Volunteering opportunities

Joining a community means giving back – and getting a great deal in return. There are volunteering opportunities to suit everyone.


One-off volunteering

Only got a few hours to spare? No problem. Many local organisations welcome volunteers for a day or less – with no ongoing commitment.

Explore one-off volunteering opportunities (InfoHub login required).

"One-off events are a fantastic way to volunteer, as you are able to give as much time as you can afford to. The feel good factor of working hard for a whole day is fantastic!"

Amy, one-off volunteer

Amy one-off volunteer

Opportunities by sector

Whether you want to totally immerse in your course subject area, or mix things up and explore a different avenue, there are some really exciting sector-specific opportunities. Think about the skills you want to gain and what fires your imagination – then start connecting.

Some of our sector picks are below, but if you can’t find what you’re looking for here, don’t worry! There is a full list of all our opportunities on Infohub (login required), or you can contact the Volunteering team for more advice.

"Art + Power really helped me to gain valuable knowledge, confidence and experience. They are a very supportive organisation and I’d definitely like to be involved more and support them in the future."

Phoebe, volunteered with Art + Power

Phoebe volunteered with Art + Power

UWE Bristol volunteering projects

We run a range of projects around Bristol for you to get involved in. Get stuck in working with other students and your local community, gaining CV-enhancing experience and hands-on skills as you give back. Projects take place during the autumn and spring terms, and are designed to fit around your studies.

Professional creative volunteering

Experience counts. Do something great and use your skills to support a charity in areas like photography, film, graphic design, illustration, web development or branding.

Timings are arranged to suit you and the organisation, for up to ten weeks. Typically, you'll work on a real brief related to the skills you want to develop. You'll also get the chance to network with other creatives in the organisation and produce work for your portfolio or CV.

To find out more, get in touch with volunteering@uwe.ac.uk.

Volunteering in schools

There are lots of ways you can support your local schools. Some ideas are below – you can find schools and organisations looking for these volunteers on Infohub.

Book Explorers

Become a Book Explorer and support Primary School pupils with their reading next term. Volunteering as a Book Explorer is a fantastic way of improving your interpersonal and communication skills, as well as gaining valuable experience in a primary school.

As a Book Explorer, you will help children with their reading, encouraging them to engage with the story and develop their understanding of the characters.

You will also explore and talk about their future selves and ambitions, sharing your own journey into Higher Education.

This is a wonderfully enriching short-term project to start your volunteering journey on.

Book Explorers will take place on 5 consecutive Wednesday afternoons starting on 1 March 2023. Training will be held on either Wednesday 8 February or the Wednesday 15 February. This project will also run in September 2023.

To get involved apply using our schools programme application form or you can email the Volunteering Team at volunteering@uwe.ac.uk.

Bromley Health Infant School

Inspire a love of reading through storytelling at Bromley Heath Infant School. 

Volunteers from UWE Bristol will work in partnership with the Bromley Heath Infants School to create a new library area in the grounds of the infant school. The Living Library will become a space where story telling is used to inspire children and the local community.

If you are interested in volunteering at the Bromley Heath Infant School please complete our schools programme expression of interest form or you can email the Volunteering Team at volunteering@uwe.ac.uk.

Forest School Volunteer

At Forest School, children explore the woods and outdoor spaces, finding out about the plants and animals we share our world with. They can climb trees, make dens or rope swings, fish or forage. They can also make wonderful perfumes and potions; sit and listen to nature; learn how to use tools; have campfires and lots more. Free play is encouraged and any activities reflect the seasons and encourage appreciation of the woodland around them.

As a volunteer, you can gain experience supporting children's learning in a completely different setting. You will learn about the risks and how to manage children outside, as well as having a great deal of fun at the same time.

For this role, volunteers should be prepared to commit to volunteering between two to four hours per session for at least nine months.  

If you are interested in volunteering at the Forest School please complete our schools programme expression of interest form or you can email the Volunteering Team at volunteering@uwe.ac.uk.

