Make a Difference Weeks

Make a Difference

Make a Difference Weeks are an opportunity for students and staff to make a positive difference through supporting causes that impact the local community. These are one-off activities that don’t require ongoing commitment, giving you the opportunity to gain experience and support your personal development, well-being and sense of community. Make a Difference Weeks are part of the get involved stage of My Student Journey: a framework to complete throughout your degree, offering helpful guidance, CV-enhancing opportunities and skills development, so you can shape your future, as you prepare for life after you graduate.

Due to the current Covid 19 restrictions, our 'Make a Difference' volunteering events are on pause, but there are still lots of way to make a difference through a range of online, micro and virtual volunteering opportunities which are detailed below.

If you would like to receive email notifications about new volunteering opportunities, or have any questions about volunteering, please email: to be added to our mailing list.

The Covid-19 pandemic has had a huge impact on work experience and the graduate market.  Volunteering is a valuable way to develop and enhance your skills and boost your employability prospects.  If you are wanting to help others, there are lots of ways you can do this.  The majority of opportunities will take place virtually or in small groups.  No previous experience is needed, you just need to be friendly and reliable.  Please see details below of some really rewarding opportunities – some can even be done from the comfort of your own home.

Don't forget to keep a record of your volunteering and use our transferable skills log, to help you reflect on and articulate the skills gained.

Volunteering opportunities during coronavirus

Visit the UK's national volunteering platform and database to view the vast range of roles that you can apply to. Search for opportunities close to where you are.

Volunteer Translators

Could you translate a single-page NHS guide into another language?

Leicester City CCG have produced a simple information sheet to help families find support if they are concerned about their children’s mental health and emotional wellbeing.

They are looking for speakers of any languages to translate, so that it can be shared far and wide within the community.

For more details and to offer your help, please email

Age UK Telephone Befriender

As a Telephone Befriender you will be part of a small group of dedicated volunteers who make calls from a city based call centre to older people to help alleviate any isolation and loneliness they may be experiencing.

This is a flexible role that gives you the opportunity to help people in a way that you are passionate about, talking to an older person by telephone, to engage them in conversation and to listen with interest.

What’s involved?

  • Help older people feel less lonely by providing conversation and a listening ear.
  • Promote ageing in a positive way
  • Use your own experience of life events and help others to adapt to changes
  • To refer and signpost an older person to other organisations and agencies that may support their health and well-being
  • Encourage older people to attend social groups, e.g. coffee mornings or one-off events, if they feel they would like to
  • Use a computer system to make notes and feed back to the project coordinator
  • What knowledge do I need?

    As Telephone Befriender, it would be beneficial (but not essential) for you to:

  • Have first-hand experience of transitional life events e.g. retirement, divorce
  • Understand how life events can impact on physical and mental health/wellbeing
  • Be willing to find out about local services and how to support individuals to use them
  • Find out more about this and other roles here.


    NHS Volunteer Responders

    NHS Volunteer Responders protect the NHS and support those who need to self-isolate in England during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

    Once signed up, you can provide support safely to people who are isolating at home. You can help by delivering groceries and medicines, or by offering a friendly conversation over the telephone to someone who is on their own.

    Once you have registered and checks are complete, you will be provided a log-in to the GoodSAM Responder app.

    Volunteers must be 18 or over, and be fit and well with no symptoms. Those in higher-risk groups will still be able to offer support over the telephone as a Check In and Chat Volunteer.  You will need to have a smartphone to take part as you will be unable to receive alerts without the app.  Join the team of NHS Volunteer Responders today.

    The Access Project - Volunteer Tutor

    Get involved in The Access Project’s work to support young people from disadvantaged backgrounds by signing up as a volunteer to support a student with their academic studies for 1 hour a week during the current academic year.

    As a Volunteer Tutor you will make a significant, lasting impact on a young person’s future; gain valuable tutoring experience and enhance your CV; reconnect with a subject you love; grow in confidence, be a positive role model; enhance your communication, mentoring and planning skills and give back to your community.

