The Volunteering Services Unit exists to connect UCL students with volunteering opportunities within London and to support students who want to run their own community projects. If you work at UCL, please read on to find out how we work with other departments across the university.
If you’d like to join our mailing list of departmental contacts, please drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org or call Oliver Peachey on x32512.
The VSU can help connect students with volunteering that will give them another perspective on their areas of academic study. We produce department-specific information sheets at the start of each year and have new opportunities coming in each week. If you’d like us to pass on vacancies that could be of interest to your students, please do get in touch.
The Innovations Programme is the VSU’s leadership scheme. UCL students organise and run their own community projects across London – this year, we’ve supported over 70 such groups. Many of these projects have sprung up from UCL’s academic departments and faculties. For example, Citizenship & Crime, Mathomaniacs, Meducate and Schools Book Club were set up by students in Laws, Maths, Medicine and English respectively. The VSU provides support, advice, training and funding, and can help new student groups put their ideas into action.
Volunteering and student employability
Our surveys of UCL students show that many of them find that volunteering has helped make them more employable and that they’ve developed useful skills. Similarly, the national Coordinating Centre for Public Engagement found that 51% of recent graduates had found that previous volunteering had helped them to secure employment.
Together with UCL’s Careers Service, we run termly ‘Volunteering and Your CV’ workshops to help students reflect on their volunteering experiences and identify what useful skills they’ve learnt along the way.
Volunteering and student well-being
Volunteering can help students meet new people, feel more settled in London and at UCL, and improve their self-confidence. We want to get people talking about the well-being benefits of volunteering – hence, our ‘Get Happy, Get Involved’ campaign.
Are you interested in working collaboratively with the voluntary/community sector on a research or public engagement project? If so, come along to Creating Connections, the termly networking event organised by the VSU, UCL’s Public Engagement Unit and Camden Shares.
Whilst we’re based in the students’ union, we can also help UCL staff get involved in volunteering. Much of our volunteering takes place close to campus and can be done after working hours. Find out how to get involved.
Volunteering – UCL’s commitment
Why do UCL and UCLU support student volunteering? in 2012, both organisations agreed on a vision for student volunteering - you can read more here.