About Volunteer Expo Online

Volunteer Expo Online is the new, national event to encourage people to get involved in volunteering, while celebrating the impact of charities, not-for-profits and community organisations.

Volunteers are all unique. Different ages, experiences and skills, but what unites us is our open minds, caring hearts and drive to make a difference.

Whether you’re looking to make your first steps in volunteering, or you’re already active in a number of ways, there is something for you.

This virtual event means you can participate from anywhere, and tickets are completely free!

The Power of Volunteering

The impact of COVID-19 on society has been huge. But in the face of challenges, it provides opportunities for us to come together and create change.

Volunteer Expo Online will give you chance to discover how charities and not-for-profits have been instrumental in keeping society moving, and what role you can play in the future.

Main Stage - Friday

2021-05-07 10:00:00

Tales from the Wilderness

Ben Fogle

Ben’s inspirational speech will cover his adventures and challenges as part of a team and team leader.  He will discuss his initial TV experience as part of a diverse group of volunteers marooned on the Island of Taransay in the Outer Hebrides as part of the series Castaway.


2021-05-07 12:00:00

The Power of YOU

Amy and Ella Meek - Kids Against Plastic

Amy and Ella Meek are the teenage cofounders of the educational, environmental charity Kids Against Plastic. Join them as they talk about their work to encourage a reduction in plastic usage, educate both the young and old on environmental issues, and inspire long-lasting action across generations.

2021-05-07 13:00:00

What impact has the pandemic had on volunteering and what is likely to be the legacy for the future?

Sarah Vibert - CEO of The National Council for Voluntary Organisations

This talk will explore ways in which volunteering has changed during the pandemic – changes to who volunteers, what roles volunteers play and how volunteering is organised.  It will then consider what the legacy might be for volunteering, with a focus on how we can enable volunteering to be more inclusive.

2021-05-07 14:00:00

Mental Health, Media and Me.

Katie Thistleton - TV and radio presenter

Broadcaster Katie Thistleton talks about how her own mental health and her interest in the subject has shaped her career in TV and radio and how she has built resilience to deal with the everyday challenges those working in the industry face, as well as how volunteering has impacted on her personal and professional life. Katie is a journalist and author of children’s advice book Dear Katie, was a CBBC presenter for many years and now presents on Radio 1 whilst also training to be a counsellor

2021-05-07 15:00:00

A little help goes a long way

Steve Brown - Broadcaster, Paralympian, Mentor and coach

Nobody can do it all on their own. TV presenter and mentor Steve Brown wants to tell you how volunteers helped open the door and his eyes to all kinds of possibilities.  

Workshop Hub - Friday

2021-05-07 10:00:00

Solution to Pollution

Beach Guardian

Join the Beach Guardian co-founder and marine biologist Emily for a look into some of the key issues facing the environment. As well as examining topics such as plastic pollution, this session will also look at the solutions, and what changes we can make in our lives to tackle the problem. 

Workshop Length:16 mins

Q&A unavailable


2021-05-07 10:30:00

Supporting Unpaid Carers in the UK

Carers UK

There are over 6.5 million unpaid carers in the UK who are looking after loved ones who are older, disabled or seriously ill. Carers UK is a national charity dedicated to supporting and providing a voice for carers. Find out more about our work and what you can do to connect carers with vital information and support.

Workshop length: 20 minutes

Q&A live chat feature is open for 30 minutes

2021-05-07 11:00:00

Dementia UK and our Volunteer Ambassadors

Dementia UK

Dementia UK provides specialist dementia support for families through our Admiral Nurse service. Join us to learn more about this crucial service and how you can support us to provide more Admiral Nurses in the future. 

Workshop length: 22 minutes

Q&A live chat feature is open for 30 mins

2021-05-07 11:30:00

Companion Calls - Alzheimer's Society and Corporate Volunteering during Covid-19

Alzheimers Society

The coronavirus pandemic is cutting off thousands of people affected by dementia from their families, their communities, and the services they rely on. Alzheimer’s Society launched its Emergency response which included a new volunteer-led service. With over 55,000 telephone calls made, Companion Calls are an opportunity for people affected by dementia to have an informal chat with a volunteer.

Workshop length: 28 minutes

Q&A live chat feature is open for 30 minutes


2021-05-07 12:00:00

Local Volunteering in a global movement to end modern slavery

The Salvation Army - Anti-Trafficking & Modern Slavery Unit

Volunteers are a vital part of our programme and bring invaluable skills to the service. Join our session to learn about the role of our volunteers and the support we provide to survivors of modern slavery on their journey to sustained freedom. Hear about how you could volunteer for The Salvation Army's Survivor Support Service and be part of a global movement to end modern slavery.

