how to volunteer with us


Interested in volunteering?  Keen to help your fellow students whilst gaining some great experience for yourself?  SU Advice needs YOU!

Volunteering with SU Advice offers a unique opportunity to develop experience and skills directly transferable to the work place, for example to name but a few: working as part of a team; using own initiative; providing excellent customer service; maintaining databases; creating and maintaining client case files; collecting statistics; general office and admin skills; working in a confidential environment.
We do not require any previous experience as training is provided.  



Hi, I've learnt a lot from  volunteering at SU Advice, for example on university procedures and the experiences I have gained are invaluable. The working atmosphere is warm and supportive so it's great for someone who would like to    gain more experience and equally great for the experienced as well. No two shifts are alike and if you like variability, SU Advice is perfect for that because there are lots of opportunities to do different tasks.

Shivani Patel, Volunteer Advice Assistant 2015 - 2018

Hi all! I am Jennifer, and I was a volunteer at SU Advice between Jan 2016 and June 2018. As a volunteer, I have supported advisers to clients on a range of issues, including financial difficulties, housing disputes, intermissions, and withdrawals. My experience has been great so far – I enjoy the variety of issues I have helped on, I love that I am able to make a positive contribution to people’s days/lives, and I have developed/enhanced important transferable skills. Having direct contact with clients, and working in a professional environment has also been very relevant experience for me because I would like to become a commercial lawyer in the near future. I would encourage anyone who is interested in getting involved with SU Advice to do so, it’s an excellent way to engage with the university community, give back, and to develop personally and professionally. 


Uju Jennifer Okoye, Volunteer Advice Assistant 2016 - 2018

Working for SU Advice has been one of the highlights of my year! From day one my co-workers made me feel welcome and a part of the team. They have supported me ever since, making sure I am as prepared as possible to help anybody who walks in! I have learned more than I thought I would and the whole experience has been incredibly rewarding. I feel I have grown as a person and I definitely face challenges with a lot more confidence. Working here has thought me there is always a way to solve the problem and there are always people who are there to help me. I highly recommend working or volunteering for SU Advice. Not only has working here been incredibly beneficial for my personal development, it has also given me the opportunity to acquire new skills and real work experience for my CV.

Mira Dragieva, SU Advice Senior Adviser Frontrunner 2016 - 2017

Volunteering at SU Advice is a great way to gain a wide range of skills and experience, while helping fellow students with their difficulties. No two days are the same, and I was always kept on my toes, supporting with queries ranging from how to find a room to student conduct and more. Volunteers are trained by the friendly, full time staff. It’s a fun way to get involved within the Students’ Union while also giving something back to the student community.

Jan Laska, Volunteer Advice Assistance 2016 - 2017

Working in SU Advice had been the best work experience of my life so far. It is a great environment with friendly and helpful people and I enjoy coming in to work every day. I’ve been made feel welcome in the team since the first day and got all the help I needed from the people I work with. Not only am I able to aid other students with their problems, but I can apply the things I’ve learnt to my own life. I feel that in the past year spent working as a Caseworker, I’ve gained a lot of experience with a broad variety of issues, all that could affect me either during my years as a student, or even after that. I recommend joining the team of SU Advice to everyone as I’ve only had great experiences during my time here and I learnt so many things I can take away with me.

Boriszláva Czapár, SU Advice Caseworker 2016 - 17


  1. Make a difference and feel the difference: You can get a real buzz from helping those around you – and helping yourself at the same time!
  2. Do something interesting. Don’t let your spare time trickle away – fill it doing something interesting and challenging.
  3. Improve your prospects: Learn new skills to add to your CV. Whether you are looking to re-enter the job market or for a change of career, you’ll gain lots of skills and experience with us.
  4. Enjoy free training and ongoing support: SU Advice training and supervision mean that you will get lots of support during your time here and lots of opportunities for further development, if you want them.
  5. Boost your confidence: You probably have a lot of the skills we need already; you just don’t know it yet!
  6. Put your talents to use. You can use and share the knowledge and experience that you already have.
  7. Feel better and live longer: Regular volunteering has been proven to be good for your health and wellbeing.
  8. Give your time when it suits you: We offer flexible shifts that mean you can volunteer at a time that suits you.
  9. Meet new people and have fun! 
  10. We need you!

Whilst volunteering...


You will develop a wide range of skills ranging from advisory skills to administrative skills. We aim to ensure you have the best experience possible and benefit from the knowledge and skills you can gain!

Your main duties as an adviser are to:

Working with SU Advice Clients

  • Undertake duties in the SU Advice Reception, such as dealing with initial enquiries, giving out forms, arranging access to the telephone, making appointments.

  • In response to enquiries, support our advisers to interview clients to
    • Find out the full nature and details of the enquiry
    • Help clients to clarify and explore their situation
    • Make full use of all the information resources
    • Explore with the client all options and the possible consequences
    • Help the client chose a course of action
    • Support the client in taking action themselves
  • If appropriate, undertake tasks arising out of the clients chosen course of action, including:
    • Putting forward the clients’ case by mediating or negotiating by phone or letter
    • Referring clients to other specialist help, e.g. within or outside SU Advice
  • Keep records of all work with clients by accurately recording
    • Essential details of the clients enquiry
    • Information referred to in working with the client
    • Details of any action taken or required to be taken, by whom and when
  • Maintain confidentiality at all times


  • Assist with the maintenance of SU Advice Information Resources by
    • Updating information systems
    • Recording case notes accurately on database
    • Maintaining statistical information (including data inputting)
  • Assist with the maintenance of SU Advice publicity
  • Share in other administrative tasks as requested

General Requirements

  • Contribute to the work and development of SU Advice as appropriate
  • Attend training sessions and other meetings arranged for SU Advice Staff

Sign up!


Phone: 01206 874034
E-mail: suadvice@essex.ac.uk
Drop-in: We're on Square 3 (next to Lloyds Bank) and love to chat!


If you would like to volunteer for us, please send us an email telling us your name, your course, which year you are in and the reason why you want to volunteer.

Please press here to send us an email.