Blog post

Top 10 reasons to volunteer

By Georgie Lazzari - 1 June 2021

It’s estimated that in 2019 alone, the value of volunteering hours given in support of others was a staggering £13,087,421*.

This allowed charities and organisations to support thousands of people that would not have received help without it.

Volunteers make an incredible difference. So much so, that many of our students go on to either secure paid roles within their voluntary organisation or hugely enhance their employment prospects by engaging in unpaid work.

I work in the University’s Careers and Employment Service as part of the Volunteering team and we support students and charities wishing to mutually engage in unpaid work opportunities. We assist community organisations to generate and promote voluntary roles and support our students to secure them.

It’s very rewarding and no two days are the same. You truly see what a difference volunteering makes in society.

With that in mind, and to mark Volunteer Week 2021, here are our top ten reasons why volunteering is such a worthwhile thing to do:

1. Give something back to a worthy cause

If you are passionate about a cause what better way to give something back to them than to volunteer your time and services. Many volunteers feel a personal affinity to the organisation they work with as they have benefited them or their families in the past.

2. Meet new people

Engaging in voluntary work will bring you into contact with lots of new faces including staff, service users and fellow volunteers. It’s a great way to broaden your social circle with likeminded people who will commonly become your friends for life.

3. Enhance your skills and career

Volunteering is an excellent way to boost your career prospects. It will help you to create an impressive portfolio of skills and experiences to add to your CV, and employers value voluntary participation very highly when looking at prospective candidates for roles.

4. Make a difference

There’s nothing more rewarding than the feeling of spending your time truly making a difference to the world and others around you. Many volunteers feel they have more of a chance to do this via unpaid roles than they do in their day jobs which is what makes voluntary work so satisfying.

5. Distract your mind

Volunteering to help others is actually one of the most beneficial things you can do for your own wellbeing. Studies have found that when you stop thinking about your own problems and focus on someone other than yourself, your stress levels start to decrease.

6. Gain an award

You can gain recognition for your volunteering and all co-curricular activities by working towards the Futures Award. This will ensure you graduate with an additional award that employers really value and demonstrate the extra skills and attributes you’ve developed.

7. Gain new perspectives

Volunteering offers a unique opportunity to engage with different people and see the world from a new angle by understanding previously unexplored perspectives. Many volunteers feel they now look at life differently as a result of experiencing it from a changed outlook.

8. Fit it around your lifestyle

Everybody has a different work/family balance to fit their additional commitments around and voluntary roles are often more flexible than paid work, meaning you can select the kinds of tasks and organisations that suit your lifestyle.

9. Varied opportunities

There are more ways than ever to engage in voluntary work. These can be in a healthcare setting, retail environment, overseas, outdoors in the open or online, meaning you can tailor your individual skills and preferences to the types of voluntary roles you want.

10. Enjoy yourself!

Volunteers traditionally prefer their unpaid work to their regular day jobs and find them much more rewarding. You can engage in activities that suit your personality and lead you to fulfil what you truly want to get out of volunteering.

If you’ve been inspired and want to start your volunteering journey then check out the many vacancies we have on the University careers portal (login required) or contact us at

*Duke of Edinburgh, Social Impact report 2019.

About the author

Georgie Lazzari - Careers Experience Assistant.

Georgie Lazzari
Careers Experience Assistant

I have a passion for making a difference to people's lives and helping them to access opportunities to improve their prospects. My role at the University helps students to find worthwhile volunteering roles that benefit both their own paths and the work that their charities and community organisations do.