Workshop length: 13 minutes

Q&A live chat feature is open for 30 minutes

2021-05-07 12:30:00

Creating Disability Inclusive Volunteering

Leonard Cheshire

Disabled people are underrepresented in volunteering roles. In addition, disabled people report more negative experiences when volunteering; with 48% of disabled volunteers compared to 33% of non-disabled volunteers. This interactive session will provide the audience with an opportunity to hear strategies to ensure that volunteering is disability inclusive.

Workshop length: 24 minutes

Q&A live chat feature is open for 30 minutes


2021-05-07 13:00:00

How has Covid-19 affected access to medicine around the world

International Health Partners

In communities around the world affected by chronic poverty, conflict or disasters, easily treatable diseases can mean chronic pain, poor quality of life or even a threat to lives.The Covid-19 pandemic has now further reduced access to quality medicines in lower-income countries. In this session you will get to hear about Europe's largest coordinator of donated medicines, International Health Partners, on how targeted medical donations from healthcare companies can supply disaster hit and vulnerable communities around the world.

Workshop length: 30 minutes

Q&A live chat feature is open for 30 mins

2021-05-07 13:30:00

Saving lives through clean water - A Rotary club disaster response

Water Survival Box

Hear how a small Rotary club responded to a major disaster and started a project to continue to help victims of disasters.

Workshop length:26 minutes

Q&A live chat feature is open for 30 minutes

2021-05-07 14:00:00

What are health inequalities, and how can volunteering help to overcome them?

National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO)

Many people face a range of inequalities in their health and wellbeing. Volunteering can offer lots of opportunities to help to overcome these inequalities. In this session we will explore what health inequalities are, and the impact they can have for both the general public and for volunteers themselves. Join us to hear about some of the ways volunteering can help to overcome inequalities and improve health and wellbeing. 

Workshop length: 22 minutes

Q&A live chat feature is open for 30 minutes

2021-05-07 14:30:00

RSPB Volunteers - Not who you think we are


RSPB Volunteers not who you think we are, come and explore the range of volunteering opportunities and meet some of our amazing volunteers who are far from a stereotype.  

Workshop length: 8 minutes

Q&A live chat feature is open for 30 minutes

2021-05-07 15:00:00

Community Defibrillation and the Chain of Survival

Community Heartbeat

The establishment of a community defibrillator needs to be undertaken correctly, with Governance, Sustainability and resilience at the core of the project. The Community Heartbeat Trust charity are the leaders in community defibrillation. Come and learn about the ‘Why, How and Wherefore’ about defibrillators in this presentation.

Workshop length: 27 minutes

Q&A live chat feature is open for 30 minutes

2021-05-07 15:30:00

Volunteer for leprosy: help us to find the missing millions


An estimated 3-4 million people are living with undiagnosed leprosy across the globe, and each day this disease causes more damage to their health, livelihood, and future. All this, for a disease that is entirely curable. By volunteering your time to Lepra, you can help us to reach those who fear coming forward, due to the prejudice and discrimination they face. 

Workshop length: 15 minutes

Q&A live chat feature is open for 30 minutes


2021-05-07 16:00:00

Promoting Wellbeing in a Pandemic

AmbaCare Solutions

Covid-19 is probably the largest social, health and economic pandemic that we have seen in our lifetimes. Join us to see how we have adapted the way we deliver our projects to disadvantaged, vulnerable people, and how invaluable our volunteers are in supporting people to improve their health and wellbeing. 



Workshop Hub - Saturday

2021-05-08 10:00:00

Volunteer Together - the power of local groups to change lives

Motor Neurone Disease Association

Charities may be national, but people are local. Our Association covers England, Wales and Northern Ireland, and our research reach is global, but we recognise that people living with MND are individuals and live in local communities. Therefore it is essential that our support is tailored locally to individual need. Our volunteers are central to making this a daily reality.

Workshop length: 

Q&A live chat feature is open for 30 minutes

2021-05-08 10:30:00

Volunteer Visitors - No amputee need cope alone

Limbless Association

Our Volunteer Visitor Programme is a peer support service which matches recent amputees with more experienced amputees who can provide practical advice and information relating to limb loss. We now have a number of volunteering roles available and in this workshop, you will learn about the Volunteer Visitor Programme, the different roles available and the support and training that you will receive. 

Workshop Length:23 minutes

Q&A Live chat feature is open for 30 minutes

2021-05-08 11:00:00

How volunteers at Cancer Research UK are helping us to beat cancer

Cancer Research UK

Hear from our Cancer Research UK's smart, bold and ambitious volunteers talking about what volunteering means to them, how they volunteer and the impact that has on beating cancer. 

Workshop length: 24 minutes

Q&A live chat feature is open for 30 minutes

2021-05-08 11:30:00

How becoming a Community Speaker can help your favourite charity - and you!

