Living in the community

Make a Difference Days

Enrich your University experience by making a positive difference to others and develop an abundance of new skills through volunteering. Play an invaluable role through participating in rewarding one-off and short-term volunteering in the local community. There are also unique online opportunities, where you can make an impact nationally and globally.

Make a Difference Days are opportunities for students and staff to volunteer, help others and support causes that impact the local community. These one-off and short term activities don’t require ongoing commitment, giving you the opportunity to gain experience and support your personal development, wellbeing and sense of community.

Coming up

Run Leicester Festival event marshals

The Run Leicester Festival (half marathon and 10k) is a fantastic event full of fun, fitness, and celebration. Thousands of people gather to run or watch, and it’s a great day for everyone involved.

Enthusiastic volunteers are needed to marshal the route, which runs through the city of Leicester. Marshals help to keep runners safe and on the correct route.  They also keep an eye out for any emergencies or risks. From marshalling to handing out medals and recruiting runners, you can make a real difference. If you’re interested in going the extra mile and volunteering in any capacity, please get in touch. Volunteers are a vital part of the event, so please sign up if you’re available and spread the word!

The event will be taking place on Sunday 1 October 2023 in Victoria Park, Leicester (opposite the University of Leicester).

Find out more bout Run Festival Leicester

Age UK games afternoon and befriending volunteers

Age UK day centres offer a range of friendship and socialising activities to older adults with care needs to encourage good health and independence.

Clarence House, which is Age UK's largest community resource centre in Leicestershire are looking for friendly, patient and enthusiastic volunteers to support activities during their day centre sessions. These are one-off volunteering sessions, where you simply sign up and turn up. 

Age UK welcome volunteers to support their games afternoons on:

  • Friday 13 October
  • Wednesday 1 November
  • Thursday 7 December

Sign up through MyCareers

Cancer Research UK Night Shine Walk volunteers

Shine a light for those affected by cancer and volunteer at a Shine Night Walk event. In 17 cities CRUK host night-time walking events helping to raise money for life-saving research. Be a beacon in the dark for participants and help them take on this challenge. From guiding supporters around the cities to helping set up the course, there are many opportunities for you to get involved.

The Night Shine Walk in Leicester will be taking place in the evening of Saturday 21 October 2023 and will be starting at The Venue at De Montfort University.

Sign up to support an event near you

School Reading Buddy Induction Session

Help local children to flourish through this fortnightly school-based volunteering role. As a School Reading Buddy, you will aim to inspire and encourage children to thrive by helping to ignite a love for reading.

This fun, impactful and rewarding opportunity will involve listening to and reading to children in small groups, whilst offering support and a confidence boost, which they may not always get at home.  The role is flexible as you will just need to commit to a minimum of 1.5-2 hours of volunteering every fortnight, during term time.

You will develop invaluable transferable skills and experiences, plus it’s a lovely way to help others and give back to the community.


Please note, this is a long-term volunteering role and the host school have requested a minimum commitment of 6 to 9 months.  The school are keen to take on committed and reliable volunteers who want to make a difference and will positive role models to the children they support.

No previous experience is needed but you would need to:

  • Have a good reading ability and be confident in your spoken English
  • Have good communication and organisational skills
  • Be reliable, friendly and willing to support children with their tasks
  • Be willing to undertake any necessary guidance from the school

Above all, you will need to be able to commit to the role for at least 6-9 months.

This school-based Induction and DBS ID checking Session will be taking place on Thursday 26 October 2023, 1.00pm-2.00pm.

Sign up through MyCareers to book and attend 

If you are a member of staff, you can express your interest by emailing

One-off Reading Session Volunteer

Enthusiastic and reliable volunteers who have a love for reading are needed to read story books to children in a local school during a one-off reading session on Thursday 26 October 2023, 2.00pm-3.00pm.  You will need to be available at 1.45pm and signed in at the school’s reception to participate.

This is a fantastic opportunity to help children to boost their reading skills and confidence.  It is a great addition to your CV and experiences in the community.

Book your place through MyCareers

Diwali Day Volunteer in schools

As a Diwali day in school volunteer, you have a unique opportunity to bring the magic of Diwali traditions and celebrations to children in the local community.  Your role will involve assisting in the delivery of fun and interactive teacher led Diwali themed crafts, such as block painting, creating Rangoli designs, making Diwali cards, decorating clay diyas and much more, in a local school setting.

You will gain exposure to the diverse community of Leicester and share your skills with the children you support.  No previous experience is needed, you just need to be reliable, friendly and willing to support children with their tasks.

This colourful volunteering activity will be taking place on Monday 13 November 2023 from 12.45pm-3.00pm.

