Volunteer with your SU

There are so many reasons to get involved in volunteering. Volunteering is a great way to try something totally new and meet loads of other students. You can immerse yourself in what’s on offer, or we can help you lead your own project.  

You can also:

  • make a big difference in your community and to the lives of other people
  • gain new skills and experiences to boost or enhance your CV
  • meet like-minded people who share your interests
  • expand your connections and networks
  • have loads of fun and relax after studying
  • learn about different cultures and communities

There are also loads of other benefits which you might not have thought about. Volunteering supports your wellbeing making you feel more connected, positive and happy. Research demonstrates that volunteering and meeting new people helps to build social capital and improve your confidence. ‘Social capital’ is your contacts and networks of people who can support you achieve your goals.

STAR (Student Action for Refugees) are facilitating an amazing volunteering opportunity for anyone interested in supporting refugees and asylum seekers with their language skills.

If you are interested in volunteering and assisting with their English as an Additional Language conversation classes for refugees and asylum seekers, please sign up via this link.

A training session will take place on the 8th of February.

For any question about this volunteering opportunity, please get in touch with society leader Beth Pollard at

The spread of the Coronavirus has massively affected care homes across the UK, with residents feeling more isolated than usual. Join us in spreading some love, just in time for Valentine’s Day by making and sending a card to a resident of the Four Seasons Health Care Home in Sunderland and help tackle loneliness and isolation amongst older people.

If you sign up for this volunteering opportunity, we will mail you a crafty bundle containing a selection of arts and crafts materials and we will also invite you to join our virtual chat & craft session on the 10th of February. All you need to do is use the materials and your talent to create something that would put a smile on the faces of the Four Seasons Care Home residents.

For more information and to sign up click here.

For any questions regarding this opportunity, please email

Imagine being locked away, alone, not knowing if anyone cares where you are.

Now imagine receiving a letter from someone you don’t know, telling you they believe in you.

That’s what real letters can do: bring hope to people in the direst of situations. And when they arrive in huge numbers, they are also an unmistakable reminder to the prison authorities and others that the world is watching.

YourSU and STAR (Student Action for Refugees) are joining Write For Rights - Amnesty’s global campaign - for a day of letter writing in support of people whose human rights have been badly violated.

Join our online event and find out how YOU can make the world become a better place…one letter at a time.

The link to join, along with additional guidance will be sent to you in advance of the event. *No previous experience is needed to take part.*

For more information and to sign up click here.

This Giving Tuesday (1st of December), we want to recognise, celebrate, and give thanks to the incredible NHS workers who have worked relentlessly during the Covid-19 crisis.

We will be making rainbow paracord bracelets – to integrate the universal symbol of hope during the pandemic – as a gift of appreciation to the NHS staff (this can be someone you know, or someone you don't). Paracord bracelets have many uses and are told to be of great use in an extreme situation (since they are also called survival bracelets), paracord bracelets have become more than anything a symbol of solidarity.

If you too want to use your skills and creativity to share your gratitude, sign up for this opportunity - The SU will send you a paracord bracelet making kit and invite you to join our virtual crafting session on the 1st of December.

You don’t need to have previous experience or crafting skills to join this session – we will learn together, and instructions will also be provided.

For any questions regarding this opportunity, please email

As September marks the beginning of University for many people, students are coming or returning to the UK and may need to quarantine, in response to government guidelines. As a result, many students will not be able to go to the shops and some may struggle to get deliveries.

As a Shopping Dropping Volunteer, you can support the students who are self-isolating stock up, by picking up their pre-paid groceries from the designated shop and dropping it off at their address.

This is how it works:

-based on your postcode, you will be paired with a self-isolating student from your neighbourhood. You can choose to be paired with more students, depending on your availability.

-the student will be advised to place an online order through Click and Collect – this means the shopping is pre-paid and no cash handling is involved. After completing the order, the students will need to share a reference number with you to go and collect the shopping.

-you will be asked to contact the student, introduce yourself and agree on the date and times when you could pick up and deliver their groceries. -on arrival, notify the students you have arrived, ask them to collect the shopping from the doorstep and wait for the person to do this. That’s it!


* What are you looking for?

We are looking for community-minded and thoughtful students who want to help us make the start of university a pleasant experience to ALL students. If you stand in solidarity with your colleagues who are self-isolating and would like to give a helping hand to make this period a bit easier for them, that’s you!!

