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Volunteering in Bristol

Volunteering is more than just lending a hand; it’s about building communities, expressing empathy and creating positive change. In Bristol in particular, there are various opportunities to contribute your time and skills to causes that matter.
Where to Volunteer in Bristol

Whether your passion lies in animal welfare, supporting the homeless or aiding refugees, below are 5 organisations in Bristol offering meaningful volunteer work today.

Bristol Animal Rescue Centre (ARC)

Bristol Animal Rescue Centre (ARC) stands as the city’s oldest and largest animal charity. It was founded in 1886 by Edward T Parker, who after finding a puppy in a Bristol snowstorm, realised there was nowhere for the animal to go. Since then, the charity has grown significantly and today encompasses both the Bristol Dogs & Cats Home and the RSCPA Bristol & District Branch. Volunteers at ARC can engage in a variety of activities, from office-based tasks to hands-on animal care.

The Julian Trust Night Shelter

The Julian Trust Night Shelter is a beacon of hope for the homeless population of Bristol, which is speculated to be the second largest outside of London. Providing food, warmth and emergency beds, the shelter’s open-door policy ensures that everyone feels welcome, regardless of their circumstances.

Volunteers are essential to the shelter’s daily operations, working on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday evenings, from 7pm-10pm. The opportunities have more to do with the day-to-day running of the shelter, though they are also open to hearing from people who have more specialised skills to offer.

Avon Wildlife Trust

If you’re committed to protecting wildlife and inspiring others to do the same, Avon Wildlife Trust is the perfect organisation for you. The trust not only manages 30 nature reserves, but runs educational programmes that help connect people with the natural world. Their primary strategy is centred on nature recovery, empowering people to take action and embrace natural solutions to environmental challenges.

By volunteering with Avon Wildlife Trust, you gain invaluable experience in areas ranging from hands-on conservation work to educational outreach. They provide fantastic opportunities to develop practical skills in wildlife preservation, which will enable you to make a tangible impact. If your interests lie outside of these listed opportunities, you can also contact them directly to discover a volunteer role that’s right for you.


Striving to address the educational disparities faced by children from socially and economically disadvantaged backgrounds, IntoUniversity provides a “home-from-home” environment for children and young people aged 7 and up. This allows them to be equipped with programmes that can help them achieve their academic potential and gain valuable skills for life.

IntoUniversity is looking for passionate volunteers in Bristol who are able to fully commit to their role. Some of these volunteering opportunities include mentoring students to support their academic, social and future development, as well as hosting after-school sessions for both primary and secondary school-aged children.

Refugee Women of Bristol (RWoB)

Governed by women from the refugee and asylum-seeking community, Refugee Women of Bristol is a multi-ethnic and faith organisation committed to addressing the needs of refugee women in the city. Every year, the organisation helps more than 300 women and pre-school children, providing them with better options and allowing them to secure brighter futures.

Volunteers play a crucial role in providing services at RWoB, including one-to-one reading, arts and crafts and cooking. The charity is also on the lookout for English tutors and assistants. By becoming a volunteer for Refugee Women of Bristol, you empower refugee women, improving their language skills and increasing their chances of gaining self-sufficiency and employment.

Start Making a Difference Today

As you can see, there are countless ways to contribute and make a meaningful impact in Bristol, but you don’t have to stop there! Compass is actively seeking compassionate individuals who are interested in fostering in Bristol, with thousands of children awaiting a safe and loving home. In fact, according to a 2023 report by Bristol’s County Council, there are over 700 vulnerable children living in care within the city. By opening your heart and your home, you can make a lasting impact, using your time and effort to shape a brighter future for a child in need.

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