What is a volunteer?
A volunteer offers unpaid help to an organisation.
You gift your time to a cause your care about, to gain experience. As a volunteer, you aren’t classed as a worker under UK law, but you can volunteer in public, private or third sector organisations.
What’s the difference between volunteering and an apprenticeship?
Apprentices are paid in exchange for the work they do. They hold a contract with their employer, which agrees their role and duties. Volunteers may have something less formal in place, that just outlines what duties they can take part in and for how long.
You can be an apprentice and a volunteer, for example, if you want to develop your skills in areas which extend beyond your role. Although it’s unpaid, it gives you get the opportunity use your talents and develop new skills.
Volunteering can be a rewarding experience, the benefits include:
- Making a positive difference
- Gaining skills
- Making new friends
- Having fun
- Keeping busy
- Using existing skills
- Gaining work experience
- Giving something back
- Sampling a career direction
- Doing something different from paid job
Who can volunteer?
Anyone can volunteer.
No matter your background or work experience, you will have a skill that someone needs.
Whether you can regularly give a day or you can occasionally give an hour, there is bound to be something you can do.