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Volunteering

Volunteering is a great way to build your skills, make a positive impact and have fun while doing it. By volunteering with the Sustainability Service you will meet and work with other students and staff committed to making positive changes on campus and beyond. You will also gain key sustainability knowledge and skills and have a great time doing so!

Group of people in high vis with litter pickers

There are a whole range of projects and events throughout the whole year to get involved with. They are all designed to make the University of Leeds a more environmentally and socially responsible place to be. You could choose to join us on a monthly litter pick or take part in biodiversity monitoring. We also run a variety of projects in the local community. We provide all the training and support needed to take part and get the most out of volunteering with us.

Current volunteering opportunities:

Campus bat monitoring programme

The Great Hall at the University of Leeds pictured at night.

Are you batty about bats and ready to explore their nocturnal world as well as helping us to better understand the campus populations? Look no further!

Working with the West Yorkshire Bat Group, we are assembling a dedicated team of volunteers to help us map the campus bat habitats.  Ideally, we’re looking for people with some experience of data managing and mapping, particularly excel and GIS so that we can properly baseline current activity levels.

We should warn you however, as a volunteer, you'll embark on exciting night-time expeditions, equipped with the latest mapping technology and guided by seasoned experts. Together, we'll uncover the secret world of our campus bats, documenting their habitats and contributing valuable data so that we can better understand our campus and improve biodiversity.

The aims of this work are to:

  • Build a team of volunteers to lead bat walks throughout the year to track any activities.
  • Raise awareness of our nocturnal residents on campus
  • Help our students, staff and local community to better engage in our green spaces, sharing knowledge and skills with as wide an audience as possible.

The launch and training session for the programme takes place on Wednesday 20th March - 12-1pm, sign up here.

Recruiting volunteer artists for community mural project

Hyde park mural

The Sustainability Service is offering a professional development opportunity to a team of two to four volunteer student artists.

The team will design and paint a large external mural in collaboration with a community youth organisation in Harehills, Leeds. Volunteer artists will benefit from training and guidance from a professional Mentor Community Artist and will gain experience engaging with young people in one of Leeds’ most diverse communities.

Applications are open to current University of Leeds students (N.B. preference will be given to students on a relevant programme of study).

Please see the following PDF for more information and how to apply: Community Mural Project Information and How to Apply PDF

If you have any issues with accessing the information, or you wish to know more about the project, please email C.Bowie@leeds.ac.uk

Fight food waste as a Community Pantry Guardian

A community pantry full of foodHosted at Left Bank on Cardigan Road, the Community Pantry will be accessible to anyone to take something or leave something. Any food in a can, tin, packet, or jar can be stored and will help residents share their surplus ingredients whilst providing for people in the community. The project is launching in January 2024, and we need volunteer Guardians to ensure the pantry is looked after and is successful in promoting sustainable behaviours around food waste.

Volunteer requirements:

  • Live locally to Left Bank (Cardigan Road)  
  • Availability of at least 30 minutes a week   
  • Passionate about reducing food waste! 

Volunteer responsibilities:

  • Regularly check and clean the community pantry according to a rota 
  • Remove unsuitable and expired food items 
  • Record data on pantry use   
  • Help to promote the community pantry using social media and word of mouth  

Our offer to volunteers:

  • Project support and communications training from the Sustainability Service  
  • A record of your volunteering hours  
  • An opportunity to meet and work with a team of like-minded individuals  

Interested? Sign up using the Microsoft form (you will need to be signed into your University Microsoft account).

Sign up form: https://forms.office.com/e/6JGqtkRiNV  

Fix things at the on-campus Repair Café

A blackboard with the words 'Repair Cafe' written on

Are you skilled in either textiles, electrical/electronic engineering, carpentry or general handy work? 

We have launched a new Repair Café at Makerspace in the Edward Boyle Library, and we're looking for volunteers with repair skills to help students and staff to fix their stuff and save valuable resources from landfill.  Users of the Café will have access to the equipment at Makerspace including laser cutter, 3D printer, CAD software, high-spec sewing machine and overlocker, soldering stations and a range of hand tools.  

The Café will take place monthly on a weekday afternoon with the day of week changing to allow as many people as possible to attend.

Check our events page for the next Repair Cafe date.

To volunteer your skills or to get more information, please email C.Bowie@Leeds.ac.uk 

Help the community with a Litter Pick

Two people doing a litter pick in Hyde Park

Join the Sustainability Service for a litter pick of the local area!

Our community litter picks take place monthly within the Hyde Park area to support everyone who wants to do their bit to create a better environment for people and wildlife. It also gives you the chance to meet new people who are also interested in making their community a better place.

Check our events page for our next litter pick date. All equipment and refreshments provided.

Contact us

Why volunteer?

As well as feeling that you've done something worthwhile, volunteering can increase your employability by helping you to develop:

  • Understanding of sustainability in practice
  • Experience of community engagement
  • Insight into effective engagement and communication methods
  • Team working skills
  • Leadership skills
  • Useful networks of people
  • Project management skills

United Nations Sustainable Development Goals

We use the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as a framework to guide our activity. Our volunteering work is linked to the following SDGs:

  • Goal 11: Sustainable cities and communities
  • Goal 13: Climate action
  • Goal 17: Partnerships for the goals

Find out more about our impact on the SDGs.