Help section


on this page you can find answers to your questions and inform yourself of some admin bits. the page is organised in a few main categories:
  • Claiming expenses
  • Activating gradintelligence account
  • logging volunteering hours
  • Documents and policies
  • committee structure information
  • frequently asked questions


Claiming your expenses

If you spent your money on any extra transport, materials, or anything else related to volunteering, you can get fully reimbursed for your expenses by filling in the expense claim form! Please make sure you have the relevant evidence of the expense (the receipts) because we won't be able to process your reimbursement otherwise.


Activating Your gradintelligence Account

To be able to sign up for opportunities and to record your hours once you're done, you'll need a Gradintelligence account. Sometimes new users struggle to log in to Gradintel, which, in most cases, is a matter of activation. Here's our step-by-step guide:

1. On the Gradintel home page, enter your email and password.

2. You should see a screen that says "Username and password do not match or you do not have an account yet. To recover your account, please "Click here". Click it.

3. You should now see a screen that says "Lost account details". It asks: "Do you know and have access to the email address linked to your account?" Hit "Yes".

4. It should then show three options: I've forgotten my username / I've forgotten my password / I've forgotten both - hit the one that says both.

5. It will ask you for your student email - enter your email and prove you're not a robot.

6. Now the site will ask you to enter your birthday. Fill in the boxes.

7. If a black error box shows up and asks if you're a student or a graduate, hit "Click here".

8. You will now find a page that says "Find Your Account". Fill out all the info: University of Essex, your student ID (the number on your student card that has 5 letters of your surname followed by 5 numbers), and your birthday again.

9. A verification page will pop up telling you they've identified your account. Out of the three options, only the email will be highlighted. Click on it.

10. A covered version of your student email will be shown. Just confirm it by entering it in the box.

11. Now an email verification page should show up with a box for a passcode. It says an email has been sent to you with a passcode in it. You will receive one email that is NOT the one you need, saying your account has been reset. A few minutes AFTER the first email, you will receive a second one with your passcode. Enter it into Gradintel and hit "Submit".

12. You will see a page that says "Oops! Your account is not activated!". Hit the "Activate now" button.

13. You'll see a very long page about account information. Scroll down and fill out all the information.

14. At this point your account should work and you should be able to explore the site and register for any projects you might be interested in. If you still have any issues with the activation, email us at



Log your volunteering hours

You've done the hard work, now make sure it's added to your Gradintel profile. Below are video tutorials on how to do it! For one-off projects, we add the hours on your behalf after you complete them.

                Regular Projects:                                      Sports Clubs:                                            Societies:                                            Peer Mentoring:                               


                Part-Time Officer:                                     Essex Abroad:                                    Student Parliament:                                   Student Reps:                                                       


Information and policies

Here you can find some important information and policies. Download these useful guides if you need some help understanding how to claim your expenses and travel costs. If you have some questions, email

Forms and Procedures


         Expenses Policy                           Travel Expenses                         Incident Form                     Example Expense Form                  Signing Sheet


       Volunteer Handbook            Digital Volunteering Policy


Committee Structure

Our Regular Projects are powered by students, who can engage in three different roles: Project Leader, Session Leader, and Communications Officer. Their task is to plan the volunteering sessions, ensure they run smoothly, and that all the related information is passed on to the participants. Below you can find detailed guides that help you get informed if you want to become a committee member and find out more about the committee structure. You can download the handy session planners as well.

Documents for Regular Projects


  Committee Member Roles                   Project Leader                          Session Leader                 Communications Officer              Emailing Volunteers


          Session Checklist                        Session Planner



Frequently asked questions

You can use the search bar to narrow down your question of interest and find answers more easily. If you still haven't found what you're looking for on this page, please contact us and we will happily answer your questions and concerns!


how do I join a volunteering project?

Simply go to and discover the projects you're interested in. Click on the project's picture and it will take you to their Gradintelligence page. When you get there, click on "Register". Now you've registered for the project and will receive all the details via email. 

What is the difference between different types of projects ?

There are 4 main types of projects: regular, one-off, online, and external partnerships.