    Check out this Access Project Video to hear more about the role.

    No prior experience necessary, full training included with start dates throughout the autumn term. Apply now to volunteer.


    The Princes Trust E-Mentor

    The Prince’s Trust is on a four year mission to help 10,000 more young people get into the Health and Social Care sector, and they are looking for mentors who are willing to support them; building their confidence and enabling them to thrive. If you are willing to support a young person on their journey, register your interest to find out more.

    VASL'S Community Champions

    Friendly and caring volunteers are needed to help isolated or lonely people (over 60 who live in the Harborough District) reconnect with their local community, discover new opportunities and achieve their personal goals, with your support, encouragement and companionship.


    Donate your skills by the hour to support cancer charities.  Get involved in projects that require photography skills, coding, writing, design and more to help beat cancer.


    Covid-19 Anthology

    Soulful Group are seeking submissions for a global #covid19anthology. Any printed medium will be considered, from poetry and short stories to photography and illustrations. The anthology will become a creative record that tracks the stories, differing perspectives and invaluable lessons that came about due to the pandemic.


    Be My Eyes

    Be My Eyes is a free mobile app with one main goal: to make the world more accessible for blind and low-vision people. The app connects blind and low-vision individuals with sighted volunteers and companies from all over the world through a live video call.


    Adopt a grandparent

    Help combat loneliness by volunteering to be paired up with an elderly resident of a UK care home. ‘Adopt a Grandparent’ was launched to bring a sense of comfort to young people and the elderly who may not have grandparents/grandchildren of their own, with the aim of creating long-lasting intergenerational friendships.

    What’s involved? Simply fill in an online form and someone will be in touch to pair you with your new ‘Grandma’ or ‘Grandpa’. After that, these are some of the ways in which you can help:

    • Having phone calls/video calls with your new friend
    • Sending cheerful pictures/stories/poems (post or email) for them to enjoy
    • Sharing stories from different generations
    • Sending letters/postcards to your new friend, much like a pen pal


    Dementia Friends and Dementia Champions

    A Dementia Friend is someone who learns about what it's like to live with dementia and then turns that understanding into action - anyone of any age can be a Dementia Friend.  Dementia Friends Champions are volunteers who talk to people about being a Dementia Friend in their community. It is easy to get involved. Dementia Friends Champions attend a training session, receive support as and when needed and are part of a growing network of people creating dementia friendly communities together.

    The Trussell Trust Food Bank Volunteer and home based opportunities

    Whether you want to commit a few days a week or a few hours a month, your support can make a real difference to The Trussell Trust.  Volunteers are required to support the nationwide network of foodbanks.  There are also home based roles available such as as Social Media Advocate and Fundraisers.

    UN Online Volunteering

    The United Nations Volunteers (UNV) programme contributes to peace and development through volunteerism worldwide.

    Covid Mutual Aid UK

    This network of volunteers supports local community groups, organising mutual aid throughout the coronavirus outbreak in the UK. They focus on providing resources and connecting people to their nearest local groups, willing volunteers and those in need. To find out more and to join, visit their website.


    NHS Blood and Transplant

    Giving blood and platelets is still essential to the NHS and vulnerable patients. Hospitals need our blood supply now and in the coming weeks more than ever. Travelling to donate blood is permitted because it helps meet the medical needs of vulnerable people. To find out how you can donate, visit their website.


    Post Pals – Brighten the life of a sick child

    Post Pals is a charity helping you to post a smile on a sick child’s face by the sending of cards, letters, emails and little gifts to seriously ill children and their siblings in the UK. It couldn’t be easier for anyone of any age to get involved, requires no commitment and costs only a stamp and 5 minutes of your time.


    You can also visit the Students’ Union website for further information on volunteering opportunities.

    Further guidance and support

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