Volunteering & Internships
Volunteering and internships can give you new skills, build experience on your CV or enable you to try different types of work to see what they involve.
Page last updated: July 2019
Internships can be paid or unpaid, though unpaid internships aren’t considered good practice as they advantage people who can afford to work for no pay. In general, if you’re using your skills and doing a job that benefits the company, you should be paid for it. However, you may want to consider a short-term unpaid internship to gain experience.
Paid or unpaid, an internship should be time limited and offer a structured opportunity to work and develop skills. It’s reasonable to check out beforehand what experience you’ll gain, what skills you’ll develop and what support or mentoring you’ll receive. It needs to feel fair and to work for you and your career.
More information about employment rights for interns is available here: www.gov.uk/employment-rights-for-interns
Whizz Kidz: offer a range of work placement and internships opportunities, and work skills days designed for young disabled people aged 14-25 years old.
Leonard Cheshire: organises Change 100, their programme of paid summer work placements, development and mentoring, designed to support the career development of talented university students and recent graduates with any disability or long-term health condition. Eligibility criteria apply and applications are only accepted at certain times of the year. Read more at:
Some large organisations and companies have schemes aimed to increase the number of disabled people gaining work experience and employment with them. If you’re interested in a particular company or organisation, contact them to see what opportunities they have to offer.
Volunteering can be a good way to build up work experience and also provide opportunities to meet new people and learn new skills.
Volunteering Matters – information on volunteering and opportunities:
Do-It – online database of volunteering opportunities throughout the UK and overseas: www.do-it.org.uk
National Council for Voluntary Organisations – information about volunteering: www.ncvo.org.uk/ncvo-volunteering
Volunteer Scotland – information about volunteering and opportunities at home and overseas: www.volunteerscotland.net
Volunteering Wales – information about volunteering and opportunities: www.volunteering-wales.net
Volunteer Now – information about volunteering and opportunities: