Volunteer with us

All kinds of volunteers commit time and effort that help us give children better chances in life.

Every year, a wide range of people help us carry out our vital work with children and young people by volunteering their time, passion and skills.

Who can be a volunteer?

Anyone over 18 can apply to be a Coram volunteer. You don’t need to be a children’s services expert because we have so many practical ways you can get involved.  You can volunteer as an individual or as part of a team – many of our teams volunteer through their workplace, for example. Volunteering opportunities range from being a Coram Beanstalk reading helper to helping people in need on our Child Law Advice and Children’s Advocacy helplines.

The rewards

As a volunteer, you will receive: 

  • full training in your chosen volunteering activity 
  • regular support sessions with your volunteer coordinator 
  • reasonable expenses paid

However, many of our volunteers say that doing something worthwhile in their spare time that will have a lasting, positive impact is the best reward for giving up their time.

What happens when I apply to volunteer?

Once you have applied to be a volunteer, you may need an enhanced DBS check and reference checks, depending on the kind of role you have applied for. We will then invite you to an interview and, in some cases, there will be a two-stage assessment process. The first stage will be general to all volunteers and the second will be more specific to the volunteering role(s) you are interested in. 

Start your volunteer experience today

Explore our range of opportunities which suit different levels of expertise and time-commitments, and find out how to apply below.

Current volunteering opportunities

Independent Visitors

Time commitment: Varies according to location but generally 2-4+ hours a month on a long-term basis

Make a difference to a looked after child by becoming an Independent Visitor – a reliable, consistent role model who visits a child independently.

This volunteer role involves taking part in activities on a one to one basis with a matched child, such as walking, playing in the park, visiting a museum, bike riding, sports etc.

This is a long term, one-to-one commitment, which gives huge benefits to both the child and the volunteer.

Reading Helpers

Time commitment: Up to four hours per week for a sustained period in the school term

A Coram Beanstalk reading helper is a volunteer who is trained and supported to help children develop their reading confidence and ability. You’ll work with children on a one-to-one basis, giving them consistent support to practise reading skills and increase confidence and self-esteem.

Becoming a reading helper allows you to directly help children in your local community and share your skills and love of reading with the younger  generation. It can also help to improve your own wellbeing and gain experience in working in a school environment.

The children we support come from a wide range of backgrounds… and so do our volunteers. You don’t need any previous experience so if you think you’d enjoy being a reading helper and are fluent in spoken and written English, please get in touch.

Child Law Advice Helpline

Time commitment: One full day a week for a minimum of three months. We operate a one month probationary period.

If you have studied or are in the process of studying either family, child or education law, you can volunteer for our Child Law Advice helpline and provide advice and guidance to families.

In this volunteer role as a legal adviser, you would be advising callers on education, family and child law. Assisting on this advice line provides a lifeline to clients who without our assistance would not be able to access justice.

We provide full training on child, family and education law and many of our volunteers have subsequently been employed by us.

Parent Champions

Time commitment: 2-3 hours per week

If you’re a parent, you can volunteer a few hours a week to talk to other parents about the local services available to families.

By sharing personal experiences of using a local service for their children, Parent Champions can build trust and put any worries at ease for other parents. This will encourage parents to make the best of the help available to them and their children.

By becoming a Parent Champion, you can help to grow your confidence and transferable skills, which creates a pathway for training and employment whilst also giving back to your local community.

Photo credit: Theodore Wood
"I'm proud of setting up the weekly peer-to-peer group at the local library. I love the creativity and preparation involved in running the group and seeing parents and children interact and have fun. We aim to break barriers and reduce isolation. The biggest benefit for me is seeing people grow in themselves and become confident."
Parent Champions volunteer
"I was searching for a voluntary organisation where I could support young, struggling readers. Yours stuck out because I had read Coram Boy and taken my daughter to the theatre to see it. Memorable."
Coram Beanstalk volunteer
"I found volunteering for CLAS was an invaluable experience. I volunteered with CLAS whilst completing my law degree and found it complemented my studies. The placement enabled me to develop my knowledge in family law and learn about education law which is not a course covered by most universities."