About us



heart Why is volunteering beneficial?

  1. You are doing good and giving back to the community! You are helping others who may have had the lack of opportunities through life, or you're shaping children's skills which will make them more successful one day! Whether it's with animals, children, refugees or simply doing litter-picking, volunteering always makes our community grow stronger.
  2. Volunteering brings people together, allowing you to network, make new friends and extend your social circle. We are a big and diverse group, so you'll always meet new and interesting people and learn about their cultures.
  3. It impresses future employers - 82% of hiring managers are more likely to choose a candidate with volunteering experience, and 85% of those are willing to overlook other CV flaws when a candidate has actively volunteered (click here to read more about this).
  4. You gain experience and skills, from leadership and teamwork to effective time-management, which advance your career and can help you land your dream job!
  5. It improves your mental health and life satisfaction! A recent study with over 70,000 participants found that people who volunteered were more satisfied with their life, rated their overall and mental health better, and had a bigger boost in happiness. The researchers concluded that volunteering would make someone as happy as getting an extra £911 wink



  1. Activate your Gradintelligence account to sign up for opportunities. (More about setting up your account and Gradintelligence in general cal be found in our Help section)
  2. Choose an opportunity. (You can find all the opportunities we offer in our Projects section)
  3. Volunteering time!!
  4. Record your volunteering hours. (Videos on how to log your hours are in our Help section and an explanation about why logging hours is important is in the Awards part below)



Volunteering with VTeam opens the doors for 2 kinds of awards that can be put on your CV. Both types of awards will recognize your hard work and dedication.

  1. The Big Essex Award - University’s employability and skills award which aims to help identify all the skills you've developed during your time at Essex, so you can show future employers that you really stand out from the crowd. All the extra-curricular and voluntary activities you do while studying (e.g., VTeam, Peer Mentoring, SU Reps...) are recognized and go towards the points for your award. It has 4 different levels: Bronze, Silver, Gold, and Platinum. So, if you haven't done it yet, this is the perfect time to get started with us!
  2. The Volunteering Awards - VTeam has a way of rewarding the volunteers and community by organizing -year awards for the best roles of Session Leader, Communications Officer, Project Leader, Regular Volunteer of the year, and many others! Every winner gets their award added to their transcript. There are many categories to pick from and anyone can nominate themselves, their friends, or fellow volunteers. Nominations start in April and the link will be shared with all VTeam members. 





''During my first two years at the University I was part of the VTeam and an active member of the Art Club Project. I also had an absolute blast with many one-off projects, from planting flowers to painting people’s faces and playing a scary wolf at the Colchester Zoo on Halloween.

As a regular volunteer, I formed bonds and made friends; as a session leader, I became more confident and better at problem-solving; and as a project leader, I grew as person and honed my communication and organization skills. I had to manage the transition from in-person sessions to online and re-think what Art Club was as a project when we weren’t directly working with children.

The skills and experience I gained helped me in my search for both summer jobs and internships, having been offered positions as a summer camp teacher in Italy and as an intern in the Pakistani Embassy in Portugal.

If you find yourself on this page wondering if you should volunteer, take my advice and do!"


Lizzie Archer | Einstein

''I discovered VTeam during Freshers’ Fair at the very start of my first year, having been drawn in by the description of the ‘Einstein Project’. Signing up proved to be a great way to meet new people as well as offer a change of scenery each week – what better way to relieve deadline stress than making colourful fizzing volcanoes or glittery slime? After a year as a regular volunteer, I then took on the position of Communications Officer to help run Einstein Project alongside the Project Leader. Together, we organised several ‘Science Days’ alongside the regular sessions to bring full days of fun experiments and demonstrations to different schools. The pure excitement of the children’s reactions as well as the joy of sharing my love of science with them made all the organisation behind these days worth it. However, I also gained many skills and experiences that I have since been able to draw upon in interviews to demonstrate my leadership and communication abilities. Being involved with VTeam throughout my degree has helped me transition from a nervous first-year student to a more confident, self-assured individual, feeling prepared to take the next steps in my career.''




frazer merritt | rtp 

''I decided to call the Fresh Beginnings Refugee Centre after I heard at a barbeque that they were seeking volunteers. The director invited me to meet him, and he mentioned that he had a serious problem finding teachers to attend on a regular basis. At first, I thought about posting fliers around campus, but then I realized the VTeam could help me set up a proper programme. The director of Fresh Beginnings, the VTeam, and I had a meeting and we decided it was a great idea. I asked Gisselle to be Vice President and four of my friends to be Project Managers of the Refugee Teaching Programme. Together we set up a stall at Freshers Fair and got 210 signatures! Throughout the year, our 46 student volunteers assisted in teaching English and Maths classes, running a women’s group, and raising charity money for school supplies.''







Morgane Sabatini | Lend a hand

''I decided to get involved with a project named Lend a Hand ran by a friend at that time, a project teaching adults with learning disabilities life skills, such as Maths or English. I was able to meet all the learners and got really attached to every single one of them. I enjoyed teaching them so much that in my second year at University, I became the Project Leader of Lend a Hand and was able to positively impact the learners by helping them every Sunday afternoon!

Volunteering really helped me on a personal level as well. Naturally having a shy and introverted personality, I was able to really improve my confidence by speaking in public and teaching a group of adult learners. As a Project Leader, I was also able to improve my communication and leadership skills, which are skills most employers search for nowadays! I personally also strongly believe that helping people in need really enables you to put your priorities back in place and helping the learners achieve their monthly goals or seeing them smile about doing fractions for the first time is truly one of the most heart-warming feelings ever.''




Rebecca chivers | lend a hand 

''During my 1st year (2016), I knew I wanted to get involved with a project, but none of the current projects really spoke to me. So, I reached out to VTeam asking if there were any projects that involved education and focused on supporting disadvantaged people. We visited the First Stop Centre and the people were so friendly! I spent that first year as the only volunteer and Session Leader, delivering lesson plans and taking the bus to Braintree every Sunday. In my second year, I became Project Leader and recruited some volunteers, a social media person and a Session Leader to support me. 

The project connected me to people I would never have met otherwise, and taught me just how little I knew about teaching and education! Especially teaching people who had significant learning problems. It inspired me to get further into education, and my passion now lies in teaching neurodiverse students. The project helped me secure my Masters in Pedagogical Sciences, and my job now as a researcher in education! I also won a couple of awards for volunteering with Lend a Hand, and it felt really special getting recognition for something you simply enjoy.

I absolutely recommend volunteering in your first and second year, it may feel like there’s not enough time but it adds depth to the Uni experience. My recommendation is to volunteer with a project that speaks to you. It doesn’t have to be in the same field as your study, but it is a great way to test the waters of what you may be interested to pursue as a career or otherwise. It also is a great thing to add to a CV, it shows future employers you’re passionate and take initiative.''