panoramic view of The Lake District

LEC Skills Development Programme

The LEC Skills Development Programme is a joint initiative from Lancaster Environment Centre, the Faculty of Science and Technology and Lancaster University Careers Service.

We are developing partnerships with local and national environmental, charitable and not for profit organisations as well as researchers here at Lancaster. The scheme will provide current students from Lancaster Environment Centre with opportunities to develop their skills and relevant experience in the sector or industry that they are interested in, with the purpose of enhancing their employability skills.

Why Volunteer?

Volunteering is an excellent route to employment. There are many additional reasons why people volunteer and lots of rewards:

  • Learn about the sector you want to work in after you graduate
  • Try something new which may lead you to change or confirm your career plans
  • Give something back to your community and organisations that may have helped you or someone you know
  • Get to know your local community and expand your network of careers contacts
  • Gain new skills, knowledge and experience and develop existing skills and knowledge
  • Meet new people, make new friends, and become part of a team
  • Gain confidence and self-esteem
  • Enhance your CV and improve your employment prospects

All of our volunteering opportunities can contribute to the LEC Skills Development Award and the Lancaster Award.

Forest Research on the Benefits of Environmental Volunteering

Forest Research is Great Britain’s principal organisation for forestry and tree-related research and is internationally renowned for the provision of evidence and scientific services in support of sustainable forestry.

  • Everyone wins: benefits to the individual, local community, wider society, environment and organisations that manage and develop volunteers
  • Holistic perspective: volunteers talked about a ‘package’ of benefits, rather than emphasising some benefits over others
  • Motivations: volunteers are not just concerned about the environment, but seek personal benefits from the outdoor opportunities and social nature of environmental activities – learning new skills, meeting others, improving their health, wellbeing and quality of life
  • Something for everyone: environmental volunteering offers a range of opportunities to suit people with diverse interests and abilities
  • Common language: the environment provides a common language for all and a shared purpose independent of gender, ethnic background, age, physical ability, mental functioning, socioeconomic status or knowledge of environmental management.
Forest Research logo

How the Scheme Works

  • Volunteering
    You must complete a minimum of 20 hours volunteering but many opportunities will allow you to work for longer.
  • Assessment
    The LEC Skills Development Programme assessment document will need to be completed to reflect on your development throughout the scheme and you will submit this through the Moodle page.
  • Certificate and Transcript
    If you complete the experience and submit your assignment to a suitable standard you will receive the certificate of completion.

How Do I Apply?

Take a look at the LEC Skills Development Programme page

Volunteering opportunities will be promoted on the Sci-Tech Futures Opportunities Portal

Register on our website and follow us on our Facebook page for vacancy updates.

  • Applications will be made online, through the website
  • Submit your CV and covering letter for the opportunities which appeal to you
  • You can apply for up to three opportunities each year
  • Applicants will be interviewed by university staff and the host organisation

Our Partner Organisations

Organisations with a specific need for Lancaster students include

  • Piccadilly Support Services, Lancaster– Horticultural work party
  • Fork-to-Fork, Lancaster
  • Wildlife Trust, Lancashire
  • Fylde Council: Fylde Sand Dunes Project
  • Ribble Rivers Trust

Full details of these opportunities can be found on our internships portal

On-campus Opportunities

The following organisations have volunteering opportunities that may be of interest to you:

Location and Travel

For volunteering opportunities on campus or in the local Lancaster area you will be responsible for your own transport. For group opportunities outside Lancaster, the organisation will provide transport to the location. If you find an opportunity yourself but will struggle with transport to the location, please contact us to discuss the possibilities.


If your organisation would like to work with our LEC students, please download our flyer or email the Student Employability Team.

Pam Pickles and Rachael Sterrett

Talk To Us Now

For more information on the LEC Skills Development Programme and how to get involved, please contact the Student Engagement Team: Pam Pickles and Rachael Sterrett.