Volunteer roles

There are many different ways to get involved in volunteering at WDP. If you are still accessing services you can take part in service user involvement or become a service user representative. If you are not accessing services or are coming to the end of your treatment there are various roles available to you, depending on the experiences you are looking to gain. 

We have a variety of volunteer roles at different services, which include:

  • Practitioners
  • Administrators and receptionists
  • Peer mentors
  • Volunteer counsellors
  • Social Work students
  • Employability Skills coaches
  • Skills facilitators
  • Health trainers
  • IT trainers
  • Cooks
  • Gardeners
  • Complementary therapists
  • Saturday social club volunteers

We are always looking to diversify volunteer roles at WDP. The above is not an exhaustive list and if you would like to discuss other ways of getting involved or would like to find out more about any of these positions then please contact the Volunteers' Team.


Volunteer practitioner

As a volunteer practitioner you will work with service users at different stages of their recovery.

Some roles are more specialist and will focus on specific areas such as:

  • Group work
  • Reintegration and aftercare
  • Education, training and employment (ETE)
  • Service user involvement (SUI)
  • Alcohol-specific support
  • Prison support

Whichever role you choose you will gain a unique insight into the drug and alcohol field, allowing you to considerably enhance your skills and experience in the sector.


Administrative roles 

The administrative roles we offer at WDP include data management, research and reception work.

You could volunteer as a/an:

  • Data administrator
  • Service administrator
  • Receptionist
  • Intern (providing support in our central office in Holborn)

Administrative roles are central to the running of services; they will encourage volunteers to develop different skills which can be utilised in a number of settings. Roles are available across the organisation, including in our head office based in central London. 


Peer mentors

We have a number of peer mentors supporting services across the organisation. Peer mentors use their own personal experience of recovery to support and empower other service users.

Peer mentors will undertake an OCN Level 2 Award in Peer Mentoring with an offer of a placement following completion of the qualification.

Peer mentors provide a variety of support including:

  • Promoting drug and alcohol services
  • Coaching and mentoring others including facilitating peer-led support groups and referrals
  • Assisting with the delivery of recovery group work sessions
  • Escorting individuals to detox/rehab and benefits appointments
  • Involvement with induction and information giving about services within the WDP service and in the community
  • Supporting the ETE services, reception and with form-filling

For more information, contact RIAinfo@wdp.org.uk


Complementary therapists 

Many of our services look to take on volunteer complementary therapists in a range of disciplines such as acupuncture, art therapy, yoga and tai chi. If you are a trained in any of the above and would like to be involved please contact the Volunteers’ Team.


Volunteer counsellors

A number of our services take on volunteer counsellors or qualified therapists wishing to gain experience working with our client group.

Please check our current opportunities page to see what counselling vacancies we have available and ensure you meet the criteria below before applying.

Most placements are aimed at those training in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) but applications from individuals trained in other models are welcome.


To ensure good practice standards and to maximise the safety of bothe therapists and the clients at WDP we require all students to confirm and adhere to the following criteria:

  1. Trainees are in their final year of an undergraduate degree or equivalent, or are at a postgraduate level. Alternatively, students should be in their third year of a Diploma, BSC, or MSC in counselling or psychotherapy training.
  2. If students are not in the third year of their Diploma, Bsc, or Msc in counselling or psychotherapy training, trainees need to be in their second year (at least) but have undertaken significant and appropriate training.
  3. Trainees are expected to be a member of one of the counselling governing bodies BACP or UKCP.
  4. Trainees may need to have conducted a minimum number of counselling hours 
  5. Trainees are working or intend to work towards counselling or psychotherapy accreditation
  6. Previous details of supervisor and present college tutor information should be sent to WDP and agree that WDP can ask supervisor and tutor from references.
  7. In some cases, at the discretion of the service, students may need to provide their own clinical supervision

How to apply for a counselling placement

To apply for a counselling placement, please complete the Volunteer Counsellor Application Form and return to volunteers@wdp.org.uk.

Social work students

We work in partnership with a number of well-established universities in providing 2nd and 3rd year (70 and 100 per day) placements for those on a BA/MA course in Social Work.

Social work students receive regular supervision from experienced staff, and are encouraged to attend team meetings and a range of our in-house training.


Employability skills coaches

Employability skills coaches support ETE practitioners in delivering interventions aimed at supporting service users to increase their opportunities for employment. You will work in group and one-to-one settings providing support and guidance in various areas such as searching for jobs, CV writing and preparing for interviews. You may also support referrals to training courses and assist in the delivery of employability skills qualifications. 


Health trainers

Health trainer champions are volunteers who will support service-users to improve their general health and wellbeing. Through providing information and guidance around healthier lifestyle choices health trainer champions will play an integral role in allowing service-users to make more informed decisions around the behaviours that affect their physical and mental health.


IT trainers

IT trainer volunteers support service users to develop their core IT skills. You will assist the team in supporting service users to increase their confidence and ability to use various IT functions through a combination of classroom based learning and one-to-one coaching.


Skills facilitators

We are always looking for volunteers with different skills to run workshops for our service users. We have previously had volunteers run arts and crafts groups, reading clubs, cookery classes and drama groups. If you would like to share your talents and help service users develop new skills please get in touch with the Volunteers' Team.



Services with outdoor space often look to recruit volunteer gardeners who can help maintain the area. Depending on the service you can get involved various activities such as seeding, planting and watering plants, maintaining plant tubs and baskets and keeping gardens in an orderly and tidy condition. All equipment will be provided along with ongoing support from a member of the team. 


Complementary therapists

Many of our services look to take on volunteer complementary therapists in a range of disciplines such as acupuncture, art therapy, yoga and tai chi. If you are a trained in any of the above and would like to be involved please contact the Volunteers’ Team.


Saturday Social Club volunteer

Various services run Saturday social clubs for service users. They offer a space for service users to socialise in a safe environment.

As a volunteer you will meet and greet people accessing the service, prepare food and drink and engage with service users throughout the day. The role is ideal for anyone who has full time commitments during the week but would still like to get involved.