The University of York exists for public good. Our student volunteering and Community Engaged Learning programmes are a practical example of how we embody that value.

We work with local community partners and schools to provide mutually beneficial opportunities. This enables our students to gain and develop transferable skills while adding real value to your organisation.

Volunteering helps make York a better place. Our volunteers give their time and skills freely to help community and causes beyond their own friends and family.

About us

We have over 20,000 students at the University of York, with a wide range of cultures and backgrounds across our three faculties (Arts and Humanities, Social Sciences and Sciences).

Volunteering opportunities are available to all current students, ranging from first year to those completing their PhD. Each year we celebrate the outstanding contribution student volunteers have made in the local area at our Student Volunteer Awards.

Make a positive impact in your organisation

Mutually beneficial opportunities

Access to experience and knowledge

Please consider:

  • Students volunteer around their studies and often have a part-time job. We recommend that roles are no more than five hours a week.
  • We have two semesters, with 11 weeks of teaching followed by four weeks of revision and intense assessments.
  • A high proportion of students leave York and go home during University vacation periods - including Christmas, Easter and the summer.

"Our student volunteers have been a pleasure to work with! I would keep them forever if I could."
St Nicks Volunteer Coordinator

What support can we provide?

  • York Students in Schools partners with schools and settings to place student volunteers to give extra support where needed by teachers. We provide training and undertake safeguarding checks on all volunteers.
  • We advertise for charities promoting regular volunteer roles, and give support and guidance on recruitment as well as running promotional campaigns and events to students.
  • Our Community Engaged Learning team will work with you to develop a project for a team of students to deliver a specific task for you, such as creating a video, a research project, sustainability plan or school workshop.
  • International volunteering. Any opportunities to work, study or learn abroad are managed by the Global Programmes team.
  • Internships or paid roles.
  • Roles that could be classified as voluntary work. Undertaking voluntary work can have implications for or breach international student's visa restrictions.
  • Roles that could pose a significant risk to the volunteer e.g. volunteering on a 1-1 basis in a caring role or volunteering in a person's home
  • Roles that would not be deemed mutually beneficial - opportunities must allow students to develop personally and/or professionally as well as adding real value to your organisation. 
  • Roles which would replace a paid member of staff in a for-profit organisation.

"Move Mates is very proud of all our student volunteers from the University of York, who make a real difference to the lives of people who struggle to get out of their homes. They are kind, committed, enthusiastic and a real asset to our charity. We hope their volunteer work is as rewarding for them as it is for the people who they support." Move the Masses

Get involved

Our students enjoy working in the local community and wider region. We would love to hear from schools and community organisations in need of support. Just drop us an email at to discuss your ideas. 

See feedback from other organisations about their student volunteers.