Female University of Portsmouth student volunteering

Make a difference in the community

Volunteer for a local organisation and develop your employability skills

Are you looking for a way to make a difference in the community and learn new skills at university?

Volunteering is a great way to give make an impact in the community, boost your skills and meet new people. 

Volunteering for a charity that you care about will enhance your time at uni — and improves you career prospects once you graduate. Some students even receive a professional reference from the charities they volunteer with, which helps them stand out in the graduate job market.

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Benefits of volunteering as a student 

As a student volunteer, you can:

  • Build transferable skills to enhance your CV 
  • Network, meet new friends and boost your confidence
  • Improve your wellbeing
  • Give back to the community
  • Apply your skills to the workplace
  • Gain practical experience to include in future job applications
Postgraduate Shoot

I have been a team captain for a sports club, a course rep and I have volunteered with local charities such as Citizens Advice Portsmouth.


Roxanne Smith, MSc Health Psychology

Roxanne's story

Where to volunteer

There are loads of opportunities to volunteer a uni - whether you're working with a local or regional organisation, completing projects that support causes you care about, or volunteering at the University or Students' Union.

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Join a cause

Use your free time to volunteer with a charity or a cause you care about. 

Whether you want to help a local, regional or national charity there a plenty of chances to get involved as you study — some students even produce coursework that supports the charities they work with. 

Three students sat on bench relaxing

Represent your course

Become a Course Representative and take the opinions of your peers to the Students' Union and University.

Get to know students from your course and department, and be a part of making change at Portsmouth. 

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Lead a student group

Become a committee member in a society or club with the Students' Union.

Most groups have roles like President, Treasurer, Social Secretary and Media Officer — so you can get experience specific to your goals. 

Volunteer locally with: 

  • Charities that support young people to reduce offending, help survivors of domestic abuse or help people in conflict to resolve issues
  • Local museums, art galleries, charity shops and food banks
  • Charities that provide extra help to hospital patients, visitors and staff
  • Local schools helping pupils with reading, coding and other classroom activities

Support from the Volunteering Team

Our Volunteering Team supports around 100 local and national charities and not-for-profit organisations, including local theatres, schools, small community groups, social enterprises, the prison service, and the NHS.

The team also offer 1-to-1 support with finding and applying for opportunities. You can discuss volunteering opportunities that match your interests, whether you want to volunteer somewhere new, match your university coursework to a local cause, or prepare for your future career. 

Hannah Coombs - Waltham Forest, London Campus

I wanted to make the most of opportunities outside of my course, and got involved with the Volunteer Reading Scheme.

I spent an afternoon each week helping in a local primary school to support kids struggling with reading.

I really enjoyed this scheme and found it very rewarding, so I kept up my position at the same school for two years.

Hannah Coombs, PhD Literary Studies

Read Hannah's story

Further careers support at university

Careers and Employability Support

Get excellent careers support during your degree and for 5 years after graduation. We help you find part-time and graduate jobs, volunteering and work experience.

Female student standing at careers and employability help desk
Read more

Placement year degrees

Increase your employment opportunities and strengthen your skills by taking a sandwich year degree with a placement.

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Find out more

Work experience opportunities

As a Portsmouth student, you'll get lots of work experience opportunities to try out job roles, apply your skills to different sectors and increase your employability.

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Find out more