The University of Manchester has a comprehensive offer to students to support them to volunteer, supported by both a team within the University and staff within the Students’ Union.

The University team is based in the Access, Student Employability, Success & Development Division .

Volunteering contributes towards a range of University priorities, most notably social responsibility (goal 3) and the vision to develop socially responsible graduates. It also contributes to students’ employability and the six ways to wellbeing.

Volunteering is integral to students achieving the Stellify Award. Students are required to complete 25 hours of community-facing volunteering hours to achieve the 'Make a Difference' element of Stellify.

What do we mean by volunteering?

The University and Students’ Union have agreed two different definitions of volunteering. The first is an inclusive definition recognising a range of activities students might engage in. The second focuses specifically on activity that benefits the wider community rather than other students and relates to the volunteering that counts towards the “Making a Difference” section of Stellify:

Broad definition: “Volunteering is any activity that involves spending time, unpaid, doing something that aims primarily to benefit the environment or someone (individuals or groups) other than close relatives.”

Making a Difference definition: “Volunteering is any activity that involves spending time, unpaid, doing something that primarily aims to benefit people (individuals or groups) or the environment in wider society.”

All students at the University are able to access volunteering support. In addition, support is available to colleagues across the University who may be using volunteering as an activity with their own students, for example to enhance employability or to deliver a School’s outreach programme.