Make a Difference

Enrich your University experience by making a positive difference to others and develop a wealth 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 Weeks are an opportunity for students and staff to make a positive difference through supporting causes that impact the local community. These activities don’t require ongoing commitment, giving you the opportunity to gain experience and support your personal development, wellbeing and sense of community.

Make a Difference Weeks 2021/22

Red purple gradient background with white text reading 'Make a Difference weeks' and "help others, build your skills, and support local causes through a range of one-off opportunities in our volunteering weeks"

  • If you are a University of Leicester student, please follow the joining instructions for each activity.
  • If you are staff member, please email: volunteer@le.ac.uk to let us know which activity you’d like to sign up to.  

Make a Difference on Your Doorstep: Monday 25 – Friday 29 October

Volunteering opportunities close to campus. 

Monday 25 October

12.00pm-2.00pm | Organisations and charities on campus, SU Square, Percy Gee Building 

Stop by in the SU Square to say hello to representatives from some amazing charities and organisations. Find out about the opportunities they have for you and the steps you can take to start volunteering.  Below are the organisations who will be there:

  • Warning Zone - Warning Zone is a Leicester based charity dedicated to teaching life-skills and safeguarding children. Their mission is to deliver life-saving messages to children aged 10-11, catching them on a key transition in their lives as they venture into secondary schools, where they will meet new friends and are introduced to new experiences.
  • Voluntary Action Leicester - Voluntary Action LeicesterShire (VAL) is a charity that helps people in local communities to change their lives for the better, through direct service delivery and by supporting the local voluntary and community sector.
  • Vista - Vista is one of the oldest and largest local charities in Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland. Vista supports children and adults affected by sight loss in Leicester, Leicestershire, and Rutland. They are passionate about providing the very best service and support; in hospitals, at home, in residential care and in the community.
  • Attenborough Arts - The University of Leicester's Attenborough Arts Centre is a pioneering place to make and see art. The Attenborough Arts Centre prides itself on being accessible and inclusive. We want everyone to feel welcome and get involved in what we do.  

Tuesday 26 October

11.00hrs-14.00hrs | Planters for Care Homes, Botanic Garden Glass Houses, Glebe Road, Oadby, Leicestershire

Volunteers are needed to plant some autumn plants and bulbs in planters, which will then be donated to local care homes. We want to put smiles on the faces residents and staff who work in care homes across Leicestershire. This year, due to restrictions in permitting volunteers and visitors in care homes, we are unable to send volunteers into care homes but wanted to make a positive different through this simple act of kindness.  You can volunteer for a minimum of 30 minutes or longer to do the planting. Sign up through MyCareers.

If you are also interested in helping to distribute the planters to a care home near you, please get in touch by emailing volunteer@le.ac.uk.  

12.00pm - 2.00pm | Organisations and charities on campus, SU Square, Percy Gee Building

Stop by in the SU Square to say hello to representatives from some amazing charities and organisations. Find out about the opportunities they have for you and the steps you can take to start volunteering. Below are the organisations who will be there:

  • Leicestershire Constabulary - Representatives from Leicestershire Constabulary will be making a special visit to campus to tell you how you can support them through volunteering and will be sharing tips on how you can start your career with them.
  • Leicestershire Cares - Leicestershire Cares broker partnerships and create opportunities across Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland that enable the business sector to understand community needs, contribute to the growth of inclusive, safe communities and to support and inspire children and young people in their transition to the workplace.
  • Headway - Headway, the brain injury association, is a charity set up to give help and support to people affected by brain injury.

Wednesday 27 October

12.00pm-3.00pm | Garden and Grounds Volunteering at Botanic Garden, Glebe Road, Oadby, Leicestershire

Help the University's Garden and Grounds Team keep the gardens looking beautiful. This a great practical and outdoor opportunity to volunteer with a friendly team. Tasks may include: weeding and watering, planting, leaf collection, pruning and greenhouse work.  Book your place to volunteer through MyCareers

3.00pm - 4.00pm | Warning Zone Tour, Frog Island, Leicester

We have organised an exciting tour of Warning Zone especially for University of Leicester students, who are interested in having a look around before applying to volunteer.  The tour will take place on Wednesday 27th October from 3.00pm-4.00pm. If you wish to attend the tour, you'll need to be available from 2.30pm as free transport will be provided if required. Book your place through MyCareers.

