The Volunteering Service exists to connect UCL with other communities across London, primarily by engaging students in enriching volunteering opportunities.
Volunteering is a big part of the culture at UCL. It can help students feel more settled in London and at UCL, whilst introducing them to new people and new experiences. Students regularly tell us how volunteering improves their well-being, helps them develop new skills and enhances their experience of their degree.
We work with departments in every faculty to support their students into volunteering. Here’s how we can help:
We have plenty of volunteering roles on offer that will give students new perspectives on their academic studies. Students can find these on our Opportunities Finder using the departments filter. If you'd like to link to relevant roles via your website or moodle page, we can provide a link.
We have new roles coming in every week and can let you know whenever anything relevant for your department comes in. We also deliver talks about volunteering in departments throughout the year.
In addition, we can organise one of our ‘Building Bridges’ events in your department, bringing together staff, students and community organisations to design new co-curricular volunteer roles.
Our Student-Led Volunteering Programme enables UCL students to organise and run their own community projects across London. This year, we’ve supported over 60 such groups. Many of these projects have sprung up from UCL’s academic departments and faculties. For example, Engineers Without Borders and Grassroots Human Rights were set up by students in Engineering and Laws respectively. The Volunteering Service provides support, advice, training and funding, and can help new student groups put their ideas into action.
Volunteering and student employability
Our surveys of UCL students show that they feel more employable and develop useful skills through volunteering, including collaboration skills, communicating professionally, problem solving and understanding other people.
Together with UCL Careers, we run termly ‘Volunteering and Your CV’ workshops to help students reflect on their volunteering experiences and identify what useful skills they’ve learnt along the way. We're also working with UCL Careers' Work Related Learning Team to develop new activities - watch this space!
Volunteering and student well-being
Volunteering can help students meet new people, feel more settled in London and at UCL, and improve their self-confidence. We want to get academic departments talking about the well-being benefits of volunteering and build it into their well-being programmes.
Community Research Initiative for Students
The Community Research for Students (CRIS) creates research partnerships between UCL departments, Postgrad Taught students and community organisations. The students can use the research as part of their dissertation, as well as getting the experience of collaborating with another organisation and producing research that will be put to good use.
Connecting you with London’s voluntary and community sector
More broadly, if you’d like to involve London’s voluntary and community sector with any aspects of your teaching or research, then please do get in touch. We have formal links with around 400 different charities and community organisations, and regularly send out requests to collaborate from UCL colleagues.
We’re here to help
If you’d like to find out more, please get in touch with our Partnerships Manager, Oliver Peachey.