How do I become a volunteer?
If you are an LSE student or alumni, you can search through the volunteering opportunities currently listed on our website. You can also keep right up to date with new opportunities and news from the LSE Volunteer Centre by following us on Twitter or Instagram and liking our Facebook page.
What if I don't think I have enough time to volunteer?
We try to offer as wide a range of opportunities as possible to cater every taste, interest, and schedule! There are currently about 400 organisations working with us, each offering different projects with different time requirements. So whether you only have a couple of hours to help out with a one-off event, or a free afternoon every week to go volunteer in a school, we hope to be able to help you find something that would interest you.
Many of our opportunities - for example mentoring or visiting with elderly people - can take place at a time that is convenient for you, for example on evenings or over the weekend. Increasingly, a number of organisations are tapping into "virtual volunteering", as there are a lot of roles that you can carry out from the comfort of your own home, and in your own time. Examples include editing documents and websites, translating, interpretation over the phone, CyberMentoring (an opportunity with Beat Bullying), and many others. Moreover, if you find an opportunity on our database that isn't advertised as virtual, but you think could be done from home, don't be afraid to ask - most organisations will be more interested in getting the work done than seeing you in person.
What can I offer a charity?
You may not realise it, but you already have a lot you could contribute, even if you don't have not previously volunteered. Many of our opportunities simply require a friendly attitude and a little bit of time, and they are also a fantastic way of gaining skills and experience in an area that interests you
What do I need to think about before I decide to volunteer?
To state the obvious, though, you are more likely to get more out of your volunteering experience if you enjoy it! So when choosing what project you would like to get involved in, make sure you think about what you would most enjoy doing as well as what may be good for your personal development, world peace, saving the planet, etc.
Some questions to ask yourself:
- What do you want to do?
- What opportunities are available?
- What do you want to achieve?
- What have you got to offer? (time/skills)
What can I do?
The sky is the limit, really (although the school recommends you do not do more than 16 hours of volunteer/part-time work per week). To give you a taste of the range of possibilities, you could:
- Volunteer with a major charity (e.g. Red Cross, Amnesty International, Oxfam)
- Work on a local project (e.g. a local committee, recycling centre, ...)
- Volunteer online (proofreading, translating, editing, CyberMentoring)
- Help out with one-off events (e.g. fundraiser, World AIDS Day, London Marathon)
- Serve as a trustee for a charity
- Be a mentor to a young person
- Coach a team in your favourite sport
- Help an organisation with marketing, design or new media
- And many many many others!
What skills do you need?
This really depends on the opportunity that you are interested in - some roles require specialised skills, including being able to speak a particular language (for example if you are helping out a particular ethnic community). However, don't let this stop you from exploring unchartered territory - many organisations will train you in specific areas without prior knowledge, and you will certainly develop new skills as you go along!
What can I expect?
Generally speaking, you can count of organisations to provide you with:
- An outline of your voluntary work/ a role description
- Specialised training, if required
- Appropriate supervision (including regular meetings with your supervisor to discuss how things are going)
- Personal development opportunities
What if my question isn't answered here?
The Volunteer Centre team is here to help you so you can always book a one-to-one appointment with the Volunteer Centre Manager on LSE CareerHub or you can send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.