Volunteering in the UK
Why volunteer during your time in the UK?
Volunteering is defined as an activity that involves spending time, unpaid, doing something that aims to benefit the environment, individuals, or groups other than close relatives.
Offering your time for free is a great way to give back to your local community, and make a lasting impact. Additionally, giving to others has been associated with positive mental well-being and is recommended by the NHS as 1 of 5 steps to take for mental well-being.
In 2019/2020, the cohort of Chevening Scholars volunteered 3,420 hours, despite the Covid-19 pandemic. They contributed to a variety of causes, made new connections and experienced the UK from a different perspective.
How can I volunteer?
Chevening volunteering events
Throughout the year you’ll see one-off projects advertised in the Scholargram. Previous years have seen scholars building fences at donkey sanctuaries, doing Wikipedia ‘edit-a-thons’, planting trees, and much more!
By giving their time to these events, scholars have helped communities, animals and the environment. They’ve also been able to meet and work together with other altruistic scholars.
Other volunteering opportunities
You may find that there are plenty of volunteering opportunities provided by your university or students’ union. If you don’t then you can search for volunteering opportunities through a variety of organisations such as the National Council for Voluntary Organisations. You can also approach any local charity or organisation.
Recording your activities
To record the efforts of Chevening Scholars who volunteer while in the UK, we are reopening the Chevening volunteering log for 2020/2021. This is an online form which allows you to record details of your volunteering.
Please note that all volunteering hours must be submitted within 30 days of the activity being completed. If you are unable to log it in this time, please contact us at [email protected] for guidance.
In order for the activity to be eligible, it must meet the below criteria:
- Volunteering must be completed in the UK
- Virtual and in-person volunteering is welcomed
- You should not receive payment, and volunteering should benefit charitable organisations or people in the UK.
Please note that we will not confirm total number of hours logged until the log has closed, you will need to keep your own record.
Chevening volunteering awards
At the end of the year a celebration event will be organised for the 40 scholars who have contributed the most time to volunteering activities throughout the year. Scholars can also work towards different level awards based on the total number of volunteering hours accumulated over the course of the academic year. There’s no obligation to earn one of these awards – we want to hear about any and all volunteering, no matter how big or small.
The deadline for recording your volunteering in the volunteering log is 17:00 BST on Friday, 14 May 2021.
At the end of the year a celebration event will be organised for the top 40 scholars who have contributed the most time to volunteering activities throughout the year. Scholars can also work towards different level awards based on the total number of volunteering hours accumulated over the course of the academic year. There’s no obligation to earn one of these awards – we want to hear about any and all volunteering, no matter how big or small.
- Bronze Award for 40 hours
- Silver Award for 75 hours
- Gold Award for 100 hours
There will also be separate awards for scholars who have shown a particular dedication in volunteering within the following categories:
Volunteering to end poverty and hunger, and to ensure that all human beings can fulfill their potential with dignity and equality, and in a healthy environment.
Volunteering to protect the planet from degradation, and taking urgent action on climate change, so that it can support the needs of the present and future generations.
Volunteering to ensure that all human beings can enjoy prosperous and fulfilling lives.
Volunteering to foster peaceful, just and inclusive societies which are free from fear and violence.
Volunteering to strengthen global solidarity, focused in particular on the needs of the poorest and most vulnerable.
Visa working hours
Please remember to consider the rules of your visa when you take on volunteering. If you are unsure about how the working conditions of your visa are affected by your volunteering, please contact your programme officer as soon as you can.