Volunteering – why me?


by Tricia Raxworthy, Information and Engagement Officer

Every year thousands of York students get involved in volunteering – but why do they do it, and could it be for you?

Why volunteer?

There are lots of different reasons for volunteering. Volunteering means you can:

  • give something back, show your commitment by supporting a cause you feel passionate about
  • get out of the student “bubble” and make a positive impact on your local community
  • make friends and have fun
  • grow in confidence and sense of purpose, and improve your wellbeing – that “feel good factor”
  • get some experience for your CV, explore and make use of your strengths
  • gain skills you’ll need in the future – team work, communication, organisation, decision making, time management, creative thinking and more. You may also get some useful training from the organisation you are volunteering for.

Volunteers say…

“It’s a chance to relate to other people outside uni. I’ve made some good friends while volunteering. It’s helped my confidence … and it’s fun!” [Economics/Finance 3rd year]


“As an international student at York, I would like to have more life experience and explore different things in the UK. I enjoy helping people, especially working in the hospital makes me feel that I am actually doing something meaningful, rather than staying at home all the time.” [Computer Science, 2nd year]

“I like volunteering as it makes me feel more connected with York. I’ve learnt so much about this incredible city and the amazing charities that operate here through my placement year in the Volunteering and Enterprise team and I couldn’t recommend volunteering enough! You not only get to develop a wealth of knowledge and transferable skills, but you can explore York and find out what you’re passionate about too!” [Psychology in Education, final year]

“Volunteering provides me an opportunity to connect to people from different groups in the community. I’ve also gained greater self-confidence and practical professional experience. To me, volunteering is a way to give back to the community and to create a positive impact on myself.” [Psychology in Education, 3rd year]

How do I find out more?

  • Have a look at our volunteering page for volunteering opportunities in schools, arts and heritage, sustainability, equality and inclusion and more – apply by 16 February to volunteer in summer term.
  • YUSU offer a whole range of volunteering projects, working with children, the elderly, and supporting students
  • do-it.org is a UK volunteering site with thousands of opportunities; search by location or the type of volunteering you would like to do.

Don’t forget…

to include your volunteering in your CV and job applications, and talk about the skills you’ve gained in job interviews.  Volunteering is something that really impresses employers, but you’d be surprised how often people forget to mention it!