10 Volunteering Opportunities for Students in Singapore

Singapore might seem to be just hustle and bustle all the time, but it is actually a city that has a vibrant community of volunteers. The country has a rich culture in volunteerism, driven by compassion, empathy and benevolence.

Volunteering can be a deeply fulfilling and rewarding experience, and people are motivated to volunteer for various reasons.

As an avid volunteer myself, I have spent many hours lending a hand at different organisations. While this initially arose from a desire to fulfil my community service hours, the more time I spent helping others, the more grateful I was for the new relationships I was forging with these people.

If you’re looking to give back to society, here are 10 volunteering opportunities in Singapore you can explore.

Opportunities in Singapore

Like any other society, Singapore has its marginalised communities that often fall through the cracks. Volunteering provides an opportunity to embrace these communities with open arms and make a positive impact on their lives. Be it supporting underprivileged children, the growing elderly population or those with special needs, you can volunteer just a few hours each month to bring a little light into their lives.

Fun fact: you can also reach out and work with most of these beneficiaries for your school’s Values-In-Action (VIA) project!


OrganisationKey focus
kidsREAD by NLBEncourage good reading habits in children
Beyond Social ServicesHelp underprivileged children by befriending them
KidsFun by Youth CorpsConduct meaningful activities with children
YOLDEN by Youth CorpsConnect with senior citizens
Befriender by Lion BefrienderBefriend senior citizens and tackle their loneliness
Major Decluttering by Helping JoyDeclutter houses of physically and mentally challenged seniors
Weekend Befriender by MINDSFoster relationships with mentally challenged children
Mentoring Programme by TOUCH Silent ClubAct as an academic mentor to hearing-impaired youths
Programme Support Society for the Physically DisabledProvide support and befriend individuals with physical disabilities
Giving.sgFind ad-hoc opportunities for your next volunteering activity

1. KidsREAD by the National Library Board

Source: National Library Board

The kidsREAD scheme is a reading programme organised by the National Library Board. It was officially launched in 2004. It primarily aims to inculcate good reading habits among young children from low-income families.

Each session is structured to allow time for volunteers to read to the children, for independent reading by the children, and for conducting activities related to the stories.

Volunteer Requirements

  • At least 15 years old
  • Have a good command of the English language
  • Able to commit for at least six months

Sign up here

Interested in volunteering regularly with your CCA? If your club can engage readers for 32 sessions a year, send an email to kidsREAD@nlb.gov.sg.

2. Various Programmes at Beyond Social Services

Source: Beyond Social Services

Beyond Social Services is a charity service that strives to help children and young people from less privileged backgrounds by providing guidance and care. They conduct volunteering programmes every month, ranging from ad-hoc opportunities such as event support for local activities, to long-term commitment based opportunities like befriending youths.

Volunteer requirements vary based on the programme’s needs, but all volunteers are required to undergo a volunteer orientation.

You can even volunteer your special talents such as feature writing, graphic design or videography!

Sign up here

Alternatively, send an email to the staff at volunteer@beyond.org.sg to propose a VIA project.

3. KidsFun School Holiday Series by Youth Corps

Source: Youth Corps Singapore

The KidsFun School Holiday Series is a bi-annual volunteering programme conducted by Youth Corps Singapore. It takes place during the school holidays, in June and between November and December.

It aims to teach Primary 1 to 3 children from low-income families about meaningful topics. This can range from coding or learning about one’s environment, to excursions at heritage centres.

Volunteer Requirements

  • Attend Orientation & Training session
  • Attend a three-to-four-hour long volunteer session
  • Prepared to volunteer during school holidays

Sign up here

4. YOLDEN Programme by Youth Corps

Source: Youth Corps Singapore

Join Youth Corps Singapore for the YOLDEN programme if you prefer dedicating your time to helping the seniors in our community. YOLDEN, a portmanteau of ‘youth’ and ‘golden’, strives to connect youth volunteers with seniors who are living in nursing homes.

Apart from being actively involved during the sessions, volunteers are also expected to assist in the curation of activities and conversational topics for seniors.

Volunteer Requirements

  • Able to commit once a week from March to June, or August to December
  • Able to spend time designing senior-appropriate activities

Sign up here

5. Befriender by Lion Befrienders

Source: Lion Befrienders

The name ‘Lion Befrienders’ rings a bell for many of us. After all, they have been around since 1995. The Befriender is a programme which aims to tackle the rising loneliness and social isolation faced by senior citizens in Singapore.

Volunteers can expect to make house calls and spend time conversing with seniors on engaging topics. Additionally, they will be required to prepare a brief report after each home visit.

Volunteer Requirements

  • At least 21 years old
  • Able to commit for at least six months
  • Able to visit seniors’ homes two to four times a month
  • Able to make one to two phone calls monthly (dependent on need)
  • Newly minted befrienders will be required to undergo training before being able to volunteer

Sign up here

6. Major Decluttering by Helping Joy

Source: Helping Joy

Major Decluttering, a programme designed by Helping Joy, provides cleaning, painting, and washing services to physically and mentally challenged seniors. This happens every Sunday from 9am to 6pm.

