Students volunteer for a number of reasons, including to meet new people, help others, have fun, gain new skills and get involved in causes that matter to them. This section is here to help you find out more.
Volunteering in Leeds
When individuals freely give their time without payment for the benefit of an organisation, the community, an individual or the environment outside of their family, this is considered volunteering.
You could volunteer for one of Leeds University Union's student-led volunteering societies, volunteer in the local community with one of Leeds University Union's community projects, search for opportunities with local charities and community groups via the University's Volunteering Hub or, volunteering project!
As you can see, there are loads of different ways that students at the University of Leeds can get involved in volunteering with a diverse range of opportunities available to suit your interests, needs, skills and availabilities. If you aren't sure about volunteering, you could try it out first by checking out our 'Give it a Go' programme which will feature some opportunities.
To find out more about volunteering, see the tabs above or come and visit the Student Activities Office on Level One of the Union building. We are open every weekday during term time between 9.30am and 4.30pm.
Setting Up Volunteering Projects
There are some great examples of students getting involved in the community or in causes to help others by establishing their own volunteering projects. This offers students a unique experience and enables them to tailor volunteering more closely to their interests, causes that matter to them, their timetable and their skills.
Leeds University Union is keen to support students who want to set up volunteering societies, clubs' and societies' committees that want to develop a volunteering branch, or students that want to develop a project under an existing volunteering society umbrella.
If you are interested in setting up a volunteering project, please read this guide which will provide you with an overview of things to think about and examples of projects that have been set up by students in the past.
If you are an international student, it may be harder to get involved in volunteering. However, LUU strives to ensure its volunteering opportunities are accessible to all and many local charities welcome the diversity that international volunteers bring.
Please see this guide for more information on volunteering.
Things to consider
Hours and Visas
Please be aware that the number of hours you can volunteer for may be restricted by the visa you entered the UK with. If you would like to get more information on this, please visit the Student Activities reception on level one of the Union building which is open every weekday between 9.30pm and 4.30pm. You may also seek advice from the International Student Office.
DBS Checks (formerly CRB checks)
All organisations working with children and vulnerable adults have a responsibility to safeguard their welfare. This means that if you want to volunteer with children or vulnerable adults, you may have to get a DBS check. We cannot process DBS checks for international students so international students must obtain the equivalent check from their home country. We may be able to process DBSs for international students who have lived in the UK for at least 5 years prior to applying (at our discretion). Students can contact their embassy to provide us with an equivalent check from their previous country of residence. If you already have a check (sometimes called a certificate of good conduct) from your native country please bring that to one of our drop-in sessions with your passport and we will review it on an individual basis.
Social Enterprise Zone
Alternatively why not get involved in research-led, real-life projects, delivered for non-for-profit organisations? The Social Enterprise Zone can help you network, improve your CV and get involved in projects that can directly enhance your studies - find out more here.
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