I've registered interest - what do I do now?
When you sign in on our directory to register interest in one of our opportunities you will get an email with more information about that role sent to your UCL account. You should now make a decision as to whether or not you want to pursue that opportunity. If you do, follow the application guidance provided in the email that will link you to the charity's website or main contact.
Please be polite and clear in all correspondence with our partners, as how you approach them may well play a part in your success at securing a role.
Applying for opportunities with our partner organisations
Once you’ve made contact, the organisation may invite you to an information meeting, or ask you to fill out an application form or send a CV and covering letter, or invite you in for a chat. The University of London's Careers Group have some excellent guidance on their Careers Tagged website to help you with your application.
Different projects have different ways of recruiting volunteers. Depending on the type of volunteering you’re doing, you may also be asked to provide references and / or complete a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) form.
We work with over 400 not-for-profit organisations across London and the UK. We will only work with organisations that have suitable opportunities for UCL students and ensure they all sign off on our service standards before we promote any of their opportunities. We expect all organisations to respond swiftly to enquiries from potential volunteers - so if you've heard nothing back from your application and it's been a while let us know.
You can find out more about how we assess organisations that are keen to promote through us on our info for recruiters page.
Applying for opportunities with our Student-Led Projects
Once you have expressed your interest in a Student-Led Project (SLP) opportunity, a member of the Project Leader team will be in touch to tell you more about their project and the role. You may also be invited to an information session where you can learn more and decide whether this opportunity is for you.
If the Student-Led Project that you are part of works with children or vulnerable adults, you may be asked to complete a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check. Your Project Leader will be able to let you know if you need one.
If the Student-Led Project (SLP) you are part of works with children, you will need to complete the Volunteering Service’s online Volunteering with Children Course. There might also be other trainings that are specific to the SLP you are volunteering with.
Your first point of contact if you have any questions about your role or the volunteering activities should be the Project Leaders. Project Leaders are the ones that manage and organise the project, so they will have the most up-to-date and accurate information about the project. However, if you are unable to reach the Project Leaders, or experience any issues, please do not hesitate to contact the Student-Led Projects Team at [email protected].
When you start volunteering
When you start volunteering, you should receive an explanation about what you’re doing. This is called an induction.
The induction should cover things like:
- An opportunity to discuss your role – what you’ll be doing, what you might achieve.
- Information about any training that is being offered.
- Details about who will be your supervisor and what form this supervision will take.
- Any important dates you should know about – volunteer meetings, forthcoming events, etc.
- Introduction to staff, volunteers and other people.
- A tour of the building you’re volunteering in.
- Explanation of what to do if you’ve any questions.
- Background information about the organisation.
- Explanation of how to claim expenses.
- Important health & safety information (for example, where the fire escape is).
It is important that you look through the above checklist when you start volunteering. If there’s anything you don’t think you’ve been told, ask your supervisor, or if you are unsure, let us know.
Support and more info
There should be at least one named person on your project you can go to for support - for example, a supervisor, manager, project leader etc. If you do not know who this person is, find out as soon as possible!
Find out more about what to do now that you're volunteering!
What’s expected of you as a volunteer
Every volunteering project is different – but there are some important expectations about volunteers that are common to all projects.
- Honour any commitments that you have made to volunteer.
- Be punctual and reliable.
- Provide as much notice as possible when you are unable to fulfil a volunteering commitment.
- Respond to emails and other communications promptly and in a professional manner.
- Respect confidentiality.
- Treat all people with respect and with due regard for cultural differences.
- Be thoughtful in your use of language and do not make unnecessary comments which could be misinterpreted.
- Challenge unacceptable or inappropriate behaviour and language (e.g. bullying, ridiculing, including ‘cyber bullying’).
- Never give your personal contact details to service users/participants, including your social networking details.
- Never take photographs or videos of service users/clients unless authorised to do so by your supervisor.
- Report any concerns or complaints to your supervisor on the project or to the Volunteering Service.
- In particular, be alert to the wellbeing of children, young people and other vulnerable people, and report any concerns to your supervisor on the project or to the Volunteering Service.
- Be a positive representative for UCL, Students’ Union UCL, and the external charity.