Thursday 28 October

11.00am-2.00pm | The Big Draw, Kindness Card Making, Attenborough Arts Centre Studio 3, University of Leicester

The Big Draw Festival is a worldwide celebration of drawing! The Festival is made up of a collection of thousands of creative events, activities, and workshops across the globe run by organisations big and small; from individuals to entire cities! Put a smile on someone’s face by drawing and designing a card and write a cheerful message in it.  We aim to send your hand made card to care home residents across Leicester. To get involved, sign up through MyCareers.

Friday 29 October

10.00am-12.30pm | Heritage preservation at Friends of Welford Road Cemetery

As an Ivy Clearing volunteer you will be volunteering in teams supporting Friends of Welford Road Cemetery with preserving the important heritage on display at the cemetery for the local community to enjoy.  It will involve practical volunteering, mainly by clearing ivy.

The location is just across the road from the main university campus, you can get to the Friends of Welford Road Cemetery Visitor Centre via the entrance on Welford Road.

There will be a member of staff from the Leicester City Council to give you some safety tips and explain the relevance and importance of the heritage you’ll be getting involved with before you get started to help rejuvenate a local landmark, all whilst feeling proud of your participation. Suitable, waterproof clothing is required and sensible boots.

Sign up via MyCareers.

Time to be confirmed | Halloween Pumpkin Carving and Volunteer Meet and Greet, Brookfield Allotment, hosted by the Plant and Gardening Society  

This is a new society, who are keen to welcome new members. Find out more about them and how you can get involved.  

Saturday 30 October

8.30am – 10.30am | Park Run 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 on a Saturday morning, you would need to register by the Thursday before, so your name can be added to the volunteer rota in advance. Sign up through MyCareers.

Wednesday 3 November 2021

12.30am-3.00pm | Schools volunteering - Diwali Crafts in Classrooms

Friendly, enthusiastic and reliable volunteers are needed to support primary school children in classrooms as they get creative making Diwali themed crafts.  No previous experience is necessary. Learn more about Diwali.

The children you’ll be supporting will be aged between 4 and 12 years old. Activities they’ll be doing will include making clay diyas, rangoli and henna patterns, block printing and creating Diwali cards.

Volunteering in a school can be very fun, rewarding and enjoyable. It’s a unique opportunity to make a positive impact on children and to enhance your skills and experiences. We will be providing free transport from campus to the schools and back. 

Volunteering in a school is a very popular option, so please do sign up through MyCareers by Friday 29 October to secure your space.

Make a Difference to Wellbeing: Monday 15 – Friday 19 November 

Opportunities to support your own and others’ wellbeing. 

Make A Difference to Homelessness: Monday 6 – Friday 10 December

Supporting people who are experiencing homelessness. 

Make a Difference to Your Environment: Monday 7 – Friday 11 February 

Volunteering opportunities to support our planet. 

Make a Difference to Schools - Tuesday 1 – 4 March

Volunteering opportunities in local primary and secondary schools.

How can volunteering help you and others?  

Caitlin Wake, 2021 Graduate told us about her volunteering experiences and how they enhanced her experiences while at the University of Leicester. 

“My volunteering experience has been immensely invaluable, rewarding, and enjoyable!

My first taste of volunteering at university was participating in ‘Make a Difference in schools,’ whereby I volunteered in local primary schools to help children make various crafts related to the Diwali festival.  I also took part in ‘Make a Difference in the Community’ which involved volunteering in local care homes to support and help their residents in making Christmas themed crafts. I really enjoyed these experiences and they led me to decide to train to become a Peer Mentor, as I wanted to be able to offer longer term support to others and this seemed to be the best way as a student to go about doing this.

Volunteering has allowed me to acquire a variety of skills by allowing me to take on duties and responsibilities that I did not have before.”

These are the amazing benefits of volunteering: 

  • Volunteering can help you to make new friends and meet likeminded people  
  • Volunteering is a valuable way to develop and enhance your skills and boost your employability prospects  
  • Volunteering looks great on your CV and on applications  
  • Volunteering is good for your mind and body – it’s beneficial for your mental and physical health 
  • Volunteering has an enormously positive impact in the community  

No previous experience is needed to volunteer. You just need to be able to offer a bit of your time and be willing to make a difference.

If you would like to receive email notifications about new volunteering opportunities, or have any questions about volunteering, please email volunteer@le.ac.uk to be added to our mailing list.