Why should I volunteer?

We encourage students to get involved in volunteering to experience the numerous benefits and to enhance the student journey. Volunteering will allow you to feel part of Liverpool and allow you to give back, embrace new challenges, and develop skills that will play a key role in your future career. It is hoped by engaging in volunteering, you will be inspired and take your experiences into your graduate journey.

JMSU and LJMU are committed to local communities within Liverpool, particularly those in which students reside, and through our community engagement aim to support local aspirations through the power of volunteering.

Do I need any previous experience or skills to volunteer?

Volunteering is accessible to everyone, most charities simply ask for enthusiasm and commitment. Some organisations, however, may ask for specific skills or previous experience. This should be stated in the role description.

I want to volunteer, but I don’t know where to start

Our Volunteering Opportunities is here for you. Select your interests, what days you’re free, any skills you have and want to gain, and it will find you a volunteering role.

I volunteer but the opportunity is not in the opportunities section

Contact us at jmsuvolunteering@ljmu.ac.uk and we can log your hour manually. 

I don't have enough time to volunteer

Student life is busy. That’s why we only work with volunteering partners that have shown a commitment to being flexible to your schedule. If you don’t have time for a weekly or monthly commitment, check out our one-off opportunities. 

I can’t find the exact role that I want, what should I do?

Don’t worry! Please come and visit us in the Union or email us on jmsuvolunteering@ljmu.ac.uk and we’d be happy to help. Please note we are in the first year of growth opportunities at JMSU so we are still working on our offer.

I want to volunteer Internationally – can the SU support me?

Not currently. We can’t offer effective international volunteering opportunities at the moment. We also have a policy of not supporting ‘Voluntourism’ - this means any volunteering opportunities where students must fundraise to travel internationally. We endorse effective fundraising for international charities.

What should I do if I apply for something and they don’t get back to me?

Contact jmsuvolunteering@ljmu.ac.uk and we will get in touch with the community group on your behalf. We want to make sure that the providers on our platform have the capacity to support and welcome new volunteers, and if they can’t, we want to hear about it! 

Will I get my expenses paid?

Yes. All opportunities registered on our system are with providers that reimburse their volunteers for any out-of-pocket expenses*. This means that they pay for any expense you wouldn’t have forked out for if you hadn’t been volunteering. This often includes transport and food. 

The organization I want to work with isn’t on your list - can you register them?

At JMSU Volunteering, we’re committed to working with volunteering providers that put the volunteer experience at the heart of their organization. That’s why we check out our partners before registering them, and we want to hear feedback from you about the quality of your volunteering experience. If you’re working with a stellar organization, ask them to get in touch with jmsuvolunteering@ljmu.ac.uk and we will look into registering them.

Will I need to do any training?

This will vary from role to role. If training is required for your volunteering role the associated charity will often provide this. The Volunteering Team may also offer internal training depending on the role undertaken. Any training you will have to do will be made clear as you go through the application process.

How do I log my hours?n

Follow this link for a full guide on how to log hours using the website.

Can I take a break from volunteering over the holidays?

Yes. All our partner organizations are aware that students aren’t necessarily around during the holidays. If you’re going home for the summer, you may even be able to temporarily transfer your volunteer role to your hometown. 

Will I need a DBS for my volunteering?

For some volunteering roles, you will be required to have some type of DBS check, which will be organized and paid for through the group you are working with. This is a criminal record check and is needed for roles in which you will be working with children, young people, or vulnerable adults.

Can I chat to someone about volunteering?

Yes! JMSU is here to support you through your volunteering journey. Make an appointment at jmsuvolunteering@ljmu.ac.uk and you can come and speak to us.

I am an international student. Can I volunteer? 

There aren’t any restrictions on volunteering for EU students. If you are from a non-EU country and have a Tier-4 student visa the number of hours you can volunteer might be restricted. For more information, read this guide produced by the National Union of Students here.

Can I get an award for my volunteering?

You can! There are various awards up for grabs offered by the Students’ Union and Liverpool Community and Voluntary Services. To increase your chance of winning them, log your hours, and fill in skills reflections every time you volunteer.