Are you interested in supporting people in recovery? Do you have some spare time you would like to give to the Nelson Trust? Take a look at our opportunities below to find out more.

We have over 100 volunteers across the Nelson Trust supporting our clients and services in incredible ways. The lives of individuals and families are transformed here, if you would like to play a part, get in touch.

What would I be doing?

If you are interested in volunteering for The Nelson Trust there are a wide range of possible roles for you, at our treatment and training centres in Brimscombe, and our Women’s Centres in Swindon, Gloucester or Bridgwater. Whether your interests are in helping us with our fundraising work or getting involved in our day-to-day services we would love to talk to you about what our needs are and what you have to offer.

Every volunteer has something unique to offer us – skills, energy and life experiences which they can bring to the Nelson Trust to support and develop the services we provide.

Currently we have volunteers in a range of roles.  The following are just some examples:

  • One-to-one  literacy work with clients, helping them to improve their spelling and writing
  • Supporting tutors to run classes and courses in a variety of subject areas from arts and crafts to computing, bike maintenance, woodwork and wellbeing
  • Cooking for our lunch club at our Women’s Centres
  • Helping our Fundraising team to organise events
  • Assisting our clients on their activity days
  • Volunteer Placements to assist in college courses being undertaken
  • Client Mentoring

In return for giving your time, we will aim to offer you all the support and training that you need to feel confident and effective in your chosen role, and if we can help you with your personal and professional development goals we will. We provide regular, structured supervision and a team leader will be assigned to support you in your work.

Download Volunteer Application Form>>

The Hub Enterprises
Residential Rehabilitation
Women's Community Services
Fundraising and Events
The Hub Enterprises

Recovery from addiction is more than just abstaining from substances. The Hubs serve the recovery community by providing:

  • Therapeutic ways to explore the recovery journey, for example, through art, writing and alternative therapies.
  • Training in life skills to help people get back on their feet and look after themselves.
  • Education to help people return to work.

We operate four enterprises, with the aim of becoming self-sustaining. Not just financially sustainable but also, through the development of a strong, confident and effective service user-led community. The volunteers in our enterprises are gaining real-world experience to help them get a job.

Our volunteer roles at the Hub Enterprises include front of house roles and kitchen assistants at our two recovery cafes. A maintenance and gardening volunteer role and tutors and support volunteers at the Hub Academy.

Residential Rehabilitation

Our residential programme is for men and women seeking an abstinence-based residential treatment programme to achieve lasting recovery from drug and alcohol addiction. We place equal importance on helping people to recover from their addiction as we do on helping them re-build a positive, independent life in order to sustain their abstinence once they have left our care.

Volunteer roles within our residential treatment programme include the Volunteer counsellors and volunteer drivers to support clients getting to local appointments.

Women's Community Services

Our Women’s Community Services are countywide across Gloucestershire, Wiltshire and Somerset. Services are trauma-informed and gender responsive providing holistic support for women and their families.

Volunteer roles at our Women’s Centres include lunch club volunteers, creative art volunteers and peer mentors.

Fundraising and Events

The Fundraising and Business Development team are responsible for community based and national fundraising. This includes organising and raising funds at our programme of events throughout the year.

Our Events team are always busy organising and running a busy schedule of events throughout the year and need energetic and enthusiastic volunteers to help out on one off event days or on an ongoing basis supporting the team in the office. If you’re interested in becoming a fundraising and events volunteer contact us for more information.


Frequently Asked Questions

If I have had problems with drugs or alcohol in the past can I still volunteer?
What do I do next?
If I have had problems with drugs or alcohol in the past can I still volunteer?

Yes – we would very much value your help and expertise. As you will appreciate, we work with people at a time when they are dealing with complex problems and they can be very vulnerable.  For this reason we need to carry out an enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check (formerly known as Criminal Records Bureau (CRB)) check before you can begin volunteering.  However, if you do have any previous convictions, this does not mean that you cannot volunteer with us, so please talk in confidence to a member of the team if you are worried about this.

It is also part of our Volunteering Policy that if you are currently or have recently been a client of Nelson Trust services we would like you to be clean for a reasonable time from any substances before starting a volunteer role.

What do I do next?

Please call us 01453 885633 and ask to speak to our Volunteer Coordinator for further information.  We will arrange to meet with you to talk about your application.


Jess first encountered The Hub Academy when attending groups as a client in our residential services in Stroud.

“Since the beginning of my journey in treatment to where I am today, I’m unrecognisable.”

She participated in creative therapy classes, learning skills in yoga, stained glass art, clay and pottery. Her experience at The Hub opened her mind to creative expression.

“As a client, I liked the fact that it was a place that everyone could come together to broaden their skills, to do things that they may never have done before and find new skills.”

Jess’s self-worth, confidence and skillset increased positively as she was able to improve her skills and gained experiences in completely new areas of life she had never had the opportunity to do before.

Jess was motivated to give back to the community, she proposed to start running a monthly peer-led group for people completing treatment to get ready for life outside the ‘bubble’ of treatment. The group would explore how to maintain a network of recovery-focus friends, how to access help in the community (e.g. doctors) if needed and how to access volunteering, experience and training opportunities through The Hub Academy. Peer-led groups are empowering and help people maintain their recovery by supporting one another.

As a volunteer, Jess was able to access supervision and ongoing training. This helped Jess to obtain paid employment at The Clean Plate Café, one of the Hub for Recovery enterprises, in Gloucester city centre.

“Through being held along the process [by her supervisor] to allow me to build upon my skills, I’m now in paid work…I never thought I’d be able to hold a job down.”

The Hub offered her frequent accredited training including Peer Mentoring, Addiction and Society and Trauma training, which Jess valued as it made her feel welcome as a staff member and that she had been given a great deal of trust.

“[The Hub] made a difference in every aspect of my life.”

Thank you


In 2019 over 150 volunteers gave over 5500 hours to help The Nelson Trust. Our dedicated fundraising committee and volunteers have helped us to raise vital funds to support our clients across the Nelson Trust.

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