Volunteering

Volunteering with SAVTE

Volunteers can play an important role in working with people to practise the English needed for becoming an active citizen in their communities. This can be through regular meetings, individually or in groups. With such informal support, learners grow in confidence and start to engage with services, access social activities and connect with their neighbours.

SAVTE volunteers help people to take those initial steps to learning English. Almost all of our learners say that their confidence increased after having a SAVTE volunteer.

  • What's involved?
  • In return...
  • What we need...
  • What's next?

What are the different ways to volunteer?

Depending on your interests and availability, we offer four different volunteer roles.

Our Language Volunteers – teach people English, 1to1 usually in their own homes.

This involves a few hours each week to prepare, travel and support a learner in their home for at least 6 months. If you are interested in this role click for more information

Our Group Facilitators support informal conversation and activity groups to share skills and practice speaking English

This role involves a weekly commitment at a regular time to support a group for 90 minutes, (usually term time only) we welcome volunteers who would like to either lead or support a group in a community location.

Our Language Buddy volunteers help our learners practice functional everyday English to become independent and to start new activities in their communities. For example this may include visiting shops to practice speaking or learning how to complete simple online forms.

This involves a few hours each week to support a learner who already can speak some English, but needs support to develop their confidence and access other provision/ These placements usually last for 3 months.

Our Assessment Volunteers support SAVTE staff to visit learners in their homes for the first time to assess their needs. This is a great opportunity to meet many of our learners and gain new skills. We only require assessment volunteers occasionally, for half a day at a time.

Why volunteer?

We are certain that volunteering with SAVTE will give you a unique opportunity to make a difference to someone’s life

You will learn new teaching skills and gain experience in supporting people who need that little bit extra help. It’s also a chance to meet new people and make friends and become part of the SAVTE community.

You will see what a real difference you volunteering makes to someones life and you will equally join the many people helping to make Sheffield a welcoming place to live

What we need from you:

  • Good spoken and written English (ESOL Level 2 and above)
  • An ability to work with  people in a supportive way
  • A desire to meet people from different cultures and backgrounds
  • A few hours a week of your time, which includes preparation and travel time.

What’s next?

  • Apply online now: click this link, but please call us if you cannot apply this way.
  • You will be invited along to an information evening where you will have the opportunity to meet volunteers and the team. The next event will be 4  – 7.30 pm, Tuesday 14th January 2020 and will be hosted at The Circle, Rockingham lane (off Division Street)

SAVTE will TRAIN you, MATCH you with a learner and SUPPORT you to TEACH English


Apply here

Please fill out the online Volunteer Enrolment Form, using the link below

We will ask you to participate in a short, informal “interview” with a member of SAVTE, to discuss your application in more detail and decide which volunteer role is the most suitable. This conversation also helps us match you with a learner. (This interview usually happens at the information event.

After this, if you wish to continue, and we are satisfied that volunteering with SAVTE is the right thing for you, we will invite you to the next training course.

Early on in the training course, we will introduce you to your learner and encourage you to start visiting them whilst you are on the training course.

Don’t worry, we will give you plenty of support and resources to help you feel confident to do this.

After the course has finished and you have been teaching for a while we will invite you to a group review session to review how it’s going and discuss any issues you may have.

Please note that we are unable to place volunteers with learners in their homes until we have received two satisfactory references.


Patron:  The Rt Hon. the Lord Blunkett
Registered Charity No. 1081597 – Company No. 3865216