Volunteers Week 2024 – three ways you can get involved

12 January 2024

Every year in June the UK comes together to celebrate the incredible contribution of volunteers in our communities. Volunteers’ Week 2024 takes place from 1st to 7th June. Among other things, it’s a fantastic opportunity to say thank you to the amazing people who give their time and energy to make a difference.

Who are volunteers?

Volunteers are our neighbours, friends, and family members who give their time to causes they care about. They come from all walks of life and all ages, and they contribute to our communities in countless ways. Here’s a breakdown of Action Tutoring volunteers occupations out of those who applied in 2023:

Surprised to see such a mix? You’re not alone. Many see volunteering as something you do as a student to build your CV, or in retirement to get involved with your community. But many from other occupations volunteer, too. Employers value volunteering for a multitude of reasons, as it benefits both the employee and the organisation in terms of skills development, and it shows the company as being socially responsible and caring of the community in which they operate.

tutor with two secondary school pupils
Joanna Ball, tutor at Dalmain Primary School, Forest Hill, London

Why is Volunteers’ Week important?

Volunteers’ Week is important because it gives us a chance to:

  • Say thank you: It’s a chance to say a big thank you to all the volunteers who give their time so generously. 
  • Raise awareness: It’s a chance to raise awareness of the vital role that volunteers play in our communities.
  • Inspire others: It’s a chance to inspire more people to get involved in volunteering. There are so many ways to make a difference in your community, or further afield, and Volunteers’ Week is a great time to start.

So, how can I get involved?

There are many ways to get involved in Volunteers’ Week, whether you’re a seasoned volunteer or you’re thinking about volunteering for the first time. Here are our top three:

  1. Share your volunteering story.

If you’re a volunteer, share your story on social media using the hashtag #VolunteersWeek and tag the charity. Social media is an important tool for charities to reach new volunteers and spread awareness. Your story could inspire someone else to volunteer, donate or fundraise. 

  1. Attend a Volunteers’ Week event: 

There are hundreds of events happening across the UK throughout Volunteers’ Week, from volunteer recruitment fairs to celebration events. Closer to the time, search for events near you to find out how you can get involved.

  1. Find a volunteering opportunity: 

If you’re interested in volunteering, there are many websites and organisations that can help you find an opportunity that’s right for you, like Do-It or Charity Job. You could also find your local volunteer centre.

If you’re interested in volunteering as a tutor for an hour a week, click the button below to find out more.

Our volunteer stories

“Tutoring is one of the few things I do that gives me real satisfaction, enjoyment, and self-fulfilment. It’s very rewarding to be able to give something back to your community.”

Youcef, Diversity and Inclusion Manager at TFL

Read Youcef’s story.

“Online tutoring is great because it enables so many more tutors to help – you literally can give one hour a week. And if you’re doing other exciting things in your life, you can actually do it from different places, as long as you’ve got a laptop with you.”

Sally, retired optometrist

Read Sally’s story

“In terms of resources for classes, I had never written a class resource, I had no idea where to start. So having the workbooks that we’re all working with, and having them all every week with the templates was great, because it meant I was able to participate [alongside my studies]. In terms of time consumption, it would just take me half an hour to read over answers and read over the lesson plan before going into the session.”

Eilidh, student at the University of Aberdeen

Read Eilidh’s story

Thank you for taking the time to read this blog and learn more about Volunteers’ Week. We hope we’ve inspired you to get involved in some way!

Here are some additional resources that you may find helpful:

Student Volunteering Week 2024 – what to expect

20 October 2023

Student Volunteering Week 2024 is approaching and you might be thinking – what is it? What’s the point? And, most importantly; how can I get involved?

What is Student Volunteering Week?

Student Volunteering Week is an annual event that celebrates and promotes student volunteering across the UK. It encourages students to:

  • Engage in volunteer activities
  • Develop valuable skills for their future
  • Make a positive impact on the communities in which they live.

When will Student Volunteering Week 2024 take place?

Student Volunteering Week 2024 is happening from Monday 12th to Sunday 18th February 2024.

