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Volunteering – Learning about yourself and doing something you love!

Welcome to the Students' Union Volunteering Scheme, your doorway to volunteering opportunities with Staffs.

Whether it’s to boost your CV, to follow your passion or even just to try something new, finding your volunteer role has never been easier.

Where will volunteering lead you?


“Volunteering can lead you to places you couldn't even imagine, including paid work or a brand new passion.” – Gemma Louise Bullock


“Step out of your comfort zone and learn something new, volunteering is a fun way of doing it.” – Fee Wood


“Before this I had nothing on my CV, the volunteering really boosts it. It shows that you’re giving up your personal time, that you’re not just in it for the money, that you do have motivation and that you are willing to work." – Emily Moore


“Employers don’t just look at your degree level, they want to know what you’ve been doing whilst you’ve been doing your degree. A lot of people want to see the volunteering part because it shows that you’re prepared to go the extra mile.” – Fee Wood


“Volunteering offers you the opportunity to give back in a society where it is so easy to take. It can be the most rewarding opportunity.” – Jacyn Richardson


Getting started


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Support Services

Frequently Asked Questions

What is volunteering?

There are many different definitions of volunteering out there but we believe that volunteering at University is unique. We consider any unpaid activity which, directly or indirectly, benefits our community to be valid volunteering.

Placement Years, Unpaid Internships and Individual Volunteering* are not considered to be voluntary activities under the Volunteering Scheme.

*Individual Volunteering is where you volunteer to support a family member, friend or colleague in a social arrangement. (Tending your Nan’s garden isn’t volunteering unless your Nan has a charity number!)

Can I claim my expenses back?

Most volunteering organisations will offer to reimburse your expenses - at the end of the day volunteering should not cost you anything other than your time and effort.

Where it is not possible for a provider to cover your expenses, then Staffordshire University Students' Union will support your volunteering activities to enhance your opportunities to benefit the community.

The volunteer expenses policy can be accessed by clicking here and details everything you'll need to know about claiming your expenses.

Existing volunteers please note that this policy replaces all existing arrangements for the claiming of expenses. If in doubt, contact your Volunteering Coordinator.

Will I need a DBS (Previously CRB) check?

Some volunteering opportunities require you to submit to a Disclosure and Barring Service (Previously CRB) check before you can start to attend; this is a legal requirement designed to protect you and the organisation.

For more information visit our DBS information page by clicking here

How do I benefit?

Critically voluntary work is unpaid in that you aren’t formally contracted to work for a financial reward.

However there are many ways in which volunteering will benefit you:

  • You will develop work-ready skills, that you can’t learn in the lecture environment

  • Logging your hours can be accredited by certain academic modules to improve your degree classification

  • Your Higher Education Achievement Record will be updated to reflect your work in the community

  • You’ll experience a whole range of experiences, which will make fantastic stories to share in the future!

I'm an international student, can I volunteer?

International students can undertake voluntary work whilst they are studying. However it is important to note that just because work is unpaid it is not always classed as voluntary work. If you are carrying out a role that a salaried worker would normally fulfil then this is considered to be unpaid work, not voluntary work. Unpaid work can include work placements undertaken as part of a course of study, self-employment and engaging in business or any professional activity.

Unpaid work is covered by your visa restriction in the same way as paid work so you must not do unpaid work for more than 20 hours per week in term time.

If you are undertaking voluntary work:

  • You will not be receiving payment, other than reasonable travel and meals expenditure actually incurred (not an allowance for the same);

  • You will have no contractual obligations;

  • You will be providing a service for a registered voluntary or charitable organisation (or organisation that raises funds for either) and the service will not be a substitute for employment (i.e. fulfilling a role that a salaried worker would normally fulfil).

I have a disability, can I volunteer?

Yes of course! Many organisations are fully equipped to deal with a variety of access and support needs.

I'm a Staffordshire University Graduate, can the Volunteering Scheme support me?

The Volunteering Scheme can support you for three years after graduation however from the point of you graduating we are unable to support your voluntary work with expense reimbursement.

Useful Contacts

Student Engagement Team

Staffordshire University Students’ Union
SULU Building
Staffordshire University
College Road
Stoke on Trent

Staffordshire University Careers Network

Support with producing your CV, covering letters and applications and practical support about developing your career prospects.
A008 Cadman Building 
College Road


(01782) 294687





01782 294991