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Published: 22/05/2013 12:15

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european youth portal

Volunteering Opportunities in the UK

Find out about volunteering opportunities in the UK and abroad

Whether you fancy going global or staying local, there are thousands of opportunities available for young people who want to volunteer in the UK or beyond. There’s something here for you, no matter where your interests lie. Homelessness, disability, human rights, conservation, international development… it’s all here in these links. If you want a medium- or long-term placement overseas, or can only give a few hours a week to something right on your doorstep, you’ll find an opportunity that suits you in the sites listed below. There’s information for those who want to come to the UK to volunteer, and for people living in the UK who want to go abroad.

 

Community Service Volunteers

This group organises full-time, away-from-home voluntary work within the UK, for over 16 year olds. British and EU applicants need to be resident in the UK or apply through an international partner agency. You can take part in all sorts of activities, such as helping young homeless people in a hostel, or befriending a young person with physical disabilities. Accommodation and food are free, and you'll get a weekly allowance.

Concordia

International volunteering projects in countries ranging from Albania to Zimbabwe. Anyone aged 18-30 can apply, although there may be age restrictions for certain projects. There are also some places for 16-17 year olds. Only people resident in the UK can apply through this website; if you currently live elsewhere, apply through a partner organisation in your country of residence.

Do it!

Search for voluntary work in the UK and overseas. The site has a special section for students and young people wanting to volunteer abroad. Look up opportunities in the area you’re interested in – homelessness, the environment, human rights, disability, and much, much more.

Employee Volunteering

Did you know that your employer could help you to be a volunteer, either during work hours or in your free time? Employers can find out more from this site, as well as brokers specialising in volunteering opportunities.

Gap Activity Projects

Offers opportunities to go overseas and take part in conservation, medical or teaching projects. For young people who are taking a break between leaving school and going on to university or work. The programmes are only available to people who hold a UK or Irish passport.

I-to-i: Volunteer Opportunities

Provides information on a range of volunteering opportunities abroad. Choose a country where you’d like to volunteer, and see the programmes available. You can book online, although you may need to contact your local i-to-i office before you apply - all the contact details are here. Offers advice on teaching English as a Foreign Language abroad.

TimeBank

This site can help you get matched up to the right volunteering opportunity for you, even if you can only give a couple of hours a week. Fill out the online form, and organisations will get back to you. There are also contacts for people who need support – for instance, refugees can register to take part in a befriending scheme.

Voluntary Service Overseas

As well as providing opportunities for professionals, VSO run projects in the developing world for people aged under 25. Aimed at UK undergraduates and 16-25 year olds who have an interest in international development.

Worldwide Volunteering

Designed to make it simpler for young people in the UK to volunteer. Choose to volunteer for as little as one week, or as long as one year. Its system will match you up to the most suitable opportunity for you. Opportunities throughout the UK, and overseas as well. Read the case studies to find out what other people did, and get some ideas about what you’d like to do.

Scotland: Project Scotland

If you live in Scotland, are aged 16-25 and would like to volunteer full-time, then here's your chance. You can spend anything from three to twelve months volunteering on a placement of your choice. Volunteers receive an allowance, and will get their travel costs paid. You can apply online.

Wales: Volunteering Wales

If you want to find a local charity in Wales that needs volunteers, try this site. Search for opportunities by area and by the type of work that interests you.