Alzheimer's Research UK

We are inviting you to join us in hearing about our Community Speaker volunteer role and how this role can impact both the charity you support and you too. During this session, we will talk about the Community Speaker programme at Alzheimer's Research UK; what it involves, how to get started and how you will be making a difference. Hear from one of our Community Speakers as well as the charity to understand more about the role and how to get signed up.

Workshop length: 20 minutes

Q&A live chat feature is open for 30 minutes

2021-05-08 12:00:00

Citizens' key role in ending modern slavery

Rotary Action Group Against Slavery

Simple actions by ordinary citizens will together reverse the exponential growth of modern slavery both at home and abroad. Citizens played a significant role in ending transatlantic slavery in the 19c. Today we are better equipped than ever to end this scourge. Learn simple steps that will ensure you can play your part.

Workshop length: 29 minutes

Q&A live chat feature is open for 30 minutes 

2021-05-08 12:30:00

From Hoglets to hedgehogs - engaging the next generation

Hedgehog Friendly Town

Learn all about our hedgehog rehabilitation centre. Understand why they are in such decline and explore how you can help. Have a go at our challenges and meet some adorable hedgehogs.

Workshop length: 27 minutes

Q&A live chat feature is open for 30 minutes

2021-05-08 13:00:00

Volunteers' Week, 1-7 June 2021 - Get involved and be inspired to volunteer.

National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO)

Ever wondered why people volunteer? The reasons are rich and varied! In this workshop you'll be dazzled by the UK's volunteering stats and get to hear three volunteer stories from Radio Brockley, Family Volunteering Club and St John Ambulance. We'll share the theme and launch plans for this year's #VolunteersWeek and show you how we're tying it in with #MonthOfCommunity.

Workshop length: 29 minutes

Q&A live chat feature is open for 30 minutes

2021-05-08 13:30:00

Fighting Covid-19 together - Health volunteering during a pandemic

St John Ambulance

During Covid, St John Ambulance had to shift its focus and way of working to support the NHS and the health of the nation through the pandemic. Join us in this session to find out how we rapidly adapted our training, used employer-supported volunteering and took on a mass recruitment campaign to give as many volunteers as possible the opportunity to contribute to the health of their communities during this emergency.

Workshop length: 29 minutes

Q&A live chat feature is open for 30 minutes

2021-05-08 14:00:00

Volunteering to end homelessness in the UK


Crisis is the national charity for homeless people. This workshop will feature our unique volunteer effort each Christmas, and how it has evolved over 50 years, plus our current partnership with The Scouts and their A Million Hands programme, working with 1000s of children, young people and adult volunteers to end homelessness in communities across the UK.

Workshop length: 20 minutes

Q&A live chat feature is open for 30 minutes

2021-05-08 14:30:00

Come onboard with Mercy Ships

Mercy Ships

This session will help you discover international volunteering opportunities onboard the world’s largest charity hospital ships. Anyone can volunteer with Mercy Ships, from school-leavers to retirees, or someone taking a career break. Join this session to learn about all our opportunities to serve in West Africa.

Workshop length: 28 minutes

Q&A live chat feature is open for 30 minutes

2021-05-08 15:00:00

Covid-19 and the rise of Micro Volunteering

Royal Voluntary Service

Royal Voluntary Service, together with GoodSAM, set up the NHS Volunteer Responders programme on behalf of NHS England at the outset of the pandemic in March 2020. Find out how digital technology enabled this micro volunteering scheme and supported other programmes run by the charity during the pandemic. You’ll also be able to hear about the different volunteer roles on offer through the charity and how to join the team.

Workshop length: 19 minutes

Q&A live chat feature is open for 30 minutes

2021-05-08 15:30:00

'Water is Life' - WellBoring's journey to provide safe water to 250,000 children in Africa by the end of 2021


WellBoring is a Volunteer-led UK Charity focussing on new boreholes and the refurbishment of abandoned handpumps in Primary Schools in Sub-Saharan Africa.  We are looking for Volunteers to help steer the Charity and also Fundraisers - 99% of funds go straight out to Africa to 'Make a Difference'.

Workshop length: 15 minutes

Q&A live chat feature is open for 30 minutes



Main Stage - Saturday

2021-05-08 10:00:00

My Story

Brooke Kinsella - An actor of stage and screen

An actor of stage and screen, in the last decade, Brooke has been a passionate and avid campaigner against knife crime, after her 16-year-old brother, Ben Kinsella, was tragically murdered in 2008. Brooke’s campaigning has generated millions of pounds for anti-knife crime services. She also founded a Trust in her brother's memory, which focuses on early intervention and education.

