One Walsall, Voluntary Action CoventryWolverhampton Volunteer Centre

West Sussex Voluntary Action Arun and Chichester,

West Yorkshire Bradford, Calderdale, Keighley and DistrictLeeds, Volunteering Kirklees

Wiltshire Swindon

Worcestershire Droitwich CVS, Evesham Volunteer CentrePershore, Worcester

Isle of Man Isle of Man Government

Ireland

Volunteer Ireland

Carlow (Ceatharlach) Carlow Volunteer Centre

Cavan (Cabhán) Cavan Volunteer Centre

Clare (Clár) Clare Volunteer Centre

Cork (Corcaigh) Cork Volunteer Centre

Donegal (Dún na nGall) Donegal Volunteer Centre

Dublin (Baile Átha Cliath) Dublin City Volunteer Centre, Dun Laoghaire Rathdown Volunteer Centre, Fingal Volunteer Centre South Dublin County Volunteer Centre

Galway (Gaillimh) Galway Volunteer Centre

Kerry (Ciarraí) Kerry Volunteer Centre

Kildare (Cill Dara) Kildare Volunteer Centre

Kilkenny (Cill Chainnigh) See Carlow

Laois Laois Volunteering Information Service

Leitrim (Liatroim) Leitrim Volunteering Information Service

Limerick (Luimneach) Limerick Volunteer Centre

Longford (Longfort) Volunteer Centre Longford

Louth (Lú) Volunteer Louth

Mayo (Maigh Eo) Mayo Volunteer Centre

Meath (Mí) Meath Volunteer Centre

Monaghan (Muineacháin) Monaghan Volunteer Centre

Offaly (Ua Fáilghe) See Kildare

Roscommon (Ros Comán) Roscommon Volunteering Information Service

Sligo (Sligeach) Sligo Volunteer Centre

Tipperary (Tiobraid Arainn) Tipperary Volunteer Centre

Waterford (Port Lairge) Waterford Information Service

Westmeath (Iarmhí) Westmeath Volunteer Centre

Wicklow (Loch Garman) Wicklow Volunteer Centre

Northern Ireland

Volunteer Now

Armagh Craigavon and Banbridge Volunteer Bureau (Via Facebook), Volunteer Now

County Down Volunteer Now

Fermanagh Volunteer Now Fermanagh House

Derry/Londonderry Northwest Volunteer Centre, Volunteer Now

Tyrone Omagh Volunteer Centre

Scotland

Volunteer Scotland

Aberdeenshire/Aberdeen Volunteer Aberdeen , Aberdeenshire Voluntary Action

Angus Voluntary Action Angus

Argyll and Bute Argyll and Bute TSI

Clackmannanshire Clackmannanshire TSI

Dumfries and Galloway Third Sector Dumfries and Galloway

Dundee Volunteer Dundee

East Ayrshire Volunteer Centre East Ayrshire

East Dunbartonshire East Dunbartonshire Voluntary Action

East Lothian Volunteer Centre East Lothian

East Renfrewshire Voluntary Action East Renfrewshire

Edinburgh Volunteer Edinburgh

Falkirk CVS Falkirk

Fife Fife Voluntary Action

Glasgow Volunteer Glasgow

Highland Highland TSI, Caithness Voluntary Group, Skye and Lochalsh CVO, Ross-shire Voluntary Action, Voluntary Action in Badenoch and Strathspey, Voluntary Groups East Sutherland (Via Facebook), Voluntary Action Lochaber.

Inverclyde Inverclyde Community Development Trust

Midlothian Volunteer Midlothian

Moray TSI Moray

Na h-Eileanan Siar (Western Isles) Volunteer Centre Western Isles,

North Ayrshire The Ayrshire Community Trust

North Lanarkshire Voluntary Action North Lanarkshire

Orkney Islands Volunteer Action Orkney

Perth and Kinross Third Sector Interface for Perth and Kinross

Renfrewshire Engage Renfrewshire

Scottish Borders Volunteer Centre Borders

Shetland Islands Voluntary Action Shetland

South Ayrshire Third Sector Hub

South Lanarkshire Voluntary Action South Lanarkshire

Stirling Stirlingshire Voluntary Enterprise

West Dunbartonshire West Dunbartonshire CVS

West Lothian Voluntary Sector Gateway West Lothian

Wales

Volunteering Wales

Blaenau Gwent Gwent Volunteer Centre

Bridgend (Pen-y-bont ar Ogwr) Bridgend County Borough Voluntary Council

Caerphilly Gwent Volunteer Centre

Cardiff (Caerdydd) Cardiff Third Sector Council

Carmarthenshire (Sir Gaerfyrddin) Carmarthenshire Association of Voluntary Services

Ceredigion Ceredigion Association of Voluntary Organisations

Conwy Community and Voluntary Support Conwy

Denbighshire (Sir Ddinbych) Denbighshire Voluntary Services Council

Flintshire (Sir y Fflint) Flintshire Local Voluntary Council

Gwynedd Mantel Gwynedd

Isle of Anglesey (Ynys Môn) Medrwn Môn

Merthyr Tydfil (Merthyr Tudful) Community Action Merthyr Tydfil

Monmouth Gwent Volunteer Centre

Neath Port Talbot (Castell-nedd Port Talbot) Neath Port Talbot Council for Voluntary Services

Newport Gwent Volunteer Centre

Pembrokeshire (Sir Benfro) Pembrokeshire Association of Voluntary Services

Powys North Montgomeryshire Volunteer Bureau (Via Facebook)

Rhondda Cynon Taf Interlink RCT

Swansea (Abertawe) * Swansea Council for Voluntary Service

Torfaen (Tor-faen) Torfaen Voluntary Alliance

Vale of Glamorgan (Bro Morgannwg) Glamorgan Voluntary Service

Wrexham (Wrecsam) Association of Voluntary Organisations in Wrexham

Volunteering with the NHS

If you are studying a health or wellbeing related course, you may also be interested in volunteering with the NHS. Each trust has its own opportunities and advice on volunteering. These roles may provide you with the opportunity to gain experience in a hospital or clinical setting.

