Volunteer for Us


As a volunteer for Sunderland Counselling Service you will be able to develop valuable skills and experience whilst studying at your chosen university or college.

You will be fully supported on your volunteering journey and you will gradually build your caseload, enabling you to achieve your therapeutic goals. You will also get the chance to make new friendships and get a real sense of achievement.

Volunteers’ Week 2023: Celebrate and Inspire

Sunderland Counselling Service marks Volunteers’ Week 2023.

2023 marks the 39th year of Volunteers’ Week (1-7 June), when Sunderland Counselling Service will join thousands of charities and voluntary organisations recognising the contribution volunteers make across the UK. With this year’s theme of ‘Celebrate and Inspire’ we hope to encourage people to be the change that we want to see and get involved in volunteering in whatever way works for them.

The contribution of volunteers is often unseen and unrecognised by many, visible only through the incredible impact of their volunteering, so taking the time during Volunteers’ Week to celebrate their efforts and all they contribute to our local communities, the voluntary sector and society as a whole has never been more important.

Volunteer - Placement Counsellors

We are excited to offer you the opportunity to volunteer within our BACP accredited counselling service.

We pride ourselves on offering a high level of support to our volunteers, as well as many opportunities for training and development. We are looking for committed, empathetic individuals who believe in our ethos.

Whether you are qualified and looking to gain some additional experience, or if you are working towards qualification on a recognised Level 5 counselling course, Sunderland Counselling Service may be the place for you.

We recruit volunteers at set times of the year so that you can start your volunteer placement alongside other volunteers for additional peer support.

Find out why volunteer Pamela Pervez says " Working at Sunderland counselling services was such a positive experience "

Further Information

Our volunteer placements are working with adults within our Primary Care Counselling Service where clients can self refer or are referred through the NHS and are offered short-term counselling, usually a maximum of six sessions. Our placements are based at John Street, Sunderland City Centre.

  • Two references and a DBS check are required before commencing placement.
  • We require volunteers to commit to their placement for a full year, with a minimum of two clients per week.
  • We have flexibility in the times we can offer placements, including weekdays and evenings.
  • We provide clinical supervision at no cost to all volunteers.
  • You will be asked to provide a mix of face to face, telephone and online video counselling

Applications for Volunteer Counselling Placements Now Open

To apply for a volunteer counselling placement with us, please complete the application form below and submit it to office@sunderlandcounselling.org.uk.

Applications will close at 9am on Friday 28th April 2023

Any applications received after this date will not be considered. Please be aware of the following dates when submitting your application:

Interview dates: Thursday 11th and Friday 12th May 2023

Volunteer Induction dates: Thursday 6th and Friday 7th July 2023

You must be able to attend the Volunteer Induction dates as we cannot offer an induction at any other date and it is a requirement to start your placement with us.

Meet Our Past Volunteers


Jenny Volunteered with us 2019-2020 and has this to say:

I have found my time there on placement an excellent learning experience, with great support from everyone from admin staff to colleagues to managers. I was given a ‘buddy’ who has been really friendly and supportive and SCS has provided monthly supervision which has been an essential part of my development as a trainee counsellor.

The thing I really like about SCS is that it is a well organised and friendly place to be and I really feel part of the team. There are lots of training opportunities and I have also been able to have contact with a wide range of clients, which has also helped me to progress my counselling skills.

"It has been a totally positive experience to be on placement at SCS and I look forward to returning there soon!"


Take a look at David's volunteering journey.

At first, with the rigorous application and interview process I knew that working with Sunderland Counselling Service was going to be special. From the moment I received the call offering me a place as a volunteer counsellor, I have felt supported and part of the SCS team. The induction was thorough and supportive, and it left me feeling prepared for that daunting first client hour. Since then, every step of the way there has been someone on hand when I’ve needed them, and the supervision has been excellent. I had been given a range of clients that have slowly and productively eased me into real world client work, and pushed my knowledge and skills, providing an environment that has felt safe to progress in. It won’t be long until I’m qualified and I feel my time at SCS has put me in an excellent place to find employment as a counsellor.


Trustees / Board members

 To join our board of trustees, known as the Management Committee.

SCS is a well-established and independent mental health charity and company limited by guarantee, which is acknowledged for its contribution to the community by our clients, mental health professionals, and local and regional voluntary and statutory agencies. Originally established as a bereavement counselling service, over the years the organisation has grown and developed in response to need and now provides a wide range of counselling and psychological therapy services across the North East of England.

Trustees may already have a background in the charity sector or may be new to the sector; we would be interested to hear from potential trustees from the public and private sectors. Most importantly we need our trustees to have a clear commitment to Sunderland Counselling Service and the work we do.

This is an unpaid role, but expenses are available.

All posts are subject to an enhanced DBS check.


If you would like more information or to discuss this role, please contact Toby Sweet, Chief Executive on:

0191 514 7007 or by email toby@sunderlandcounselling.org.uk

Interested applicants should submit a CV and covering letter, setting out why they are interested in the role and what they would bring to it, by email as above.


" Working at Sunderland counselling services was such a positive experience "

Volunteering for Us

Whether as a volunteer counsellor, a board member or an admin volunteer, we ensure that as a volunteer for Sunderland Counselling Service you will be able to develop valuable skills and experience.

You will be fully supported on your volunteering journey, and will be provided with training, guidance and clinical support.  You will also get the chance to make new friendships and get a real sense of achievement as you learn how a established counselling organization works to support the community.