Volunteer Programme at Emerson

Volunteer at Emerson - Change your Life!

Our volunteer programme has been running for the last few years with volunteers coming to spend their time working in either the house, garden or kitchen teams; our volunteers play an intrinsic part in the successful day-to-day operation of the College. Whilst the day of a volunteer can sometimes be long and tiring, our volunteers are always full of cheer and play a valuable role in creating an atmosphere that is positive and uplifting.

Volunteers range in age from early twenties to their late fifties and come from across Europe. Very often volunteers report that their time at Emerson has been ‘life-changing’. 


Saskia, from the Netherlands says:

“For the first time in my life I worked in a team and loved it. It was a great experience physically (body), socially (soul) and spiritually (mind)”.

Oscar, from Spain reports: 

"You work at Emerson College as a volunteer and understand that for some reason you've come for the treasure that is in you ... and to improve your English!" 


Photo: Volunteers in Spring and Summer 2016 

To volunteer you must be 18 or over and have a basic knowledge in English. The work is quite hard and you need to be well and fit.

Ideally, we like a volunteer to stay between 3 and 9 months as this allows us and you to bring rhythm to the work with your colleagues. Due to the strict immigration laws in England we can only accept applicants with a European passport.


We are looking for volunteers for the estate, the house team and the kitchen.


Time: 1st April – 12th September 2018

  • Regular tasks in maintaining shrubbery, borders, lawns, woodlands, orchards
  • Making compost
  • Support the team in the vegetable garden when a lot of things need to be harvested, watered or planted
  • Learn about nature; plants, flowers, ornamental shrubs, trees, insects and animals and their relationships in a unique eco-system

We will provide all tools and work gloves.



Time: 5th April – 30th June 2018 and 1st July – 12th September 2018

  • Preparing guest accommodation including cleaning, making beds and general house keeping
  • Working in the college laundry
  • Setting up class rooms and other college teaching spaces
  • Setting, serving and clearing college meals and refreshment breaks, washing up
  • General house work in and around Pixton House
  • Learning about ecological cleaning methods, creating harmonious spaces and hosting large student groups

 We  will provide you  with suitable work attire (aprons, gloves). Closed shoes (no sandals) are required to work in.



Time: 1st July – 12th September 2018

  • Assisting the college cooks in the preparation of lunch and supper
  • Introduction into Food Hygiene for the kitchen
  • Cleaning the kitchen and kitchen storage areas
  • Restocking supplies and provisions
  • Recycling and composting
  • Learning some simple receipts and dishes

 We  will provide you  with suitable work attire (aprons, gloves). Closed shoes (no sandals) are required to work in.


On occasion we may ask you to work in another team for a day or two, depending on need, but for the sake of continuity it is generally expected that you will work in one team only.

Please understand that volunteering at Emerson is hard work as there is much to do. We expect that when you are on shift, you are on time and ready to do a full day’s work. We ask for a commitment of 30 working hours in every 7 day period. The shift patterns will vary depending on what team you are in, but there will be days off and free time for everyone in each 7 day period. The work involves weekend work and days off during the week.

In return for your commitment we will look after you. You will share meals with students and staff. Your bedroom (single room) is in a student house with shared toilets and showers. The working language is English and you will be able to practise your English every day. Often the volunteers are invited to participate in festivals, storytelling evenings and lectures or bring in their own initiatives. Many of our volunteers have stayed on in England either to find work, join a course or start a professional training.

We are not able to pay your travel or any form of wages, so you will need to bring some pocket money with you. We can organise English language lessons against a modest fee.

On arrival you will be shown around the college and you will have ample opportunity to get acquainted with your colleagues, the staff and the work you will be doing. We will train you in your work and make you familiar on how to work safely.


Our Contact Details

In order to apply, please fill in the application which you can download here.

All enquires regarding the volunteers programme should be addressed to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

The college reception phone number is +44 (0)1342 822238.