Volunteering FAQs

A volunteer in a Save the Children shop

Volunteering at Save the Children is both fun and rewarding. We get asked a lot of questions about how you can become a volunteer and what is involved, so we've tried to answer as many of these as we can in our frequently asked questions (FAQs) below.

How can I find a volunteering opportunity?

We’ve got lots of volunteering opportunities for you to choose from. You can start searching online right now.

How can I apply to become a Save the Children volunteer?

Once you’ve found an opportunity you like, you can apply quickly and easily online by completing the application form linked to the opportunity you’re interested in.

Once I’ve applied, how long is it until I can start volunteering?

Once you’ve applied we’ll contact you with the next steps as quickly as we can and keep you updated throughout the application and selection process.  

If you’re selected, we'll want to get you started as quickly as possible but this will depend entirely on the role and what checks we need to do beforehand. If the role requires a criminal records check (we’ll flag this in details about the opportunity) the process can take significantly longer.

Can I volunteer for Save the Children overseas?

No. We don’t send volunteers from the UK to any of our programmes overseas. We involve volunteers and staff from the country we are working in to encourage self-sufficiency and help build skills locally.

If you’re interested in volunteering overseas, try the World Service Enquiry website for information and advice to people who want to volunteer or work in international development.

Can Save the Children support my visa application to volunteer here in the UK?

No, we’re not able to support individuals with visa applications.

I’m already in the UK and have a UK visa/work permit. Can I volunteer for Save the Children?

If you’re from the European Union (not including Bulgaria, Romania and Croatia) or European Economic Area you should be able to volunteer with us.

If you’re from a country outside the European Union our advice is always to contact the UK Border Agency to check your visa conditions before applying for any volunteer role.

It’s your responsibility to check that you’re not breaching the terms of your visa.

I’m an asylum seeker - can I volunteer?


I’m a refugee - can I volunteer?


I’m receiving welfare benefits - can I volunteer?

Yes, you can still volunteer – and receive out of pocket expenses – as long as you comply with the relevant regulations. Speak to your Jobcentre Plus to let them know that you’re volunteering and ask for a copy of the Jobcentre Plus leaflet 'Volunteering While Getting Benefits', or find it on their website.

Does Save the Children offer internships?

We don’t offer internships at Save the Children. But if you’re interested in volunteering, you can search our current opportunities now.

When opportunities for paid roles arise they are advertised on our jobs website. We recommend signing up for job alerts so that you are amongst the first to know when new jobs arise.

How long do I need to volunteer for?

We’ve got lots of flexible volunteering opportunities to fit around people’s different commitments. Unless it is a one-off position or short, project-based role, we’d usually ask you to commit to a role for at least six months; we think that’s the minimum needed for you to receive training and achieve something from your volunteering.

Do I have to be a certain age to volunteer?

At the moment you need to be aged 18 or over to volunteer with Save the Children, but we hope to be able to offer volunteering opportunities for young people in the near future.

Do you pay expenses?

We believe you should never be out of pocket if you volunteer with us, so we cover reasonable out-of-pocket expenses when you’re volunteering.

We reimburse travel expenses, although we ask you to always try to use the most cost effective form of travel (usually public transport).  

Last updated: March 2017.