Careers and Employability Service

I want to work in Voluntary Work


    This page is for people who are interested in becoming volunteers.  If you want a career in the voluntary sector, see our ‘I want to work for a charity’ page.

    Volunteering in Kent


    • Do-It search volunteer opportunities by Kent
    • Kent Union Volunteering  Volunteer opportunities in Canterbury and Medway, in the University and in the local community, that will help you work towards the Kent Student Certificate for Volunteering
    • Medway Volunteering Facebook page
    • Links to local volunteer organisations from KCC
    • Kent Libraries runs a volunteering scheme
    • Kent and Medway NHS & Social Care Partnership Trust – various volunteering opportunities from hospital shops to occupational therapy
    • Kent Police The Kent Association for the Blind supports sight impaired people to live independent lives. We are currently looking for Canterbury based volunteers to help us with a range of activities from fundraising to befriending. We reimburse mileage at the rate of 40p per mile, and full training, a DBS check, and support is given. Please contact 01227 763366 or email for an application form or more information.
    • Kent Wildlife Trust Needs volunteers to help on various wildlife reserves in Kent
    • Kentish Stour Countryside Partnership manages countryside and urban green spaces throughout the Stour Valley promoting habitat management, recreation and education in natural sites in East Kent, including Canterbury and surrounding areas. We are always looking for student volunteers to help on tasks which provide a worthwhile extra-curricular activity and something positive to add to their CV. Recent and ongoing projects have included meadow mowing in Tyler Hill and making and installing wildlife boxes at Sturry Road Community Park.East Kent Hospitals are looking for volunteers at QEQM Hospital-Margate, William Harvey Hospital-Ashford, Kent and Canterbury Hospital, Buckland Hospital - Dover and Royal Victoria Hospital- Folkestone.
      Some of the varied roles available are:
        • Ward Helpers – patient surveys, serving meals and running errands
        • Admin help
        • Volunteer Gardeners
        • Chaplaincy Volunteers

    Reception Support e.g. supporting reception staff and signposting patients around the hospital sitesDetails on volunteer role currently available:



    Volunteering abroad

    • AidCamps International Short term volunteer work overseas on development projects
    • Projects in Western, Eastern and Central Europe, North America, North Africa, Japan and South Korea or Africa, Asia and Latin America.
    • Cross Cultural Solutions International volunteer organisation, operating 17 short-term (2-12 week) programmes in 10 countries around the world
    • Ecoteer Global long term voluntourism
    • ETIV do Brasil is a small NGO co-founded by a 2014 Kent graduate.  It offers volunteering opportunities in Brazil including admin/office support, marketing and communications, environmental conservation, teaching English and youth development. 
    • Global Volunteer Network Volunteer opportunities abroad in 25 community projects throughout the world. Volunteers can be involved in teaching English, environmental work, health and sanitation
    • Go Volunteer Abroad offer first-hand reviews as well as articles about all programs abroad. A scholarship is available to any student for any abroad program of their choosing
    • H.E.L.P. Malawi Volunteering program in rural Malawi on long or short term projects. Established in 2006, H.E.L.P’s mission is to develop the pathway for children living in rural regions of Africa to become integral members and leaders in society through quality education. H.E.L.P. is committed to cultivating the academic potential of each child through a comprehensive range of opportunities in primary school to prepare students for the next level of education, and to support those efforts through secondary school scholarships. Volunteers are not required to pay any fee to H.E.L.P. Malawi, only to fund their own trip.
    • Idealist Over 56,000 not-for-profit and community organisations in 165 countries, which you can search or browse by name, location, or mission for volunteer opportunities, jobs and internships 
    • Lattitude Global Volunteering Long-established youth development charity offering volunteer placements in education, healthcare, community work and conservation in a variety of countries across Asia, Africa, The Americas and Australasia
    • Original Volunteers Affordable global volunteer projects. Also organise health electives from £95 per week in Ghana. Based UK.
    • Oyster Worldwide Paid and voluntary placements from 2 weeks to 12 months in a variety of worldwide destinations
    • Projects Abroad Short or long term placements around the world on projects in Teaching, Journalism, Conservation, Law, Community work, Sport, and Medicine 
    • Raleigh International Adventure expeditions in Borneo, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, India and Tanzania. Volunteers work on sustainable and worthwhile community and environmental projects alongside young people from the host country and local skilled workers
    • SL Volunteers Mental health placements for psychology students, countries include Sri Lanka, India and Bali Sustainable Bolivia Placements in child and adult education, physiotherapy, orphan care, environmental conservation, healthcare, housing construction, and much more
    • True Travellers Society  Information on ‘free or cheap volunteer and meaningful travel opportunities’
    • UNA Exchange: Community projects around the world and in Wales
    • Volunteer Africa Details of volunteering opportunities in Africa, information on useful books and guides and some questions to ask of yourself and the organisations that interest you. The links page contains a wide range of useful web addresses
    • Volunteer 4 Africa Non-profit organisation that provides information about volunteering in Africa and providing aid for voluntary and non profit organisations when travelling abroad.
    • Volunteer Abroad US site with searchable directory of 27000 opportunities worldwide
    • Volunteer Action for Peace: UK based charity with projects around the world and in the UK
    • Volunteer Latin America Opportunities throughout Central and South America including Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Guatemala and Peru. Projects range from helping street children to monitoring wildcats such as puma and ocelots.
    • Volunteering Solutions Provides professional and affordable international volunteering opportunities abroad. Projects are in medical internships, childcare, teaching, women empowerment, community development and wildlife conservation programs.
    • Volunteer South America This site lists a large number of organisations offering free and low-cost volunteer opportunities in South & Central America.
    • WWOOF Volunteer your time at an organic farm and receive bed and board in return
    • Working Abroad International networking service for volunteers and travellers on education, conservation, development and social/cultural projects in over 150 countries worldwide
    • Workaway Volunteer your time in exchange for bed and board.  Opportunities range from helping to set up a donkey rescue station to offering childcare    
    • Xchange Scotland: Over 40 countries worldwide.
    • Year Out Group An association of 35 organisations that aims to promote good practice and to help in selecting suitable and worthwhile projects
    100 Free or Cheap Volunteer Work Opportunities from the Overseas Jobs Centre


    Before you volunteer

    Please note that the above links do not imply any recommendation of any organisation and you are recommended to investigate all opportunities carefully before applying.
    Before you commit yourself, make sure you know all about the project. Questions you might want to ask include:

    • Why was this project set up, who by and when?
    • What will your actual day-to-day involvement be?
    • What is included in the cost? Flights? Transfers? Insurance? Food? Accommodation?
    • Will you be picked up on arrival? Will you be taken straight to the project? How far is it?
    • What accommodation is provided?
    • What does your payment cover? Ask for a breakdown of costs. How much goes to the organisation arranging the placement and how much to the project you will be working on?
    • What support will you get? Are there English speaking representatives nearby you can contact? What help do you get in an emergency (e.g. illness)?
    • Voluntourism is not without its problems and there are ethical considerations to be made - see Think looking after turtles in Costa Rica for three weeks is good for your CV? Think again and The business of voluntourism: do western do-gooders actually do harm?



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The University of Kent, Canterbury, Kent, CT2 7ND, T: +44 (0)1227 764000 ext. 3299

Last Updated: 09/09/2019