Volunteer in the United Kingdom
Find rewarding volunteering opportunities in the UK where you can help people, communities, animals and the environment. One World 365 features recommended local organisations who offer projects to British and overseas citizens. There are so many volunteering programs in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland where you will gain confidence and new skills whilst experience a totally different side to life in this country.
Volunteer Opportunities in the UK
Guide to Volunteering in the United Kingdom
If you have ever wanted to volunteer in the UK our guide will help you arrange a placement. We list organisations who run some of the largest and most diverse volunteer programmes in the UK. Thousands of people, both British nationals and internationals volunteer their time in the UK every year. There are short and long term opportunities available throughout the country.
You can find volunteer and charity work throughout the UK, popular places to apply include:
- Bury St Edmunds
- Felsted (nr Braintree)
London & Surrounding Area
- Chalfont St Giles
- St Albans
- Oakham, Rutland
- Blandford Forum (Dorset)
- Crowthorne (nr Bracknell)
- Isle of Wight
- Petersfield, Hants
- Shaftesbury, Dorset
- Haywards Heath
- Hurstpierpoint (nr Brighton)
- Tunbridge Wells
Why the Need for Volunteers
Compared to other developed countries, the UK has one of the highest links between low family income and poor educational attainment. 96% of those from independent schools go on to university compared to 16% of youngsters on free school meals. And it’s not only educational inequality that Britain suffers from.
On the opposite end of the spectrum, depression affects 40% of elderly people in care homes. The under-staffed and over-worked institutions that are trying to tackle these issues need you. And while volunteering in a school or homeless centre, you will meet individuals from all walks of life. If you want to make a difference, learn some new skills, meet friendly people then volunteering work will appeal to you.
Top Reasons to Apply
- It is an opportunity to play a personal role in ensuring that volunteer programmes are able to continue - without volunteers most aren't
- It is a challenge – and an opportunity to build on existing experience and develop new skill
- Basic training is provided incorporating lots of transferable skills
- As well as long programs there are short term (1-4 weeks) and therefore a feasible holiday option
- It will be a unique intercultural experience
- It is valuable work experience and looks impressive on a CV
- Make new friends with likeminded people
Legacy of Volunteering from the 2012 Olympic Games
Did you enjoy watching the London 2012 Olympic Games? The closing ceremony was a spectacular event which will live long in the memory and marked the end to a remarkable games which is probably the most amazing sporting spectacle in the world. At the closing ceremoy there were over 3,500 volunteers taking part whilst overall over 70,000 people volunteered their services all over London & England to make the games a huge success. The volunteers at the 2012 Olympics were the real stars and unsung heroes, the games wouldn't have gone so smoothly without their help.
If watching the game and reading about how the volunteers contributed has made you think about what volunteering opportunities there are you could get involved with then view our website for inspirational ideas. There were thousands of Olympic volunteers working throughout the two week period of the Olympics who were helping tourists, athletes and contributing to all aspects of the games organisation. They made a huge difference and no doubt met some amazing people, created unforgettable memories whilst also being able to tell people they did something worthwhile. If the Olympic volunteers inspired you to give back, then we have some fantastic opportunities available.
Anyone and everyone can volunteer! There is no upper age limit. Our featured projects are welcome to people from all backgrounds. Groups are very welcome too. Volunteers include students from all over the world, working people, retired people, teenagers and older persons. People in the UK who are unemployed or asylum seekers can volunteer without losing their benefits.
You don’t need to have previous experience and companies provide you with the appropriate induction, training and support to carry out your role whether you are volunteering in a Centre, an office or a shop, and whether you can give a few hours, a whole week, or longer. Young people aged 16-18 are very welcome to volunteer, but spaces are limited so please contact us for advice before booking. Participants might need to obtain a CRB disclosure depending on the program you are interested in.
Some organizations will require you to have certain qualifications and experience but some just require you to have motivation and the desire to help. On most placements each day volunteering will be different and you will gain in confidence and experience as time goes by. You might make mistakes on some volunteer programs but this is to be expected, you will have time to think of ways you can handle situations differently. If you put all your effort and energy into a volunteering program you will get the most out of it.
How to Apply
Search our featured opportunities or browse our featured organisations. You might also like to search all of our volunteering abroad opportunities.
Help / Advice
If you need any help organising a volunteer placement in the UK please get in touch.
Feedback / Testimonials
If you currently, or have previous been to volunteer in the UK and would like to add a review, write about your experience or share any recommendations please contact us.
"We have been volunteering for the Barn Owl Trust in Devon on a regular basis for more than eight years and gain a great sense of achievement from being able to help the trust continue its work." - Pat and Jenny Ford, volunteers
If you provide volunteer programs in the UK and would like to be featured here please contact us.