Edinburgh Local


If you’re a University of Edinburgh staff member or student, the University and the Edinburgh University Students’ Association can provide you with support in volunteering in the local area.


The Edinburgh University Students’ Association’s Volunteering Service is open year-round and exists to connect University of Edinburgh students with local communities, as well as providing opportunities to volunteer with national and international third sector organisations. It offers a volunteering brokerage service, student-led volunteering societies, one-off community projects, organises events, as well as advice, resources, funding, awards and recognition to students who volunteer.


The University’s A Day to Make a Difference initiative entitles every staff member to an additional day of paid leave to volunteer for a charity, organisation or other good cause. To use your day, you need to request it, just like annual leave, on People and Money system, and your line manager must approve it. Some teams have used their day together and volunteered as a group. For inspiration and ideas, and more information on the policy, please read below. 

This is covered under the University’s special leave policy. The University’s Community Plan encourages all University staff to use their Day to Make a Difference.

University of Edinburgh leave and absence policies


Why volunteer

There are many reasons why you might volunteer. It’s a chance to give back to your own community or to discover a new one.

Volunteering stories

Get some volunteering inspiration by reading case studies of students and staff across the University using their Day to Make a Difference.

How to volunteer: a handy checklist

Volunteering can be rewarding, and you have various options depending on how you’d like to spend your day. Our handy checklist will take you through the process, step by step.

Sources of Volunteering Opportunities

Here are a variety of ways you can volunteer. Find an opportunity that interests you and make contact.

Policy Guidance and Frequently Asked Questions

Here is some policy guidance and some questions and answers that you might helpful when starting your volunteering journey.

Guidance for personal tutors and others supporting students

If you are supporting a University of Edinburgh student who is volunteering, it’s important to understand how this activity may affect their health and wellbeing, both positively and negatively.