5 different ways you can volunteer!

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The words ‘Student Volunteering’ brings to mind some outdated stereotypes. You might imagine someone handing out bread at a Soup Kitchen, holding a collection bucket on the street, or backpacking to a faraway area of the world to build a school.

Although all these things count as valuable volunteering, there is so much more variety on offer. Check out these 5 ways you can volunteer at university and be inspired!


1.       Societies

Do not underestimate the range of skills that you can gain from being a committee member of a society or sports team. While indulging in your hobby, you are also gaining experience in everything from team work, to event organising, to leadership skills. Running groups like these can give you plenty of fertile examples for interviews, as well as just being a fun way to spend your free time at university.


2.       Online Volunteering

Today, plenty of volunteering can be done remotely. With organisations and charities looking for switched on younger people to run their social media or write blog posts, there are loads of opportunities to get some volunteer experience under your belt from the comfort of your own home.


3.       Academic Research Participant

Universities are unusual organisations with diverse courses and research chances. Take advantage of this while you are here and offer yourself up as a research participant. Psychology or social studies students especially are always after candidates to volunteer to fill in surveys and perform a variety of random tasks to support their research. It will garner you some interesting experiences of research and you are helping others out!


4.       Duke of Edinburgh Award

The Duke of Edinburgh Award is an internationally-recognised personal development programme. If you missed out doing it while at college, you can still get involved at university and it is a standout Award to have on your CV. The programme is very flexible. You need to complete three sections (Volunteering, Skill, Sports) and then go on an Expedition (this could be a hike, cycle ride or even sailing) but you can set the pace yourself.


5.       Jailbreak

The aim of ‘Jailbreak’ is to get as far away from a starting point in 36 hours. You have to do this without spending any money, entirely for free, using any means at your disposal. In previous years students have managed to get as far away as Geneva and Athens. Jailbreak is just one of the examples of large-scale exciting opportunities that universities organise to fundraise. Fundraising does not just have to be Bucket Collecting in the town centre!


Keep an eye on our What’s On Calendar for events and if you would like to sign up to hear about volunteering opportunities through GK Unions, please fill in our form. Email volunteering@gkunions.co.uk with any questions!


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