Desirable skills: Communication, listening, ability to follow instructions, attention to detail, ability to follow Health and Safety procedures, sensitivity and understanding.

Please note that due to COVID-19 we are only asking people who are physically well and able to carry out these tasks to sign-up for the Shopping Dropping volunteering opportunity. If you have any concerns, please contact the volunteering team.

Who can apply?

Any student at the University of Sunderland (Sunderland campuses) who is able to help, especially throughout September and October can apply for this opportunity. While this not a high-risk volunteering opportunity, we advise students in the clinically extremely vulnerable category to read the information provided and consider carefully whether they wish to sign up.

How can I apply? If you haven’t already, register and complete your volunteering profile online by following this link. If you get stuck and need some help doing this, get in touch via and I (Bianca) will help you with any questions or queries you may have. As students will be arriving in the UK throughout September and October, the deadline to submit your application is 12pm on Monday 19th of October 2020. 

Why should I get involved?

*Develop your confidence and skills -Communication, self-management, problem solving, organisation and planning are just some of the skills you will be developing as a Shopping Dropping Volunteer.

*Make an impact -This role gives you the chance to play an active role in your immediate community and help self-isolating students stay safe and stock up through what can be a stressful period.

*What about Reward and Recognition?

As a volunteer, you will be able to record your experiences and skills gained, receive an invite to SU Loves You Awards. You can also include it when applying for the SuPA Award, and have a fantastic experience to talk about at job interviews. We also have a new and exciting Reward and Recognition Scheme for our volunteers, which we will tell you more about soon.

* What’s the time commitment?

This volunteering opportunity will mainly run throughout September and the volunteers can commit as much or little time as they want. We do however recommend that the volunteers should be available for at least three shopping trips. As there are multiple student intakes throughout the academic year, you may be asked whether you can support students later in the academic year. Volunteers can support one or more self-isolating students, depending on their preference and availability.

*I still have questions. Who can I contact?

If you have any questions and would like to know more about this, please contact Bianca, our Activities and Opportunities Coordinator at or at +447549164623.

Are you interested in becoming a Buddy to a new student? As well as the rewarding feeling you'll get from helping someone else, you'll also add valuable experience to your CV, particularly your communication and people skills.  To become a Buddy click here.

The role of a Course Rep is voluntary. It is designed to not take up much of your time. The role is designed so you can tailor it around your studies and put as much or as little time into it as you wish, it depends on how much you want to get involved.

The most important role of a Course Rep is to: Represent your fellow students. 

The other roles of a Course Rep are: 

1. Attend and participate in University/Union meetings

2. Recognise student issues and raise them at the relevant meetings

3. Feedback information to your fellow students

At the start of the academic year, you should receive a talk from your programme leader about Course Representation, the role and what to expect. If after the talk you're interested and it sounds like something you would like to do, then speak to them about nominating yourself. If other students are interested in the role, the programme leader will arrange for an informal election to take place for students on your course to decide who they want to represent them. If you are a student in the Faculty of Education and Society, YOUR SU is running online elections on behalf of the Faculty. You can find out all the information about nominating yourself and elections HERE.  On condition there is a vacant position and you’ve been successfully elected, you will be then contacted by the Representation team with all the infomratrion you need to carry out the role, along with the dates of your Course Rep Training.

SU Events Volunteers lead and support a variety of different activities and events on campus, in the city and beyond. From planning and organising to setting up and running activities on the day you’ll ensure our Students’ Union events are welcoming, fun, safe and inclusive! Any student, from any programme is welcome to apply.

To join our 2019/2020 events volunteers click here!

What’s in it for you?

  • Developing leadership skills
  • Improving your communication skills
  • Becoming part of a friendly and dedicated team
  • Enjoying new experiences
  • Meeting people and making friends
  • Free training and development opportunities

What’s involved?

  • Helping to prepare, set up and close events
  • Providing a warm friendly welcome, information, answering questions and encouraging students to get involved
  • Supervising and assisting with activities, sometimes including cash handling
  • Getting participants to feedback on the event by filling in comment forms
  • Promoting other activities and events
  • Ensuring that all health and safety arrangements are in place and followed

The role will suit students who...

  • Have a friendly and enthusiastic manner
  • Enjoy working with people
  • Would like to develop their leadership and language skills
  • Keen to get involved with new opportunities