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What is Volunteering?

What is Volunteering?

•Volunteering is essentially giving your time freely to a third sector organisation
to participate in activities which benefit others
• Volunteering opportunities are unpaid where a person volunteers their time for
a charity; voluntary or fundraising organisation; statutory body; religious or
other similar charitable community; or a cadet force. Organisations out-with
these definitions are required to pay NMW
• Volunteers may get money to cover expenses (e.g. food, drink, travel or
equipment) but this is not guaranteed

Why Volunteer?

• It is a great way of gaining experience relevant to your career choice
• It allows you to network and meet new people in different organisations you
can make contacts and discover a wide range of career options
• It can increase self-confidence and allow you to develop skills (eg leadership,
self-reliance, negotiation, team-working, budget-setting and project
• You can normally decide how many hours per week or month you can commit
to volunteer
• Employers look favourably on applications from people with voluntary work
experience as it shows a healthy work-life

What’s expected of a volunteer?

• Charities and organisations need volunteers that they can rely on. Although it is
not paid work you are still entering into an agreement with them. Before you
get started you should be clear about how much time you can donate to
volunteering. If you are a full time student you should remember your workload
will vary throughout the year

• If you find an opportunity that you are interested in you should find out as
much as you can about it. Most projects will have a volunteer manager and they
should give you information about the role

• Some voluntary projects may need you on “as and when required” basis. Others
require regular involvement

• You don’t always need relevant experience to be a volunteer, training is often
provided and is a good opportunity to learn new skills

Remember to register with the UWS Volunteer Recognition Award, this is an initiative to recognise the time students give up to volunteer for the University, Students’ Association or other organisations. The scheme reward and recognises students’ voluntary activity which is undertaken in addition to their studies. For more information email:

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