Our Volunteers

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.

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

If you'd like to speak to someone about becoming a volunteer counsellor, please contact office@sunderlandcounselling.org.uk or call 0191 5147007

Applications Now Closed for 2021

Our application process is now closed for 2021. Please check back in Jan 2022 for new volunteer opportunities.

The deadline for submitting applications was:

Monday 17th May 2021 at 9am

Please submit your application form to office@sunderlandcounselling.org.uk. Please complete all sections of the application form fully, paying particular attention to the general comments section so we can fully understand your skills and experience.

* Please note - we do not accept CV applications

Applicants, please download a copy of GDPR Privacy Notice to find out more about how we use the information you provide us with with here.

Volunteers in training will need to demonstrate the appropriate level of competency to work with our clients and therefore, we will only accept students with sufficient training hours on a professionally recognised counselling course.

Please note: We will only contact you if we believe from your application form that you may be a suitable applicant.

Please make a note of the following dates as we are only able to accept applicants who can attend the following dates for interview and induction.

Applications close: Monday 17th May 2021 (9am)

Interview dates: Tuesday 25th and Thursday 27th May 2021 (1 hour interview on one of these dates)

Induction dates: Tuesday 15th and Wednesday16th June 2021 (You must be available 10am - 4pm on both of these dates)

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!"


Pamela started as a volunteer with us and is now employed in our Cancer Counselling Service.

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

Pamela Pervez - Volunteer

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.