Volunteer with Books2Africa for a rewarding experience

Books2Africa is a UK-registered charity (1152599) and a charity in Special Consultative Status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council. Founded in 2012, the charity has grown from a student society at the University of Kent to an internationally recognised non-governmental organisation that continues to impact the UK and Africa from the cathedral city of Canterbury. We have remote and office-based volunteering opportunities for people in the UK or international volunteers looking to enrol on an IVP programme and get a Tier 5 charity worker visa.

Benefits of volunteering with us

Books2Africa’s Processing Centre in Canterbury is a safe and welcoming environment with a diverse and vibrant group of people working together to achieve our charitable objectives in a relaxed atmosphere. Whether you are looking to gain work experience or looking to give back after retiring, we have a variety of tasks that are suitable for you. All our managers and supervisors are friendly and available to offer you the training and support needed to get started. Do also take a look at our COVID-19 Risk Assessment for measures put in place to ensure high standards of health and hygiene in the workplace.

Make An Impact

Giving your free time to help with our mission of readcycling in the UK and improving the quality of education for people in Africa is the most important reason to volunteer. As a charity, our work will not be possible without our volunteers.

Gain Work Experience

Wether you have little or tons of experience, we offer all our volunteers adequate and professional training to equip them with the skills required for the roles they apply for. We also offer a certificate and reference letters after you complete 200 hours.

Make New Connections

With a diverse group of volunteers from all age groups, genders and cultures, you can develop new connections. We also use the Slack app for official messaging to enable seamless collaboration between office-based and remote team members.

Enjoy Free Lunch

 Volunteers who start their shift at our Canterbury Processing Centre before 10 am are eligible to order lunch from their favourite restaurants via our Deliveroo app (max £10). You can also bring your own food and use our kitchen facilities with tea/coffee available.

Enjoy Free Travel

Volunteers coming to work a shift at our Canterbury Processing Centre in groups of 3 or more are eligible to request a shared taxi ride to and from work. Expenses incurred if travelling to your shift alone via public transport or personal car can be claimed back (max £10).

Available Roles for UK Residents

If you are currently residing in the UK as a UK citizen or on a visa (such as a student or spousal visa) you can apply for the following volunteering roles:

Processing Support Officer (UK, Canterbury)

Processing Support Officers are required to join the Processing Team at our Processing Centre in Canterbury. You can volunteer on your own or as part of a group with your friends/colleagues.

  • Role Description: You’ll be processing donated books by checking, scanning, and cataloguing them into our database. You’ll be using a barcode scanner and a keyboard to scan or type the barcodes, ISBN numbers or metadata (title, author and publisher) of donated.
  • Skills Required: Able to read, write and communicate fluently in English and have good typing skills. Experience in data entry is desirable but not essential as training will be provided.
  • Location: Books2Africa Processing Centre, Unit 2, Barton Business Park, New Dover Road, Canterbury, CT1 3AA.
  • Available Shifts: Volunteers can arrive at anytime between 9am to 5pm, Mondays to Saturdays, but only those who arrive before 10 am are entitled to free lunch.
  • Certificates and references: A certificate and references are provided only after completing a minimum of 200 volunteering hours.

Campaign Support Officer (UK, Remote)

Campaign Support Officers are required to join our Marketing Team, working remotely and at your convenience. You can volunteer on your own or as part of a group with your friends/colleagues.

  • Role Description: You’ll be supporting our cause by distributing Books2Africa flyers into letter boxes within your community, encouraging people to ‘readcycle’ their books and educational resources by donating them to Books2Africa. Flyers will be delivered to you by post and you’ll be using the Strava app to track the streets you’ve covered and calories burned during your shift. 
  • Skills Required: Able to read, write and communicate fluently in English, and have a smartphone that supports the Strava app. This role also requires you to take walks when leafletting, but the duration of each walk will be up to you.
  • Location: This is a remote volunteering role so access to a computer and internet is required for team meetings on Zoom, and a smart device to install apps used for leafletting (Strava), internal messaging (Slack) and tracking your hours (SignInApp).
  • Available Shifts: Volunteers can work remotely and flexibly to complete their assigned tasks at any convenient time within the deadline of each task.
  • Certificates and references: A certificate and references are provided only after completing a minimum of 200 volunteering hours.

Fundraising Support Officer (UK, Remote)

Fundraising Support Officers are required to join the Fundraising Team, working remotely as part of our Volunteer Fundraising Committee.

  • Role Description: You’ll be identifying and contacting potential sponsors and completing grant/funding applications to raise money towards our 1 Million Book Fund which covers the shipping cost of 1,000,000 books and 1,000 computers from the UK to Africa annually.
  • Skills Required:  Good IT skills, excellent reading, writing and research skills and ability to work independently and as part of a team. Experience in writing grant applications is desirable but not essential as training will be provided.
  • Location: This is a remote volunteering role so access to a computer and internet is required for team meetings on Zoom, and a smart device to install apps used for internal messaging (Slack) and tracking your hours (SignInApp).
  • Available Shifts: Volunteers can work remotely and flexibly to complete their assigned tasks at any convenient time within the deadline of each task.
  • Certificates and references: A certificate and references are provided only after completing a minimum of 200 volunteering hours.

Tech Support Officer (UK)

Tech Support Officers are required to join the Tech Refurbishing Team at our Processing Centre in Canterbury.

  • Role Description: Responsible for testing and refurbishing donated technology, including but not limited to laptops, desktops, tablets, mobile phones and game consoles. You will also be trained on how to list eligible devices for sale on our online charity shop.
  • Skills Required: Fluency in reading and speaking in English. Good knowledge of computers, willingness to learn and ability to work in a team.
  • Location: Books2Africa Processing Centre, Unit 2, Barton Business Park, New Dover Road, Canterbury, CT1 3AA.
  • Available Shifts: Volunteers can arrive at anytime between 9am to 5pm, Mondays to Fridays, but only those who arrive at 9am will be entitled to free lunch.
  • Certificates and references: A certificate and references are provided only after completing a minimum of 200 volunteering hours.

Available Roles for Non-UK Citizens

If you are currently residing outside the UK and are not a UK citizen, Books2Africa can sponsor your Tier 5 Charity Worker visa to volunteer with us in the UK on our International Volunteering Programme (IVP) for 6 months or 1 year.

International Volunteer Programme - UK Tier 5 Charity Worker Visa

Our International Volunteering Programme (IVP) allows you to gain first-hand experience in the practical operations of an international Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) and provides you the opportunity to develop transferable skills such as teamwork, fundraising and communication.

Interns on our International Volunteers Programme work primarily at our Processing Centre in Canterbury, in various support roles as Support Officers and are involved in a variety of tasks including but not limited to; processing (cataloguing, sorting and packing donated materials), charity shop sales (valuing and listing donated materials for sale) and tech refurbishing. You will also have the opportunity to complete a range of training and tasks in marketing, and fundraising during the duration of the programme.

Volunteer in Africa as a Distribution Support Officer

We currently have volunteering opportunities at our Distribution Centres across Africa. Volunteering is a great way to gain work experience, learn new skills, expand your network and contribute to the cause of improving society through education. At Books2Africa Distribution Centres, our volunteers and interns work as Distribution Support Officers and help with a variety of tasks including but not limited to sorting, picking, packing, admin and marketing. Approved volunteers also receive a stipend to cover lunch and transport expenses.

Hear what past volunteers have to say

Check out the videos below for a glimpse of how we process your donated books and computers.

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books readcycled
and shipped to Africa

computers refurbished
and shipped to Africa

1mbc

Shipping and delivering 1 million books every year
involves the following:

Volume
Costs
Fundraising Target

30%

Processing in the UK

30%

Freight from the UK

40%

Clearing and haulage in Africa

Books2Africa is a UK registered charity number 1152599