  • Regular projects happen every week through the term time, they have at least one session weekly and they have a committee structure made out of student volunteers who make sure that the projects are running smoothly. Before you go on sessions, you need to complete a short Safeguarding training. By engaging in these projects, you become our regular volunteer.
  • One-off projects are one-day volunteering opportunities that do not happen regularly. We mostly have one one-off project weekly or in two weeks, but they are different every time. For example, on some one-off projects we do, painting, on others we do litter-picking, or collect food for Foodbank. You do not need to complete any training before coming to these events, and you don't become a regular volunteer.
  • Online projects are volunteering projects that can be done remotely at your own leisure. When you register, you decide when and how long you want to volunteer.
  • External partnerships are projects which are run by external organisations and charities (such as The Prince's Trust) but are brought to you via VTeam's platform. All the communication comes from those organisations, and VTeam is there to just overlook everything.

Can I join more than one volunteering project?

Of course! You can register to as many volunteering projects as you'd like. You can be a part of multiple regular projects or engage in online projects, one-offs, and external projects all simultaneously. 

What do committee members do?

Committee members are student volunteers which lead regular volunteering projects. They consist of 3 roles: Session Leaders, Communications Officer, and Project Leader.

  • Session Leaders lead volunteers to and from the sessions and make sure that everything is running smoothly. They are recording the attendance and making sure there are no problems on the session.
  • Communications Officer emails all the new registered volunteers to welcome them to the project, makes sure everyone has done their Safeguarding training, emails volunteers about the weekly sessions, leads the social media of the project, and makes sure everyone is well-informed about the project.
  • Project Leader organises the sessions, creates session materials, and overruns the whole project to make sure that the project is running successfully. 

If you want to find out more about the committee structure and about the roles, download the forms from the "Documents for Regular Projects".

how can I become a committee member?

Just email us at about the role you're interested in applying for, and we will arrange an informal meeting to talk about you and the role.

how do I get my free VTeam T-shirt?

You receive your free VTeam T-shirt after you complete the Safeguarding training and send us your signed volunteering agreement form at

How do I get the free VTeam hoodie?

All committee members receive a free VTeam hoodie with their committee position written on it. So, a simple answer is: just become our committee member ;)

I am concerned about the welfare of another volunteer. who should I report this to?

Please visit University's specific page for Concern about a friend's mental health and Student Wellbeing and Inclusivity page. Additionally, VTeam staff members are Mental Health First-Aiders. You can email us at with your concern and we will try our best to give you advice on whom you can talk to about this. You can email for confidential advice on the matter. All reported issues will be dealt with.

How can I start a new volunteering project?

You can find all the information and steps to creating a new project here:

does my expense form need to be approved before I get my money back?

Yes. All expense forms are reviewed and signed by the Students’ Union Volunteering Office staff before you get reimbursed.

do i need evidence of my expense to get my money back?

Yes. All expense refund claims need to have proof (e.g. a receipt). Unfortunately, without proof of this expense you will be unable to claim your money back, so ask for a receipt for everything and keep them!

if I drove to an event, how do I prove how far I travELled?

Travel by car is refunded at 25p per mile. This is often more than it would have cost for petrol, but also goes towards the cost of any wear and tear on the vehicle from this trip. Locate the Start and Finish postcodes for your journey. Using Google Maps you can work out how many miles your trip was. Multiply this by 0.25 and you will have the final figure. Put all of this information on your expense form as this will be checked before being signed off.

how long does it take to get an expense back?

Expenses will be signed and ready to collect within 48 hours of submission. However, during busy periods this may be longer. If you need money sent to your bank account, this will be done on the first Friday after your submission.

I registered for a project and have not received an email yet. What should I do?

If you registered for one-off event, you may not receive an email until a few days before the event because we have to gather all of the information first.

If you registered for a regular project, and you have not received an email within a week, please write us an email at with the name of the project you've registered to. We will contact the Communications Officer and see why you have not yet been contacted.

How can I track my volunteering progress?

At the end of the year, you can download your skills template from Gradintelligence which lets you keep all of your skills in one place and will help with job applications.

Does my volunteering count towards the big essex award?

Yes! 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. 

Do I need to attend every volunteering session if I am a regular volunteer?

No. We understand that your studies are your priority, and we do not expect you to come to every session. You can come whenever you want to.

I am unhappy with a committee member or other regular volunteer. What should I do?

If there has been a problem with any volunteer or committee member, please report it to us at

I did not find an answer to my question. What should I do? 

If you have any specific questions that you did not find an answer to, please contact us and we will happily answer your questions. All our contact details can be found here: