Working in partnership with Ulster Rugby

One in four people experience a mental health problem in any one year.

That’s someone in every family, workplace and friendship circle. In the UK it's around 14 million people.

Ulster Rugby senior woman support the Extern launch

That's why we are working in partnership with Ulster, to bring communities together to improve mental wellbeing.

Extern Extras logo

Download our information leaflet


Extern transforms lives as the leading social justice charity across the island of Ireland. We believe another chance can change a life. Each year we speak up for and support more than 25,000 adults, children, young people and families.  

Volunteers can help us enable them to overcome their challenges and empower positive change.

By contributing your time and skills, together we can help offer even more life-changing supports to the most vulnerable in our communities.

Our latest volunteer roles


Images of Externs volunteers at various events

Interested in volunteering with Extern?

We recruit volunteer in two cohorts throughout the year, and our next volunteer recruitment drive will take place towards the end of summer 2022.

The roles we recruit for can vary depending on which services are recruiting volunteers at that time, however to give you an idea of what might be on offer later this year, recent roles included Telephone Befriender, LAC (Looked After Children) Mentor, Caterer, Administrative Support Volunteer and Youth Engagement Volunteer.

When we are actively recruiting volunteers, you can click on ‘apply now’ at the top of this page to visit our recruitment portal.

Outside of our recruitment drives, please use the sign up form below to register your interest, and our Volunteer Coordinator will get in touch with you when recruitment opens and share information with you on what roles are on offer and how to apply!

Use the sign up form below to register your interest, and our Volunteer Coordinator will get in touch with you when recruitment opens and share information with you on what roles are on offer and how to apply!

Register your interest


Find out what it's like to volunteer with Extern





Why volunteer with Extern?

Extern recognises that volunteers are a core part of our team, with a distinctive but complementary role alongside our paid staff.

We benefit from the skills, experience and enthusiasm which they bring to our organisation.

Image of volunteers holding large inflatable football

We believe that volunteers should benefit from their experience too, and we are committed to supporting our volunteers.

Volunteers complement the work we do, and can often bring fresh ideas to our ways of working. In fact, many of our current staff started off volunteering many years ago and didn’t want to leave the organisation!


What sort of skills or qualities are required to be an Extern volunteer?

We are on the lookout for people who are friendly, respectful and reliable, and who support our values of being caring and non-judgmental.

Image of volunteers with Ulster Rugby players

Each of our volunteer roles has a role descriptor outlining the responsibilities and key tasks, as well as the skills and experience needed for each role. We provide a range of appropriate training too – but the most important thing is to have a positive, professional and enthusiastic attitude towards volunteering.


What kinds of roles are available for volunteers with Extern?

We regularly review our volunteer roles to ensure our needs are met and that we are continuing to offer meaningful opportunities.

Opportunities are available across our organisation and the roles are diverse, these could include volunteering within our young people and families services as a Youth Engagement Volunteer, volunteering in one of our adult residential hostels as a Catering Volunteer, or even volunteering as a Fundraising within our Corporate offices.

Our opportunities change throughout the year in response to the changing needs of the organisation, please see the top of the page to find out which roles are currently open to applications.


What are the benefits of volunteering with Extern?

Anyone choosing to volunteer with Extern can expect to receive a thorough training and induction programme, delivered by our award-winning Practice Development Unit. You can also expect to feel supported and encouraged throughout your volunteering journey. 

Our volunteers feel a great sense of pride in the work they do, and feel they have made a real difference in their community.

Our volunteers tell us that by volunteering with Extern they have gained valuable experience, built up meaningful relationships and have grown in confidence too.


What steps do I need to take next?

If you’d like to simply register your interest or find out more about our processes you can contact our Volunteer Co-ordinator [email protected] who will be happy to provide more details on how to become a volunteer.

The process begins with an online application through our recruitment portal. Once applications have closed, we will review applications and complete a matching exercise to and identify the best fit service or client group for each volunteer.

If an opportunity is available which matches your needs we will arrange an informal interview with the project manager to give you a better understanding of the client group and the role.

If all parties were happy we will then complete our vetting checks (AccessNI/Garda Vetting and references) and we provide a comprehensive training package before volunteers are inducted into their new team.

Image of volunteers smiling and waving

  • After applying, we will review your application, assess your suitability for the role and arrange an informal interview with one of our managers.
  • Our Volunteer Co-ordinator will guide you through each step of the way, including the relevant vetting checks such as Access NI/Gardai checks and gathering of references.
  • Once your vetting checks are complete, you will be booked on to the comprehensive Volunteer Induction Training Programme (currently being offered by video link).
  • The last step will be to complete your induction into the project you will be volunteering with.
  • The Volunteer Co-ordinator and your new Volunteer Supervisor will guide you through each step of the way.

When could I expect to start volunteering?

We recruit volunteers during set points throughout the year, in line with our training calendars.

From the date that our volunteer recruitment closes we aim to have our successful volunteers completely vetted and booked onto training within 8-10 weeks.

This timescale includes our matching processes, informal interview and vetting checks which can vary in duration and includes obtaining satisfactory references and the relevant AccessNI or Garda check (including international police check where applicable). Our Volunteer Coordinator will stay in touch and guide you through the entire process.  

If successful, following the necessary vetting checks, you will receive a comprehensive suite of training courses to help you to carry out your volunteering role.

Once training has been completed, you Volunteer Supervisor will support your induction into your new role and team, and provide support for as long as you wish to volunteer with us.