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VSU Volunteering Fair

If you represent a not-for-profit organisation that recruits volunteers, the Volunteering Services Unit may be able to help you get UCL students involved in your work.

We’re looking for interesting, engaging volunteer roles that students can take part in during their free time. Last year, we recruited 2,000 students into volunteer roles with our partners across London.

If you’d like to register with us, please read our policy on partnership working.

Then, get in touch with our Administration & Partnerships Coordinator Oliver Peachey to discuss your volunteering recruitment needs. If we think we’ll be able to help you recruit,  we’ll ask you to fill out our partnership paperwork. Your details will go onto our database and into our online directory. You’ll also be able to advertise in our weekly e-newsletter, and will receive invitations to events like our Volunteering Fairs and the Global Citizenship Voluntary Sector programme.

What volunteer recruiters say about the VSU

St. Pancras Community Association

UCLU’s Volunteering Services Unit have played a hugely supportive role in the progress and development of St. Pancras Community Association’s Older People’s Project over the past year. We have had the opportunity to advertise a variety of different volunteering roles through the VSU’s regular bulletins to its students. Through this we have been privileged to work with many wonderful student volunteers: from postgraduate students organising travelling tea dances; to first years getting to know their community in offering older people practical help at home; and even PhD researchers taking an hour out of the lab to befriend an older person at home, or take a weekly trip out for coffee with one of our members with a learning disability.

We have been lucky enough to work with student led initiatives via the VSU such as the UCL Baking Project for 2 years in a row. We have felt proud to applaud our volunteers in VSU’s annual awards ceremonies celebrating the fantastic achievements they have made. We have attended several of VSU’s volunteering fairs always receiving a high level of interest, and meeting other interesting organisations along the way. ‘Creating Connections’ has been an exciting and engaging initiative to have been a part of. It has allowed us to explore relevant and current issues within our organisation and our sector, and we have made a number of fruitful connections with students, staff and organisations which have expanded and diversified the activities we hold at our community centre.

Alice Newsholme, St. Pancras Community Association

University College Hospital Macmillan Cancer Centre 
Since the run up to the opening of the UCH Macmillan Cancer Centre in April 2012, we have worked closely with UCLU’s volunteering team to set up our new Cancer Centre volunteer service. Our primary goal is to provide cancer patients with an experience that complements the world-class treatment at UCLH. Volunteers have been central to this. With the support of UCLU, we now have around 75 volunteers in 19 different roles. These range from ‘meet and greet’ volunteers who help patients and their relatives when they first arrive, to complementary therapists, pharmacy volunteers (all pharmacy students) to befriending to support with welfare and benefits information.

Working closely with UCLU, we have been able to both advertise our volunteer roles to all students but also to target those who might have specific interests. As a result, we have medical students in various roles, pharmacy volunteering in our pharmacy and psychology students in befriending roles supported by a clinical psychologist.

We also work hard to ensure our volunteers’ contribution is recognised and they have an enjoyable and valuable experience with us.  We recently were honoured to receive UCLU’s Volunteering Organisation of the Year Award 2012 - 2013. Sarah Martindale, a medical student at UCL and a volunteer welcomer and guide, shared what she had written which illustrates how well the partnership is working:

“As a volunteer, you are immediately made to feel welcome and a crucial part of the team. Staff and patients are very grateful for our help and any positive feedback received from patients is emailed to us. Knowing the direct positive effect you are having on patient experience makes volunteering even more rewarding …there are fantastic opportunities for personal development such as monthly cancer centre seminars, new volunteering opportunities and training sessions. We even had a careers talk and CV workshop…The volunteering department are very open to listening to suggestions and volunteers are encouraged to suggest new roles they envisage could be needed. I thoroughly enjoy my voluntary work and for these reasons I nominated the UCH Macmillan Cancer Centre for UCL’s Volunteering Organisation of the Year award.”

Naomi Neiland, UCH Macmillan Cancer Centre

Avenue House
Since the middle of 2012 Avenue House, a charitably run House and Public Garden in Finchley, has been working with UCLU’s Volunteering Services Unit

UCL volunteers attend our monthly gardening working parties, where they help us carry out the big unskilled jobs that allow our paid gardeners to focus on skilled work.  In addition other teams have worked carrying out surveys of our park users (on one occasion in falling snow), and stewarding at our summer ‘Party in the Park’.  Perhaps the biggest single effort that we’ve had has been from the Drama Society, who performed a Murder Mystery for us in the spring, and then did a brilliant five run outdoor performance of a ‘Mid Summer Night’s Dream’ in June.  Most recently sixteen UCL volunteers were ghouls, witches and zombies, as well as stewarding, at our Halloween evening.  In the next month we hope to run another Murder Mystery, and to introduce the Music Society to the joys of Avenue House with a Christmas recital, as well as a major gardening effort to clear up leaves and storm debris.

We are delighted with the way that the relationship between UCLU and Avenue House has developed, and look forward to it carrying on.

Andy Savage, Avenue House Estate Trust

Benjamin Franklin House
UCLU Volunteering Services Unit have offered great support to Benjamin Franklin House over the past few years. We have greatly appreciated the team’s active promotion of our volunteering opportunities and have welcomed the opportunity to present at the volunteer fairs held at the University. We have benefited from the enthusiasm of a number of UCL students and look forward to continuing the relationship to mutual benefit.

Stephen Wilson, Benjamin Franklin House

Missing People

We were lucky enough to be selected as a partner for the GC Voluntary Sector programme. We were delighted with the UCLU Volunteering Services Unit right from the start and couldn’t believe how supportive and helpful they were all the way through our project. Not only did they help us identify a worthwhile and sustainable project (volunteer recruitment video), they provided support all the way through and worked tirelessly to help us make it a success, providing us with eight excellent students for two weeks.

The UCLU Volunteering Services Unit were professional to a fault, meticulously organised and extremely supportive. As it was the first year of the GC Voluntary Sector Programme, we weren’t sure exactly how well it would go but it proved to be a huge success. The students we worked with threw themselves wholeheartedly into the project and produced a fantastic product. As a relatively small charity, we would never have had the time or resources to have completed this so well. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend working with the UCLU Volunteering Services Unit to other organisations, particularly with regards to the GC Voluntary Sector Programme. We work with many Universities and can say, without question, UCL are one of the very best when it comes to engaging students in volunteering. The GC Voluntary Sector Programme partnership was one of the most worthwhile I’ve had whilst working at Missing People and I look forward to working together with them in the future.

Alexander Beaumont, Missing People