If you find it too difficult to declutter someone’s house, Helping Joy provides many other opportunities to help the elderly as well.

These include Monthly Maintenance where houses that have been previously decluttered will be maintained and Monthly Provisions, where volunteers will pack and hand out daily necessities and food rations for the elderly.

Volunteer Requirements

  •  Able to allocate Sunday 9am to 6pm for volunteering
  • Physically fit
  • Willing to tackle grimy conditions

Sign up here

7. Weekend Befriender by MINDS

Source: MINDS

The Weekend Befriender programme by MINDS provides weekly three-hour social, recreational, and training activities for about 200 beneficiaries each weekend. They range in age and amount of support they need.

The main goal of this programme is to encourage beneficiaries to mingle with one another and develop social skills. Volunteers should be compassionate and accommodating when working with the beneficiaries.

Volunteer Requirements

  • At least 18 years old
  •  Be able to commit for three to six months

Sign up here

8. Mentoring Programme by TOUCH Silent Club

Source: TOUCH Community Service

The TOUCH Silent Club (TSC) was launched by the TOUCH Community Service in 1993 to meet the needs of the deaf community in Singapore.

This programme aims to provide 1-to-1 academic coaching to deaf youths in English and Mathematics. Volunteers should be patient and be able to foster inclusive interactions when engaging with the youths.

Volunteering Requirements

  • At least 21 years old
  • Able to commit for at least a year
  •  Knowledge of basic sign language
  • Good grasp of MOE English and Mathematics syllabus

Sign up here

9. Programme Support by Society for the Physically Disabled

Source: SPD

Founded in 1964, the Society for the Physically Disabled (SPD) conducts many programmes for individuals with physical, sensory and development disabilities to allow them to integrate into mainstream society. The Programme Support will volunteer their time to befriend the beneficiaries and accompany them during the activities.

SPD is also very open to working with schools and students for their VIA projects. Activities range from conducting talks about what it’s like to live with disabilities to organising games that simulate what it’s like to live with a disability. You can even conduct fundraisers and pledge the proceeds to SPD.

Volunteering Requirements

  • Hours dependent on programme chosen
  • Physically fit
  • Possess good communication skills
  • Willing to befriend persons with disabilities

Sign up here

Collaborate with the SPD for your next VIA project by filling up the contact form here

Remember to be patient and gentle when interacting with persons with special needs. It can get frustrating at times, and you might feel your emotions bubbling out of control. During these periods, it’s best to step back and collect your thoughts.

10. Giving.sg

Source: giving.sg

If nothing jumps out at you, you are always welcome (and encouraged) to search for the thousands of other opportunities in need of volunteers. Giving.sg is an online platform which houses most opportunities from the charities around Singapore.

Whether they are ad-hoc events or occasions that require special skills, you can find many opportunities here.

Sign up here.

Overcoming common volunteering challenges

While the rewards of volunteering are immense, there are also many challenges. Here are some ways to overcome them.

Finding it hard to make time for volunteering

One of the biggest challenges volunteers face is being able to carve aside time for it. For instance, it can feel like a struggle to give up a precious weekend of rest after a long and tiring week.

However, with a little reframing and prioritising, balancing volunteering work and your personal life does not need to be challenging.

Start small with ad-hoc volunteering projects. Even just one project every few months can help you get the ball rolling. When you’re ready, increase the frequency of volunteering.

Most importantly, enjoy the process. It will be hard to regularly commit your time if it feels like a chore. Find beneficiaries or charities that you can connect with.


Another huge challenge is burnout, especially if you volunteer very often and have made a high level of commitment. It isn’t easy to spend a day each week (or more) giving your time away, and you might find yourself struggling to make time for yourself.

1. Always prioritise yourself

You can’t give from an empty cup. Make time to practise self-care and take part in activities that rejuvenate you. This can be as simple as just spending a day at home.

2. Set boundaries

When we help others, it is only natural to feel invested in their lives, especially if you volunteer as a Befriender. As you hear about what your beneficiaries have been through, you might feel like you want to help in many more ways. You might feel like you aren’t doing enough. This can take a toll on your emotional well-being. Set clear boundaries and be honest with yourself about what you can and cannot do.

3. Take breaks

When it gets a little too much for you, don’t hesitate to take a break. Don’t feel guilty about it. Stepping away temporarily can help you recharge and get back on your feet stronger.

Take the first step today

There are a wide range of opportunities to make a meaningful impact in Singapore. From helping the needy to extending a hand for the elderly, building an inclusive society can start with anyone. Don’t hesitate to take the first step today, and make your mark in Singapore’s vibrant volunteering community!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *