HR Volunteering - Weekends?

Hi All,

Guessing this will be a bit of a long shot but worth a try...

I started a HR Masters last year looking for a career change and after initially struggling to get a HR Assistant job without experience (I really tried to get voluntary experience with companies!) I finally landed a role earlier this year. The generalist role provides a good breadth of experience and it's useful being within the role for some of my uni studies however I want to try and gain as much experience as I possibly can.

I know it's a long shot but do you know of any voluntary HR experience I could gain on weekends (within the North East - Durham/ Newcastle/ Sunderland etc.)?

I would have used my annual leave to go and gain experience (as I tried to do last year) but now I use up all of my leave for uni work/ assignments/ exams so am a bit stuck with wanting to get more experience but not having the Monday-Friday availability due to full time work alongside uni work.

I thought there may be some charities or the like who may operate on weekends and need some support? I would be open to any kind of company but I know from contacting over 50 companies last year to try and gain experience they are often not open to someone coming in for obvious reasons.

Thanks in advance!


  • The obvious reason being you can't volunteer if it's not for a registered charity or statutory organisation (the latter is nigh on impossible to volunteer with). However, keep an eye on pmjobs.cipd.co.uk/.../ I don't have anything in your area at the moment but it is often murphy's law that something may pop up at a later date! The roles I have are 8 hours per week minimum and mostly can be done at home, so evening and weekends, some travel but expenses are payable. The roles I deal with don't deal with transactional HR. Currently, have two positions available, one in Northampton and the other Winchester
  • In reply to Paul:

    Thanks Paul, they sound like really worthwhile opportunities; I'll keep an eye out for anything local.
  • In reply to Paul:

    Hi Paul

    Could I have some more info about the roles you talk about?

  • In reply to Sam:

    Hi Charlotte, it might be worth contacting your local CIPD branch to see if they have anyone working in the HR team at charities or not for profit organisations willing to offer work shadowing or similar. Or finding a charity that you have strong affinity with and volunteering generally with them to get a foot in the door before seeing if there's any opportunity to do more relevant work with them later on.
  • In reply to Sam:

    They are in the link above
  • Hi,

    Try ncvo.org.uk (National Council for Voluntary Organisations) or do-it.org. Both have a database of volunteering opportunities. I’ve been volunteering for some 5 years now as a Trustee of a small charity, as their HR & LD lead, and find it so rewarding.
  • I wonder if this is something you might be able to offer support with remotely?

    One thing I've struggled with as an HR professional in a charity in the past is the time to get policy work done. If someone studying had come to me and offered to review our policies in light of legislation and best practice, marking up suggestions or coming in to talk through those suggestions, I'd have bitten their hands off!

    From my perspective, offering to do a specific job like that (one that gets left because it's not urgent, despite the fact that it's important) would be much more appealing than someone wanting to come in and shadow/do a placement. But once you've proved your skills and built a relationship, it could well lead to something more.

    Good luck.
  • In reply to Nina Waters:

    Hi Nina,
    Thanks for the reply. I would definitely be interested in helping out where I could; the only thing which makes me hesitate is not knowing if I would have the knowledge base to suggest updates to policies?
  • In reply to Charlotte:

    So what would you do if your organisation asked you to review and update one of their policies? If your answer is along the lines of: read through any legislation or case law on the area, check the CIPD site for any recent research or best practice, review any policies published on the websites of similar/competitor organisations - then you could well add value to an organisation on a voluntary basis. To be clear, I'm not suggesting at all that you'd be setting their corporate direction in the policy area (that has to be their decision), but checking that they are compliant and have thought through/responded to all the areas you'd expect in the relevant policy.

    In my experience, just ensuring that all the policies of an organisation are consistent and don't contradict each other is sometimes the first step!
  • Hi Charlotte, I’m just completed my L5 Diploma in HR Management and looking to move into the HR field. How did you find making the move?