One-to-one Tutor

One-to-one tutors at Action Tutoring support young people facing socio-economic disadvantages to achieve a meaningful level of academic attainment, opening doors into education, employment or training. You can expect to be trained and supported as a volunteer tutor, and work with pupils to increase their subject knowledge, confidence and study skills.  

If you are interested in volunteering at Action Tutoring, please complete our schools programme expression of interest form or you can email the Volunteering Team at volunteering@uwe.ac.uk.

English as an Additional Language (EAL) home tutor

EAL tutors will work with our partner, Jacari. This is a student charity providing home tutoring for disadvantaged children aged 6 to 16 who don’t speak English as their first language. You'll work with the child and their family to help improve their learning ability and English confidence. You'll be the essential link between a child and their (often new) community.

You will be given specialist training, as well as ongoing support and resources from Jacari.

This is a special role which will involve building a close relationship with a child and their family. Jacari ask that volunteers are prepared to commit to volunteering one hour a week (plus planning time) for at least six months, with breaks for school and university holidays.

If you are interested in volunteering at Jacari, please complete our schools programme expression of interest form or you can email the Volunteering Team at volunteering@uwe.ac.uk.

"I found the experience both enlightening and useful. I would urge any student who is considering a career in education, or who wants to strengthen their CV with some meaningful volunteering, to take the opportunity to volunteer with local schools. "

Schools Programme Volunteer, UWE Bristol Volunteering

Schools Programme Volunteer UWE Bristol Volunteering

International volunteering

The UWE Bristol Go Global team have identified trusted global volunteering providers who offer safe, ethical, good value, and positive outcomes for both student volunteers and communities.

Discover overseas opportunites

Apply for an international volunteer project

You will need to apply directly through your chosen organisation's website. Your application will be assessed by the individual organisations. Successful applicants wishing to secure global funding support will receive it on a first-come, first-served basis.

UWE Bristol Employability Bursary

Providing you meet the eligibility criteria, all of the international volunteering programmes above can be part-to-fully funded by UWE Bristol via the UWE Bristol Employability Bursary.

Contact us

For any queries regarding international volunteering opportunities, email the UWE Bristol Go Global team on goglobal@uwe.ac.uk.

Nakita's international volunteering experience

Nakita Hedges, LLB(Hons) Law, volunteered with the African Prisons Project (now Educating for Justice). She tells us about surprising things she encountered whilst volunteering, and times where she felt she'd really made a difference.

The Students' Union

The Students' Union organises a series of one-off action days in the local community for teams of student volunteers working in partnership with voluntary organisations and charities to make a difference.

View upcoming opportunities on The Students' Union at UWE website.

You can also get involved in a wide range of sustainability, conservation and biodiversity volunteering through the Green Team. these roles are very low commitment, so perfect for a busy timetable. Find out more about the Green Team and sign up to the newsletter.

Interested in fundraising? Looking to use your business skills or to try an enterprise activity? Last year the Students' Union RAG team raised over £90,000 for charity! Check it out.

Get in touch

If you have any further questions about volunteering, please email volunteering@uwe.ac.uk, or get in touch another way.

Further information

Please see further information below about volunteering.

I didn't sign up in Term One. Can I still volunteer?

Yes. We have volunteering opportunities available all year round. Search on InfoHub (login required) or contact UWE Bristol Volunteering for advice and support.

Can I take a break from volunteering during university vacations?

The organisations understand that students need to take breaks for holidays and during exam periods. The most important thing is to tell them in advance so that organisations can plan around you. Our UWE Bristol Volunteering Projects and Schools Programme stop over the holidays.

How long will it take until I can start volunteering?

It often takes longer than people think to organise volunteering. This is because volunteer managers are very busy and they will want to arrange suitable training and inductions for you. Six weeks is quite a standard time to start volunteering but it could be longer if the organisation requires a DBS check.

What if I don't like my volunteering role?

Volunteering is a two-way process. If you are not happy in your role, it is important to talk to the organisation you are volunteering at, or contact us. It might be that they can help to make it a better experience for you. Although you are expected to show commitment, you do not have to keep doing something that you don't enjoy.