Psychology volunteering is a great way for psychology students and recent graduates to gain relevant experience in the sector before you are experienced enough to obtain a role with a salary. This means that for many, a part-time job in retail or customer service is necessary to supplement your income. But don't let that put you off, it is fairly common for organisations to hire their volunteers once they prove themselves to be assets.
Finding Psychology Volunteer Work
When looking for volunteer psychology opportunities, it's important to cast a wide net. Searching "volunteering psychology" in Google is a good start, but you may get discouraged at the level of education or experience required to fill your desired vacancy. Looking for opportunities in "befriending," "care work" or "support work" may yield more promising results. Even working in a charity shop for a mental health charity could get your foot in the door and show an early commitment to the organisation.
Phone support is also a great way to get psychology volunteering experience. Many organisations like the NSPCC, Samaritans and the Suicide Prevention Hotline in the USA provide comprehensive training too. Another excellent service, which is almost always looking for keen volunteers, is your own university support line. This anonymous campus service is a great place to sharpen your listening and empathy skills. Just remember that despite being voluntary, these positions still require a high degree of commitment.
We've compiled a selection of relevant psychology volunteer vacancies below. These roles can often be the stepping stone to a paid job, so be discerning, but not so selective that you miss out on what could be a fantastic volunteer psychology opportunity for your level of experience. We all have to start somewhere!
Current Psychology Volunteering Opportunities
Becoming a Psychology Volunteer Abroad
While there are plenty of psychology volunteering opportunities available in the UK, it’s also great to consider becoming a psychology volunteer abroad to gain more experience in mental health in a range of cultural contexts and environments. Volunteering in psychology overseas should always bring value to the local community you work with; all our psychology related placements have been designed to offer volunteers holistic, international experiences within the mental health sector that foster lasting positive changes. You can learn more about this in our Five Year Evaluation Report.
Find out more about our psychology volunteering placements by requesting an information pack: