We only deal with volunteering here in Edinburgh, however if you are interested in volunteering outside of Edinburgh here are some of our immediate neighbours who’ll be able to help.
- Volunteer Centre Borders
- Volunteer Centre East Lothian
- Volunteer Centre Fife
- Volunteer Centre Midlothian
- Voluntary Sector Gateway West Lothian
- Volunteer Scotland
Scotland just not far enough? If you want to volunteer abroad there are lots of organisations who can help. Below you’ll find a selection of these organisations who specialise in overseas volunteering.
Challenges Worldwide is a leading international development charity that recruits, trains and manages expert volunteers to carry out short assignments for social enterprise in developing countries. Our core purpose is to provide organisations, from the smallest social enterprise to national judiciary, with the support they need to achieve their objectives and contribute to the development of their local economies. Challenges Worldwide achieves this through the contribution of people with professional skills and experience who share these with our overseas partners.
Our programmes generally last between 3-6 months and cover a multitude of different areas of work: capacity building, research, management training, financial planning, strategy writing and many more. Challenges Worldwide also brokers programmes for public sector partnerships, delivering programmes within the justice sector and assisting small and medium enterprise in developing countries. We use the expertise of experienced professionals to focus on building indigenous capacity within these various sectors, while at the same time delivering practical guidance.
College for International Co-operation and Development (CICD)
CICD and Humana People to People Movement are looking for volunteers. You can join to the fight against AIDS and poverty by joining the development Instructor programme. A life changing experience for you and the people in Africa you work with. You need to be over 18, hardworking, motivated and flexible.
Concern Worldwide focuses on emergencies and long term development projects in Africa, Asia and the Caribbean. Opportunities for volunteers in Engineering, Health Care, Natural Resources, Community Development.
Concordia is a charity committed to international volunteering as a means to promoting intercultural understanding and peace.
When you take part in a volunteering project through Concordia, you can be sure you’ll be making a real difference to a community, and to yourself. For nearly 70 years now, we’ve provided volunteering and work opportunities overseas and here in the UK. Today we work with 80 like minded, non-profit partner organisations from 60 countries, to offer medium and short term community volunteering, around the world. A selection of projects is available for teenagers aged 16 and 17. Types of international volunteer projects include conservation, restoration, archaeology, construction, arts, children’s play-schemes and teaching.
Edinburgh Global Partnerships
We send groups of volunteers from Edinburgh to assist in small scale community-led projects abroad. The projects are varied and range from contruction of classromms to improving water sanitation and HIV/AIDS education. They take place during the summer (4 to 10 weeks) and are preceded by training and fundraising in Edinburgh.
Engineers Without Borders
Provides opportunities for undergraduate and professional engineers to work overseas as volunteers on three month placements. EWB is also based at universities around the UK where branches organise talks and events and encourage development related research in their universities.
European Volunteer Service
If you’re under 30 and live in the UK, EVS can offer you a range of volunteering options in Europe or European Partner Countries lasting between six months and one year. A wide variety of placements can be found in the social, cultural, environmental, and sports sector. Shorter placements of three weeks to six months are available to young people with fewer opportunities or special needs. EVS provides the funding to cover the volunteer’s costs.
Frontier projects entail rigorous, “hands-on” fieldwork, benefiting endangered tropical wildlife and their ecosystems and directly assisting developing countries rich in biodiversity but poor in the capacity to manage natural resources.Frontier projects advance field research and implement projects that will help conserve biodiversity and help develop sustainable livelihoods.
Habitat for Humanity
Global Village is Habitat for Humanity’s international volunteering programme. As a volunteer you will have the opportunity to travel overseas to work hand-in-hand with people around the world to help them build simple, decent homes.
i-to-i is a leading volunteer travel & TEFL training organisation. i-to-i develop people and share cultures with quality training and worthwhile volunteer projects. The i-to-i network is global: volunteers teach English, work in conservation, community development, the media, medicine or business in 19 countries, across Latin America, Africa, Europe, Asia, and Australia.
International Voluntary Service
IVS offers a range of options for volunteering both in the UK and overseas. Short term projects (2-6 weeks) take place in around 50 countries worldwide. The North South Programme is for more experienced volunteers and offers short and longer term opportunities in Africa, Asia and South America. If you are seeking a longer term commitment (6-12months) overseas, and you are aged between 18 and 25, then the EU sponsored programme European Voluntary Service might be for you.
Lattitude Global Volunteering
Lattitude Global Volunteering (formerly known as Gap Activity Projects) is an international youth development charity. Our mission is to educate and develop young people worldwide by providing inclusive opportunities for them to make a positive difference to the lives of others through a distinctive, challenging, structured and supported international volunteering experience in a culture and community different from their own. We offer volunteering opportunities in Asia, Africa, Australasia and the Americas.
Project Trust is an educational charity which specialises in sending 17-19 year old school leavers overseas for 8 or 12 month volunteer placements in Africa, Asia and he Americas.
Starfish volunteer travel programmes are available at several locations throughout Thailand including Surin, Chiang Mai, and Sangklaburi. Starfish is a growing “non profit” volunteer and gap year organisation providing volunteer projects in the areas of health, childcare, wildlife conservation community development and teaching.
Street Child Ambassadors is a volunteer programme like no other, designed for professionals and students willing to donate their time and skills to empower West African children through education. We offer short and long-term placements for people hoping to gain valuable experience in the international development sector or hoping to understand more about child rights in the developing world.
With current placements in Sierra Leone and Liberia – countries at the very forefront of international development work – we source and place volunteers to assist our child development projects aimed at empowering some of the most vulnerable children in the world by giving them the chance to go to school.
Voluntary English teaching opportunities are available not only in Edinburgh but across the rest of the UK and overseas too. TEFL Org is the UK’s most experienced TEFL course provider. Founded and run by TEFL teachers, TEFL Org has now trained over 120,000 students to teach English as a foreign language through their flexible classroom and online TEFL courses. Course graduates have gone on to teach English on both a paid and voluntary basis in Europe, the Middle East, Asia, Africa, Central and South America, and even online.
UNA Exchange (United Nations Association)
Specialises in short term International Volunteer Projects as a means to achieve the wider ideals of peace through international understanding and community development. Wide range of projects for all abilities.
United Nations Volunteers
The United Nations Volunteers (UNV) programme is the UN organization that contributes to peace and development through volunteerism worldwide. Volunteerism is a powerful means of engaging people in tackling development challenges, and it can transform the pace and nature of development. Volunteerism benefits both society at large and the individual volunteer by strengthening trust, solidarity and reciprocity among citizens, and by purposefully creating opportunities for participation.
UNV contributes to peace and development by advocating for recognition of volunteers, working with partners to integrate volunteerism into development programming, and mobilizing an increasing number and diversity of volunteers, including experienced UN Volunteers, throughout the world. UNV embraces volunteerism as universal and inclusive, and recognizes volunteerism in its diversity, as well as the values that sustain it: free will, commitment, engagement and solidarity.
VESL is a charity that provides unique, exciting and worthwhile volunteering opportunities in Rural Thailand, Sri Lankan and Indian communities for people of all ages. We have programmes to suit volunteers whatever their skills and experience.
VSO (Voluntary Service Overseas)
Places skilled volunteers with projects worldwide; as well as running a youth a project placing 18-25 year olds.
Arranges 6-12 month voluntary work placements and 4 week work camps in the developing world. Volunteers live and work in the local community, using their skills in health, education or community development.
Xchange Scotland is a youth-led charity that has been set up to provide affordable international volunteer opportunities. We are part of established worldwide networks which offer over 1300 projects every year, ranging from 2-4 weeks.