Volunteering for students and young people
Explore your interests, have fun, make a difference in your community. Shape your future through volunteering. Learn how students and young people can make a difference by volunteering.
Formal or informal volunteering
Volunteering is giving your time and skills to help others for no financial gain.
Volunteering can help you work out what the right career is for you, and it’s a great achievement to include in your resume.
As a volunteer you can meet new people, develop new skills, gain experience, build your networks and make a difference while having fun.
You can do informal volunteering, such as helping an elderly neighbour, or volunteering at a local event.
You can also do more structured volunteering with an organisation or a program like the Duke of Edinburgh's International Award.
Some organisations won’t accept young volunteers without parental consent, so it’s important to find the right type of volunteering for your needs, age and skills.
The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award
The Duke of Edinburgh's International Award is also known as the Duke of Ed. It's a global youth development program empowering young people aged 14-24 to explore their full potential.
Students who participate in the award must give service over a set period of time that enables them to experience the benefits that their service provides to others.
Examples of service for the Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award include:
- volunteering with the Rural Fire Service, State Emergency Service or other emergency service organisation that relies on emergency volunteers
- visiting and supporting people in need, such as the elderly, or those with disabilities
- volunteering at a hospital or local care home
- volunteering in animal welfare
- sports coaching or being an umpire or referee
- volunteering at a local foodbank or charity.
The award helps you meet new people, learn new skills, get formal recognition of extracurricular, sporting and volunteer activities and enhance your resume. Some universities recognise it for bonus ATAR points.
There are four main sections to the Duke of Ed including:
Improving physical fitness and wellbeing, encouraging an active and healthy lifestyle.
Unleashing talents and broadening personal interests and skills.
Connecting with the community by giving meaningful service to others.
Purposeful adventuring and team building in an unfamiliar environment.
Gold residential project
A purposeful experience with new people outside their usual place of residence.
Find out more about the Duke of Ed in NSW.
Record volunteer hours on up2now
High school students can record their volunteering hours on the NSW Education Standards Authority up2now website.
Schools must register with up2now to enable students to log in and record their achievements. Please check with your careers adviser if your school is registered.
The NSW Volunteer Recognition Program
Students and young people who volunteer can receive a NSW Volunteer Recognition Program Certificate at the end of each school year.
To be eligible for a certificate student or young person must volunteer in NSW.
All nominations must be submitted electronically by either a volunteer involving organisation, a school or the NSW Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award, which is managed by the NSW Office of Sport.
Learn more about the volunteer recognition program.