The Best Student Life. Bristol SU

Over the years, a total of 230 local organisations have enjoyed working with University of Bristol students. We’re the only students’ union in the country with a Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service, which is a testament to the amazing work our students do in their community.

Whether you need fresh ideas, niche skills or just lots of enthusiasm, students are the perfect addition to your team of volunteers.

Why advertise your volunteering roles with us?

  • There are no fees, so you can promote your role to some of the country’s top talent free of charge
  • Your opportunity will be viewed by hundreds of students on our portal and our social media
  • We can promote your opportunities in our newsletter to students who are keen to hear about what is available
  • We can target specific student groups to find that particular skill you’re searching for
  • We offer advice on how to develop and adapt volunteering opportunities for students
  • You don’t need to be a registered charity to advertise with us

Let’s have a chat about how we can work with you to tailor your opportunities for students. Send us an email at and we’ll be in touch.

How to register?

Please register your organisation before you advertise your volunteering roles on our online portal. Here’s a handy guide to walk you through the process. If you get stuck or have any questions, email our team at

The first stage of registration is a chance for you to introduce your organisation to the student body. This space is an ‘About Me’ section, rather than an ad for your specific opportunity. Once it’s been submitted, we can approve your application and you’ll be ready to upload a volunteering opportunity to our volunteering portal.

Please take some time to read over our Service Level Agreement, which sets out our terms and conditions.

As you create a volunteer advert, please specify in the ad whether DBS checks are required. 

+Quick tips on how to work with students

Student availability

You’re more likely to hear from students if your activity falls within academic term times, which can vary slightly from year to year. You could have a look at our academic dates and plan your activities to avoid holidays and revision weeks. Alternatively, you might want to have a continuity plan for your activities to run whilst students are unavailable.

Most students are usually available between October and mid-December, and between February and April. Speak to your volunteers about their schedules and holiday plans when they join the organisation to avoid any unexpected drop-outs.


Students often take the location of an opportunity into consideration when applying, as only a small minority drive in Bristol and public transport can be expensive. Specifying where your volunteering activities take place can encourage more students living in the local area to apply.

If your activity is further away from the city centre, we recommend that you highlight local bus routes in your ad and identify whether you can cover travel expenses.

One-off opportunities

Students are increasingly interested in one-off events. It’s an ideal way into volunteering for those who’ve never tried it before but are keen to get involved. Many postgraduates and third-year students would love to work with to a local organisation but can only afford small pockets of time.

One-off volunteering days can be particularly attractive to students, so you might want to think about altering the opportunity you’re advertising to accommodate this. Once students get a taste of volunteering with your project, they’ll be more likely to consider a long-term role.

Clear expectations and benefits

Make sure you complete your volunteer advert in full, highlighting the level of time commitment that is required for the role.

Think about the types of skills students can expect to gain from your opportunity. If you need ideas, take a look at our Skills Framework, which outlines the skills students are looking to acquire to maximise their employability.

Consider what type of support you’re able to offer. Shout about any training and resources available for your volunteers, and whether you’re able to give a reference at the end of their time with you.

Work with existing student groups

Bristol SU is home to around 400 sports clubs and societies, and many of them are engaged in fundraising and volunteering activities. There’s also a group of student-led volunteering projects working primarily in the community.

Your volunteering opportunities might align with what existing student groups are already doing. They’re all very keen to collaborate with local projects, so have a browse and drop them an email.

+Frequently asked questions

If you’re ever in doubt, contact us at

I haven’t received approval emails.

Check your spam folder for emails from If there’s nothing there, try to log in with the details you registered with. We tend to approve organisations and opportunities within a day or so, so even if you haven’t received the email, you should be able to log in fairly swiftly.

I’ve forgotten my password.

Drop us an email at with the name of your organisation and we’ll let you know what email address you initially registered with. Click here to reset your password.

I’ve registered but can’t see my opportunity.

Our registration is a two-stage process. You need to register your organisation before you create a volunteer advert. If you’ve only completed the first stage, your opportunity will not show up on our portal. If your advert had an expiry date, it might have been taken down following its expiration.