Living with COVID-19

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.

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.

As a Make a Difference Day volunteer, you will be able to learn about 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.


You will need to be available for at least 3 to 3.5 hours on the day you sign up to volunteer. You can choose to volunteer on one or more days. Free transport will be provided if the school is located over 1.5 miles away from main campus. If the school is located within 1.5 miles from main campus, volunteers will be asked to walk to the location. Please email if you have any accessibility concerns.


  • Tuesday 25 October 2022 at Uplands Junior Academy, 1.00pm - 3.00pm
  • Thursday 27 October 2022 at Mayflower Primary School, 1.00pm - 3.00pm

Sign up through MyCareers.

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

School reading buddy

Help local children to flourish through this monthly 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.

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

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 your host school

Volunteer induction session

All volunteers will need to attend a school induction session at Uplands Junior Academy, Melbourne Road, Leicester on Thursday 27 October 2022 at 10.00am.  The school is approximately a 20 minute walk from main campus. Please note, you would need to complete an enhanced DBS check, which Uplands Junior Academy have kindly offered to do for regular volunteers. The school have asked for a minimum commitment of 6 months. This could be 6 monthly sessions or fortnightly sessions for 6 months during term time. Each reading session is expected to last 60 - 90 minutes.

You can agree your regular volunteering slot with the school. If you are able to commit to this popular school based role, please firstly sign up to attend the school induction session through MyCareers.

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

Library Champions

Want to enhance your CV and develop skills to stand out to employers? Volunteer as a Library Champion! There will be different projects for you to choose from and the chance to gain experience and transferable skills. This is open to all students studying at any level, including research and distance learner students.

Apply to be a Library Champion.

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.

Leicestershire Cares opportunity for staff

Leicestershire Cares runs a highly successful programme of interview techniques for year 10 and 11 students in secondary schools and colleges across the city and county. Business volunteers deliver mock interviews with students in order to develop their confidence and the key skills needed to succeed at future interviews.

University of Leicester staff members who are interested in volunteering can view upcoming sessions and locations on the Leicestershire Cares website.

Inspire others with your volunteer story

If you would like to share your story of your volunteering experience and how volunteering has helped you please email

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 to be added to our mailing list.

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