2021-05-08 11:00:00

Disasters, coronavirus and climate change: in an ever changing world, ShelterBox’s work is more important than ever

Sanj Srikanthan - CEO of ShelterBox

ShelterBox works with disaster-hit families. In 2021, the world’s most vulnerable will be facing a perilous triple threat – disasters, coronavirus and climate change. Through innovation, ambition and collective action, we can help save lives and provide homes to families on the front line, and remind ourselves that each of us can make a difference.

2021-05-08 12:00:00

An audience with Frank Bruno, in and out of the ring

Frank Bruno - World Champion Boxer

Frank, World Champion Boxer speaks through his experiences and how he has drawn attention to his own metal health. He will tell you how through his charity Foundation, this has helped others.

2021-05-08 14:00:00

A year like no other: how volunteering was changed and why we can’t go back

Catherine Johnstone - CEO of Royal Voluntary Service

Catherine will share the experience of being on the frontline of the pandemic and share her thoughts about the opportunity to expand our civic society to be more inclusive.

2021-05-08 15:00:00

The Future of Volunteering

Matt Hyde - CEO of The Scouts Association

Matt Hyde will share how the Scouts adapted during the pandemic and how the movement continues to modernise to attract new volunteers. He will conclude the conference with an optimistic vision of volunteering in the UK - one where the giving of time and acts of kindness are at the heart of our communities.

What’s On

Whatever causes or areas you’re passionate about, Volunteer Expo Online has something for you. Your free ticket allows you to:

  • Meet over 60 organisations in the Virtual Exhibition.
  • Enjoy presentations and Q&As with celebrity campaigners, sector leaders and volunteer heroes
  • Participate in interactive live workshops
  • Network and chat with exhibitors and other visitors
  • Download valuable materials to take away with you
  • Catch up on demand for up to 30 days after the event.

We’ll be covering topics from mental health and the environment, to digital fundraising and family volunteering. There is so much to see, learn and do.

We are open to everyone, with a number of sessions designed for young people to showcase the value in getting involved in volunteering at an early age.

If you’re a business with a social conscience or corporate social responsibility programmes, Volunteer Expo Online is a great opportunity for employees to gain continuing professional development.

Some of our headline speakers appearing on the Main Stage:

Frank Bruno MBE, Former world champion boxer talks about his fight to knockout the stigma associated with mental health

Ben Fogle, Award winning broadcaster and adventurer

Steve Brown, Broadcaster, Paralympian, mentor and coach

Brooke Kinsella, Actor and campaigner against knife crime

Sarah Vibert, Interim Chief Executive, NCVO

Catherine Johnstone CBE, Chief Executive Royal Voluntary Service

Katie Thistleton, BBC Radio Presenter, author and mental health campaigner

Kids Against Plastic, Founded by sisters Amy and Ella Meek, this charity empowers young people to protect the environment.

Sanj Srikanthan, Cheif Executive, ShelterBox

Matt Hyde, Chief Executive, Scouts Association

Hosted By

Volunteer Expo is hosted by Rotary in Great Britain and Ireland. As one of the world’s leading membership and humanitarian service organisations, Rotary has been at the heart of communities around the world for over 100 years

Our Partners and Sponsors

Our Charity Partner

National Council for Voluntary Organisations


Our Sponsors



Warner Leisure Hotels


Royal Voluntary Service

Bartlett Group

Frequently Asked Questions

Anyone with an interest in volunteering!
Absolutely nothing! Like the live event, the Volunteer Expo Online is completely FREE.
You will be able to engage with other attendees and exhibitors on a 1:1 basis.
No. You don’t need to download or install any software. You need access to the internet and it’s a good idea to ensure you have strong internet connection to enable high quality video streaming. The event is accessible from desktop, mobile and tablet devices.
No. Some attendees who wish to chat with you may require a video chat, but it is not essential to take part in the event.
Once you have completed your registration, your login details will be emailed to you ahead of the event. You can use these to access the online event. You must register in order to obtain access details.
If you have a query which is not related to the platform software, please contact the event organisers on hello@volunteerexpo.co.uk or Event Manager Louise Smith.
This event is online. You do not have to travel to any specific location. You can participate anywhere that you have internet access. The event is accessible from desktop, mobile and tablet devices.
  • Participate in a range of semi-live workshop sessions in the Workshop Hub
  • See our headline speakers live in the Main Auditorium
  • Chat and network with peers as you would at a live event
  • Visit and browse dozens of charities and organisations in the exhibition hall.
Yes. Just like any live event, we will have a visitor bag for you. You can add documents from exhibitors to an online ‘swag bag’ in your account and then email them to yourself or share items with colleagues.
Of course. If you have any interested peers, you can direct them to register using the main registration link!
Yes, the platform will be accessible for 30 days where you can view content on-demand.
Please contact Sales and Marketing Manager Emma Howell in the first instance on emma.howell@rotarygbi.org
You can also download an Exhibitor pack from our website .