What to expect from Student Volunteering Week 2024 

If you’re a student, it’s likely that your university will be hosting one or more events during the week. These might include:

  • Sessions on getting into volunteering
  • Charity spotlights, or volunteer days with specific charities
  • Volunteering fairs
  • Taster workshops

You can check your university volunteering service, careers or student union page for information on what activities they’re hosting throughout the week.

What types of volunteering opportunities are available to me as a student?

The world is your oyster! There are a huge range of opportunities to get involved in, depending on your interests and skills. Here are some common categories of volunteering you can get involved in:

  • Conservation: opportunities include tree planting, cleanups and habitat restoration.
  • Education: tutor or mentor younger pupils who would benefit from your help. 
  • Community: students can volunteer at local community centres, food banks, or shelters.
  • Elderly: provide companionship or assistants to seniors at home or in nursing homes.
  • International volunteering: some students choose to volunteer abroad, contributing to projects related to education, healthcare or construction.

Why do students volunteer?

Most of the reasons students volunteer are shared by all volunteers – to give back, explore interests and build a sense of purpose.

Another key motivation is that volunteering provides an opportunity to gain practical experience in a specific field. Volunteering can help students build their CVs and enhance their skills in preparation for future careers. 

Some students get involved in volunteering as part of their university course. This can be in the form of a placement, volunteering module or a work-based learning module.

It’s also a great opportunity to network. At Action Tutoring, many of our staff members volunteered with us before taking the opportunity to join our staff team!

“During my university placement, I tutored both online and face-to-face and really enjoyed seeing the impact of the work I was doing with the pupils in real-time. I enjoyed tutoring more and more with every session.

My interest in the charity sector and my passion for reducing educational inequality spurred me on to apply for the role of North West Programme Coordinator! This role has enabled me to deepen my understanding of the education charity sector and develop within myself as a young professional.”

– Laura, North West Programme Coordinator

How can I find out more about volunteering with Action Tutoring?

To find out more about volunteering with Action Tutoring this Student Volunteering Week 2024, just head to our volunteer page, or check out our role description.

Already an Action Tutoring volunteer, and want to get involved in Student Volunteering Week 2024?

There are a number of ways in which you can get involved and help us to grow our volunteer community.

  • Post on social media about your experiences volunteering with us. This could be your “why”, sharing our impact data, your top tutoring tip or a volunteering highlight. Don’t forget to tag us! 
  • Get creative on TikTok. It goes without saying that you can’t film your pupils, but we’d love to see your journey to/from your programme, session highlights or any advice you have for new volunteers who are thinking about getting involved.
  • Write a blog on your experiences volunteering. Most university volunteering or careers services have a blog to share volunteer experiences and shine a light on different charities.

So, we hope you’ve come away with at least one idea of how to get involved in Student Volunteering Week! A huge thank you to all students who are already volunteering alongside their studies and making a difference in their communities.

Volunteer in Coventry school for one hour a week

10 August 2023

Action Tutoring is delighted to announce its first face-to-face programme in Coventry!

This academic year we’re partnering with Whitmore Park Primary School to provide disadvantaged pupils with support in maths and English.

We’re looking for four English tutors and four maths tutors to volunteer at Whitmore Park Primary School for one hour a week. Read on to find out what your support would mean, and how to get involved. 

Why volunteer in Coventry?

Approximately 31% of Coventry children live in low income families (after housing costs). Children from low-income families are statistically less likely to achieve a passing grade in their maths and English GCSEs. They’re also less likely to achieve the grades at the end of primary school that will help them stand a fighting chance of keeping up in secondary school.

Action Tutoring first expanded its reach to Coventry in 2021 as part of its strategy to support children outside of bigger urban centres, like London and Birmingham. 

We have an ambition for 30% of our delivery to be happening in these locations through our online model in three years’ time. To be able to provide face-to-face tutoring opportunities for these children, we need to engage local volunteers.

What difference can I make? 

That’s where Action Tutoring volunteers come in. Disadvantaged pupils supported by our volunteers consistently outperform the national percentage of this group achieving expected standards in their SATs exams.