This NHS website is a helpful place to start, as it lists all of the authorities and trusts in the UK.

If you search online for the trust most local to you with 'volunteering,' you should easily find helpful information. For example, put the following in your search engine: "Alderhey NHS Trust volunteering"

Before undertaking any volunteering, ensure that you read the Student Volunteering Handbook. If you have any questions please do contact the Volunteering Advisers.

Contacting organisations that do not generally advertise volunteering opportunities (Including schools)

Sometimes you may want to gain experience with an organisation that does not traditionally advertise volunteering opportunities. This might for example be work shadowing, or gaining experience at a school. The usual way to contact such an organisation, would be to send in a CV and Covering letter. You can find examples and guidance on creating these in the resources section of the Careers website.

Remember that Careers are happy to look at drafts of covering letters, CVs, and application forms. We will provide students and recent graduates with useful feedback. You can send in these drafts using Ask a Question.

Points to consider:

Research your organisation. CVs and covering letters should be specific and targeted. This means they are likely to need updating with each new application. Demonstrating an understanding of the organisation you are contacting, will strengthen your application.

Use existing contacts. Who do you already know? Are there organisations or individuals you are already in contact with? Could you ask your tutors? Networking will help you here. If you do not have an existing contact, try to find the name of someone you can send your CV to directly. This personalised approach will strengthen your application.

Avoid one line emails.  This is your first professional introduction, one line will not give the organisation enough information, and therefore you are less likely to get a response. The resources above will help you know what to include and how to structure the email as you would a letter.

Follow up your contact. If you do not hear anything, follow up your CV and covering letter with a well worded email or polite telephone call. If you still do not get a response, try elsewhere. You may have to contact various organisations to secure the experience you want.

How far can you go?  Think about how far geographically you can travel. Be realistic here, but you may need to go outside of your local area. This is particularly the case if there are a lot of people looking for similar experience, or if the role is specialised.

Be specific. In your covering letter be specific about the time you want to give and the experience you would like to gain.

Sell yourself.  Think about what you can offer the organisation. You can draw on your studies and past experience here. If an organisation feel they will gain from your input, it will strengthen your application. It also shows you have done your research and are keen.

Volunteering should not replace a paid role in an organisation. Volunteer roles should complement and supplement the work of paid staff rather than be used to displace or undercut the pay and conditions of service. A Volunteer Charter drawn up between Volunteer England and the TUC in 2009 gives more information. This doesn't mean that the organisation can't reimburse you for out of pocket expenses e.g. travel, or provide you with appropriate training.

Remember: Not all organisations will be able to offer voluntary or unpaid experience. There can be good reasons for this, such as data protection, working with vulnerable people, or the need for prior experience or qualification. If you wish to discuss your options further, book an appointment with Careers or send an email via Ask a Question. You many need to consider getting more general experience first to strengthen your applications. Think of this a stepping stone to the career you really want. A first step might be to use the Careers Vacancy Service, or to contact Volunteering Advisers. Ensure that you read the Student Volunteering Handbook, for more points to consider.

Talking to someone about their job. Although volunteering may not always be possible, you might still be able to arrange a telephone call to talk to someone about their role.

How we reward volunteers

Extra Edge AwardThis employability programme helps you stand out from the crowd and increases your chances of success! Extra Edge rewards you for the work you do for your current, or future, voluntary or part-time work. Choose from an additional range of activities that will help you gain and develop new skills. You can join Extra Edge in any year of your degree.

The Careers Awards Once a year, Careers look for nominations for the coveted Student Volunteer of the Year Award. Placing students are invited to our celebration event, usually held in the Spring Term. You can also put forward nominations for Voluntary Organisation o the Year, giving you the opportunity to raise awareness of a charity or not for profit organisation.

2019 Student Volunteer of the Year

University Scholarships You may be also be eligible for a University Scholarship Excellence Scholarships are open to students in Year 1 or 2 of their studies (or about to join Edge Hill University) Nominations are usually open for students in the Spring Term. One of the areas the Excellence Scholarship recognises is volunteering and engaging with your local community.

THANK YOU AND HAPPY VOLUNTEERING!

Credits:

Created with images by Providence Doucet - "untitled image" • John Schnobrich - "together now" • Nina Strehl - "This is Max wearing a cap from LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOUR. The label is a social label from Switzerland that wants to spread lots of world changing love! 12% of their sales goes to homeless and the crew around founder David Togni are always busy loving on people in their world. Have a look att their website loveyourneighbour.ch" • Priscilla Du Preez - "untitled image" • Anna Kolosyuk - "untitled image" • Marcelo Leal - "untitled image" • FOTOGRAFIA .GES - "URBANO" • Giorgio Trovato - "untitled image"