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Outward has a long and proud history of involving volunteers in what we do, having been set up by a group of parents of children with learning disabilities in the 1970s.

Our volunteers make a hugely valuable contribution to the lives of people we support by reducing isolation, sharing skills, and bringing a fresh outlook to our team. We’re always looking for people that bring the energy and enthusiasm to make a big difference.

To see a list of our volunteering roles, click here.


Why volunteer with Outward?

Not only does being a volunteer help the people we support live their best possible lives, but it is also a great way for you to meet new people, develop your skills, and improve your overall wellbeing too!


We want to make sure that you have a great experience with us and we are proud to work to the Investing in Volunteers standard. Some of the benefits of volunteering with Outward include:

  • Meeting new kinds of people and making new friends
  • Opportunities to engage with your fellow volunteers through our social networking platform and volunteer events
  • Flexible roles that can be adapted to meet your needs and interests
  • A dedicated volunteer supervisor to support you in your role
  • Additional training opportunities to meet your needs and interests
  • Reimbursement for reasonable out-of-pocket expenses
  • References and opportunities for career growth
  • Invitations to special events
  • Birthday or anniversary celebrations
  • Coverage by Outward’s insurance policy


What kinds of roles are available?

There are many ways you can volunteer at Outward; we have opportunities available across services and boroughs and with people who have varying support needs. From leading group activities, to supporting office admin, or bringing specialised skills in areas such as drama or video editing, we strive to match you in a role that will put your unique skills to use. If you have a special skill that you think would benefit Outward or the people we support, we’d love to hear about it.

One of our main volunteer roles is befriending. As a befriender, you will be matched with a person we support to provide them with companionship. This might look like a weekly phone call, a visit for a cup of tea, or an outing in the local area – just as in any other friendship, it’s up to you both to decide what you’d like to get up to! Befriending is a meaningful way of combating loneliness and isolation for everyone.


What is expected of Outward volunteers?

Outward volunteers must:

  • Be 18 years of age or older
  • Uphold our values of engaging, enabling, and empowering the people we support
  • Treat everyone with dignity & respect
  • Complete our mandatory training and inductions
  • Comply with our policies and procedures
  • Commit to volunteering for the time frame laid out in the volunteer description
  • Attend quarterly volunteer check-ins
  • Protect confidentiality
  • Perform their duties to the best of their ability and within the boundaries of their role description
  • Be punctual and reliable
  • Be friendly, a strong communicator, and take initiative

You can find out more about our recruitment process here:

Download volunteer info pack


Can I volunteer as part of a college or university placement?

Yes! We have had placement relationships with a range of educational institutions from Health Psychology Students at University College London, to Health and Social Care students from City and Islington College, to Applied Theatre students at the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama. If you think the skills you are learning could help us improve the lives of the people we support, please send us an email at


Celebrating our Differences

At Outward, we know that our strength lies in our differences. As such, we are striving to  develop a diverse team of volunteers by making our opportunities as responsive to the different needs of our volunteers as possible. If there is any way that we can make our application process or a volunteer role more accessible for you, please let us know how we can support you and we will do our best to make any reasonable adjustments.


Feedback from our volunteers

“It has been a great experience to see how my involvement can change aspects of people’s lives, while helping someone to gain more self-confidence.”

“Amazing experience. Love working with the people I support.”

“Outward has definitely given me a new focus on how support and care should be delivered, while at the same time emphasising human dignity.”

“Paul is very well-liked by the all the people he supports as well as colleagues and is a well-integrated team member. He adds and improves the service by giving colleagues feedback through empathising from the perspective of those we support as he also receives support himself. He is able to give us a better perspective on how to provide care as a result. We are very lucky to have him and he has also developed his skills whilst being a volunteer and has also a paid job outside the organisation.” (Zahour Akhtar, Care and Support Co-ordinator)