Volunteering is a great way to try different activities, make new friends and build experience to put on your CV whilst at the same time helping people who can benefit from your time and skills. There are lots of opportunities for you to volunteer just for a few hours or to be involved in regular volunteering activity.
Voluntary work is unpaid work which gives you the chance to meet local people of all ages and background and to learn more about Leeds and the local community. Over 1500 Leeds students volunteer every year.
Voluntary work helps you develop employability skills such as leadership, communication and team-working while taking part in fun activities. It also enables you to provide a valuable service to the local community. You can volunteer for just a few hours or make a longer term commitment. Whatever time you have to invest, there will be a volunteer opportunity available for you.
Voluntary work and your visa
If you need a visa to be in the UK, remember that any hours that you spend volunteering count towards the working hours allowed by your visa. If you have a student visitor visa you cannot do voluntary work as you are not allowed to take any paid or unpaid work. You can find more information about the rules on unpaid volunteering work and paid work here
Voluntary work opportunities in Leeds
To find out about volunteering opportunities run by the Students’ Union, the University’s Access and Community Engagement Team (ACE) and other organisations in Leeds and nationally visit the University and Student Union’s Volunteering hub.
Examples of student groups based in the Students’ Union which offer volunteering opportunities include the Conservation Society, Student Action for Refugees, and Action, which organises a diverse programme of activities from day trips for young disabled children to befriending elderly people. RAG organises activities to raise money for local charities. Visit the Volunteering and Community Office in Leeds University Union to find out more.
Access and Community Engagement is located at 18 Blenheim Terrace and offers a number of community and schools-based projects. You can keep up to date with volunteering opportunities by liking the University of Leeds Volunteering facebook page. Volunteers use their skills to help raise the aspirations and academic achievement of young people; support the regeneration of deprived communities of Leeds; increase understanding of other cultures; and improve the local area.