Sign up through MyCareers

CoachBright online volunteer

CoachBright are a social mobility charity that exists to help young people from disadvantaged backgrounds become more independent and resilient so they can lead the lives they want. Volunteers work with pupils in schools to build confidence through academic coaching. 

Find out more and apply

St John Ambulance

Volunteering with St John Ambulance is a fantastic way to enhance your CV, meet new people, and learn lifesaving skills. Most volunteering opportunities are community based and full training is given after you have been accepted to do your chosen role.

View the range of roles available and apply

Barclays Digital Champions

The Barclays Digital Champion programme provides a way to build and develop digital skills within organisations and communities, helping people get the most out of technology to thrive in the digital world. 

You don’t need to be a digital expert to become a Digital Champion but you do need a passion for helping others. We’ll give you all the training, resources and support you need.

To become a Digital Champion you’ll join three 90 minute virtual sessions hosted by Barclays Digital Eagles where you’ll meet like-minded people who want to become Digital Champions too. 

Register to find out more

Age UK day care passenger assistant volunteer

To volunteer with Age UK, all you need is some spare time and a passion for helping others.

Patient and friendly volunteers are needed to provide support within an Age UK community day centre situated on Humberstone Gate in Leicester City Centre.  The role will involve assisting the day care team in delivering optimum quality of care and support to their service users. This may include assisting the minibus driver when picking up and dropping off clients from 8.30am to 10.30am and/or 2.30pm to 4.30pm. 

No previous experience is needed as full training will be given. You would need to have the physical ability to help move and support older people and have good team working and communication skills. 

If you are interested in applying, please email for more information.

Age UK befriender befriending volunteer

Could you spare 20-30 minutes a week as a telephone befriender to make a couple of weekly phone calls to Age UK service users who may be experiencing isolation and loneliness to offer support and companionship?

You also have the option to do regular face-to-face befriending for 1 hour a week which could be at a day centre location or in the older person’s home.

If you are interested in applying, please email for more information.

Environmental volunteering with Leicester City Council

Leicester environmental volunteers fulfil a vital role in keeping our parks and open spaces, waterways and streets clean and well maintained so that we can all enjoy them.

Make a difference in a park near you and enjoy the benefits of the wide-open spaces, fresh air and physical exercise.

Roles include gardening and horticulture, conservation, environmental improvements, litter picking and more.

Learn more and apply

Food rescue volunteers

Volunteers are needed for approximately one hour a week to help collect unused packaged and surplus food from different University of Leicester food outlets and place them in a community fridge on campus in the Percy Gee Building (SU).  

You will be shown how to log and weigh the food you collect before placing it in the fridge for anyone to take for free.  

What is a community fridge?

Community fridges are a great way for students and staff to access surplus food for free and save money. Instead of throwing out safe and edible food, it is collected and added to the fridge so others can use it. It’s another way to help people to save some money on food as they can access nutritious food for free.

If you would like to find out more and get involved, please email

Short term opportunities

Hospital meet and greet volunteer

Meet and greet volunteers support patients and visitors in finding their way around hospital sites and are highly visible to patients and visitors within public areas of the hospital (Leicester General Hospital or Leicester Royal Infirmary). You need to be smart in appearance, friendly and approachable, with good communication skills to make a good first impression. The role involves:

  • Giving directions or accompanying patients and visitors to their destination
  • Transporting patients to and from outpatient appointments by wheelchair
  • Giving general information about the hospital
  • Collecting prescription requests (from clinics) for the hospital pharmacy
  • Deliver e-greetings to wards
  • Liaise with the Buggy Service
  • Distribute posters, leaflets, booklets around the hospital

Learn more about the roles available.

Age UK volunteers and fundraisers

Age UK Leicestershire and Rutland is celebrating 70 years of support in 2022. They have a busy year of exciting events and activities planned, which you can support through fundraising and volunteering.

Action Tutoring

Volunteering as a tutor with Action Tutoring is an easy and rewarding way to make a difference to the lives of disadvantaged young people living in your community. It’s your chance to give back, share your skills and boost your CV.

By volunteering for just one hour a week, you will directly support disadvantaged pupils to build their confidence and help ensure they leave school with the grades needed to build a bright future, as well as developing your own skills.

Find out more and apply.

Park Run event volunteers, Victoria Park, Leicester

Park Runs are free, weekly, community events all around the world.

Volunteers make parkrun happen. They do all of the high-profile tasks at the event like marshalling, timing, result recording, setting up the running course and more, as well as all the behind-the-scenes roles too.

Whatever you want to do, there is a role for you. To volunteer during a Saturday morning Park Run, you would need to register by the Thursday before, so your name can be added to the volunteer rota in advance. Email to help.

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