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Volunteering

Volunteering can be a great way to gain relevant work experience and develop new skills while also giving time to a worthy cause.

It can be a particularly useful way to build up skills in certain sectors e.g. health and social care, environmental and heritage work because of the large number of third sector organisations involved.

A survey of 200 of the UK's leading businesses (TimeBank, 2009) showed some of the career benefits of volunteering:

  • 73% said they would recruit a candidate with volunteering experience over one without.
  • 94% believed that volunteering can add new skills.

Finding an Opportunity: Volunteer Centres

There is a volunteer centre in every region of Scotland. These centres advertise currently available voluntary opportunities, and they can also offer you information and advice on volunteering more generally. The following centres operate within the Highlands and Islands:

Argyll and Bute: Third Sector Partnership

Badenoch and Strathspey: Voluntary Action in Badenoch and Strathspey

Caithness: Caithness Voluntary Group

Inverness: Signpost

Lochaber: Voluntary Action Lochaber

Moray: Third Sector Interface

Orkney: Voluntary Action Orkney

Perthshire: Voluntary Action Perthshire

Ross-Shire: Ross-Shire Voluntary Action

Shetland: Voluntary Action Shetland

Skye and Lochalsh: Skye and Lochalsh Council for Voluntary Organisations

Western Isles: Volunteer Centre, Western Isles Eilean Siar

Finding an Opportunity: Other useful sources of information

International Volunteering

Volunteering with the University

During your time at university there will be opportunities to undertake voluntary roles such as being a class rep, or serving on a university committee. You may also like to consider getting involved with the university's students associations and student clubs and societies.

If you are a graduate from the University of the Highlands and Islands and are interested in volunteering why not help current students by becoming an alumni career mentor? You could help students making the transition to life after university by sharing your insights and experience with them.

Further Information

  • The prospects website gives further information and links to other volunteering organisations.
  • The TargetJobs website holds some information on volunteering and graduate jobs.