In 2021-22, pupils supported by Action Tutoring were 8 percentage points more likely to achieve expected standards in maths and 8 percentage points more in English, too.

“Our children have gained so much confidence and enjoyment of maths thanks to Action Tutoring. Children talk so positively about their sessions and we have had very positive feedback from parents. We can see the children making progress in their sessions and the impact it has on their work in the classroom.”

Deputy Headteacher, London primary school
Pupil gives thumbs up

How do the volunteer programmes work?

Our volunteer tutors support between one and three pupils for one hour a week. Usually the sessions take place before, during or after school. 

Action Tutoring provides tutor workbooks, which contain everything you need to plan and tutor each session. For in-school programmes like Whitmore Park, a staff member (Programme Coordinator) will be there to oversee the session and provide any support needed.

What kind of volunteer community would I be joining?

We’re proud that our diverse group of volunteers range in age from 18 to 82, and are a mix of university students, retired professionals, working professionals and many others. 

As well as having access to our tutor workbooks, you’d have access to our ongoing training sessions, called “Bright Ideas”. We want to foster a community of volunteers where we learn from and grow with each other.

“Since starting my volunteering, I have learnt that you are never too old to learn new skills. I now have greater confidence with technology and a greater understanding of how to communicate with children and young people in an academic environment.”

Elaine Mitchell, retired volunteer from Wolverhampton
volunteers in coventry

How can I sign up to volunteer in Coventry, or elsewhere?

You can sign up on our volunteer page. Once you’ve expressed your interest, you can get started in three simple steps:

  1. Complete the application form (this should take around 15 minutes)
  2. If accepted, we’ll invite you to an online training session to share all the introductory information you need
  3. We’ll then process a DBS check for you (you need this to work with children in the UK). 

Once that’s processed, you’ll be all set to sign up to a programme of your choice. We also partner with schools in London, Bristol, Sussex, Birmingham, Nottingham, Merseyside and Cheshire, Sheffield, Newcastle and County Durham. If you’re not based in any of these locations, you can volunteer as a tutor online


Contact our friendly team at hello@actiontutoring.org.uk.

Volunteering on a placement: five employability skills our student volunteers have learnt

14 February 2023

Volunteering on a placement with Action Tutoring

Action Tutoring’s placement students actively support 1-3 young people across 10–20 weeks, building their maths or English subject knowledge, confidence and study skills. Volunteering on a placement, you can flex the number of programmes you volunteer on depending on the requirements of the module. And, additional responsibilities can be built in to ensure the full work experience objectives are met!

This Student Volunteering Week, we want to showcase five employability skills our 2022-23 placement students have learned so far…

1. Presenting topics in different ways to suit your audience

The pupils have taught me patience and creativity go hand in hand. If I can make their lessons interesting, with variation and by relating topics to them, then they will engage more with the subject material and benefit much better overall.

Cam, English Literature student at Newcastle University. Cam is volunteering with us as part of his Career Development Module

Action Tutoring provides tutors with workbooks and session plans, but you’ll still need your initiative and creativity! Tutoring hones skills in adapting your presentation style to suit different audiences. 

These skills are transferable to any role in which you would need to present, pitch or explain an idea. 

2. Empathy and understanding people from different backgrounds

Working with pupils from disadvantaged backgrounds has greatly improved my empathy. Throughout my time at school, I was fortunate enough to receive the necessary educational tools to allow me to thrive academically. Volunteering with Action Tutoring has opened my eyes to the attainment gap in schools across the country, and I have become increasingly aware of the academic struggles these pupils face.

Felix, Sports and Exercise student at the University of Exeter. Felix is volunteering with us as part of his Employability Module.

Experience working with people from different backgrounds is something many employers look for. They might ask you how you can relate to others, or for examples of how you’ve adapted your communication style in the past.

Working with children (particularly if you are tutoring pupils in a different area of the country!) is a great way of demonstrating this.

volunteering on a placement

3. Patience, perseverance and motivation

Action Tutoring is a good way to improve your perseverance and patience skills, as every pupil is different and will often take a few sessions to feel comfortable around you.

