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Volunteering can range from taking part in a sponsored event, supporting a young person in a school, coaching sports or planting trees to cooking international cuisine with refugees and asylum seekers; the list is endless.

When you volunteer is entirely up to you. It could be on a regular basis each week or month, or just once a year. The benefits can be huge: 

  • Strengthen your existing skills and develop new ones – great for your CV
  • Get your voluntary work recognised and celebrated by signing up for the Plymouth Award
  • Meet new people with shared interests
  • Share your skills and experiences with your local community
  • Explore possible career paths for the future
  • Gain relevant work experience - vital for some career areas
  • Build your confidence
  • Make sure you truly stand out from the crowd 

Resources in Career Gateway

Volunteer - a Traveller's Guide to Making a Difference Around the World (Lonely Planet) features over 170 organisations, listed and reviewed in a user-friendly structure arranged by type of volunteering programme.

The Gap-year Guide Book 2011 (has sections listing organisations) provides useful, informative and unbiased advice for those considering a gap-year. 

Green Volunteers (world guide to voluntary work in nature conservation) is an easy to use resource for prospective volunteers interested in environmental work worldwide. 

The Voluntary Agencies Directory 2007 (National Council for Voluntary Agencies) Although an old resource now, may still provide valid information about charities in a wide range of area


Volunteering abroad​

Volunteering abroad provides you with the opportunity to combine travel with gaining valuable work and life experiences. An internet search will show many, many providers, some will require payment, some require you to raise a sum of money and some just require you to get yourself out to their destination. In all cases you should carry out careful research on the organisation and be very aware of what they are offering, the conditions you will be living in and how they will support and look after you. Don't forget to ensure you have adequate travel insurance that covers you for your volunteering activities.
do-it.org.uk  information about volunteering overseas, including some links to providers
Ecoteer a volunteer opportunities agency offering a directory of cheap volunteer work opportunities, volunteer jobs abroad and working holidays
Ethical volunteering advice & information for people who are interested in international volunteering 
World Service Enquiry provides information and career advice to people who want to volunteer or work in international development and aid. 
Year out Group information and advice on gap years and volunteering. Organisations listed adhere to the Group's Code of Practice and Members Charter.
World Wide Volunteering  provide a comprehensive online database of information and opportunities in the UK and worldwide
Further information for those interested in working in charities and international development

Local opportunities

UPSU volunteering department  volunteering department based in the Student Union, helping to promote opportunities in the local community.

do-it.org.uk  searchable database of opportunities - search by location and

Cornwall Centre for Volunteers  matching volunteers to organisations throughout Cornwall 
OPAL  Open Air Laboratories. Need volunteers to take part in environmental surveys and conservation work. Also have a Wednesday afternoon student group open to students and graduates at Plymouth University or Marjons.
Plymouth Guild Volunteer Centre  links to hundreds of voluntary opportunities in the Plymouth area
Prince's Trust work with 13 to 30-year-olds who have struggled in school, been in care, are long-term unemployed or have been in trouble with the law. 
vinspired  volunteer opportunities for 16-25 year olds