Katie, Sociology student at Liverpool John Moore’s University. Katie is volunteering with us as part of her Sociology degree.

Perseverance is linked with motivation. Sometimes, your tutoring session might not run as smoothly as you’d like it to. A great way to demonstrate your motivated attitude is to explain how you overcame obstacles in your tutoring sessions. 

Did you have to try three different ways of framing your explanation before you got that “lightbulb moment” with your pupil? Did you bring in a game to help them understand better the next time? 

Tutoring experience can demonstrate that you are proactive and don’t allow challenges to keep you, or your pupil, from making progress.

4. Communication and confidence

The main thing that I have drawn from my pupils is communicating effectively. Before tutoring I felt that I had issues with my communication, regularly feeling anxious, however their desire to learn gave me confidence in my communication.

Madeline, English Literature student at the University of Liverpool. Madeline is volunteering with us as part of her Arts placement.

There are four fundamental skills involved in communicating effectively in any job: writing, speaking, listening and presenting. Tutoring can help you develop in all four areas. 

Speaking also includes the use of body language, gestures and facial expressions effectively to aid communication. Tutoring is a great way to consciously practise these, as it can make you appear more approachable and help you connect with your pupils more. Read more tutoring tips!

5. Problem-solving

Developing my problem-solving and communication skills whilst teaching my tutees English has been both beneficial and seriously rewarding. The ability to actively engage tutee’s attention whilst providing a fun learning environment has been a skill and experience I wouldn’t usually use.

Tom, Human Geography student at Newcastle University. Tom is volunteering with us as part of his Career Development Module.

Employers value those who can problem-solve; it improves efficiency and increases the productivity of the organisation. When tutoring, you may need to use initiative and think outside the box. 

How can you help your pupil understand how you got to the answer? How can you engage their attention if they’re distracted? Solving these small problems is key to an effective tutoring session. 

More information on volunteer placements

You as an individual become more employable and in my case, a more fulfilled person too. It’s the best of both worlds!

Tom, Human Geography student at Newcastle University.

For more information on volunteering as a student, visit our student volunteering page

Are you interested in completing your placement with us? Read our Placement Pack, or contact volunteer@actiontutoring.org.uk to be put in touch with our University Partnerships Coordinator. 

Are you ready to hone your employability skills by volunteering for one hour per week? 

Here’s how to celebrate Volunteer’s Week!

1 June 2022

Volunteers’ Week is an annual celebration of the contribution millions of people make across the UK through volunteering and takes place 1st-7th June every year.

This year, Action Tutoring wants to thank our wonderful volunteers for their dedication and commitment to our pupils this year and beyond. Thanks to them, the young people we support feel better equipped going into their SATs and GCSEs after a tough couple of years. 

We also want to extend a special thank you to our advocates for their extra commitment to spreading the word about our charity. Word of mouth is one of the most powerful tools we have at our disposal, and we’re so grateful to anyone who shares their volunteer tutoring experiences with friends and family.

Ways you can get involved in Volunteers’ Week 2022

  • Are you attending a Big Jubilee Lunch over the bank holiday weekend? Share your volunteering experience with people in your community and inspire others to do the same. 
  • On 6th June, Volunteers’ Week is coordinating with the #iwill movement for Power of Youth Day. #iwill is a UK-wide movement helping more young people make a difference in their communities through social action. Share your stories to be part of the conversation, or simply read for inspiration.

Elsie volunteered with Action Tutoring for one term as part of a university placement module. Curious to know more about her experience? Read about it here.

  • Share a post on social media thanking the volunteers of a charity you’re passionate about. Tag the charity so they can re-share as part of their week, too.
  • Find out what’s happening around Volunteers’ Week at your university, place of work or in the general community and see how you can get involved.
  • Contact your local volunteer centre and find the right opportunity for you! 

Interested in volunteering as a tutor for one hour per week? Read more on our FAQs or apply now.

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