Third Sector / Voluntary Sector

Organisations that aren’t focused on making money. Instead, they aim to make a difference to society through volunteering, social causes, community projects and more.

The term ‘third sector’ includes registered charities, voluntary and community groups as well as non-profit distributing social enterprises. Their reach is far and wide and is focused on helping and supporting those in need. In 2020 alone, the third sector in the UK contributed £18.2 billion to the UK economy - with the South East holding the highest number of charities across the country.

Working in this sector requires dedication, passion and enthusiasm for making society a better place to live. There are many third sector roles that overlap with others, such as marketing, finance, business, HR, social care and more. Key roles include Project Management, Corporate Social Responsibility, Campaigning, Fundraising, Lobbying, Volunteer Management, and Counselling. Another name for the third sector is the 'Voluntary Sector’.


  • There are approximately 2,500 registered charities operating in Buckinghamshire.
  • More widely, there are estimated to be approximately 13,800 civil society (including registered charities) and informal voluntary organisations in Buckinghamshire.
  • Approximately 175,000 adults in Buckinghamshire volunteer in some capacity at least once a year.
  • The majority of the voluntary sector workforce are women, with men making up a third of the total workforce in June 2018.
  • The proportion of younger people (aged 16-34) working in the voluntary sector has increased by 3% since 2017, but the workforce remains older than other sectors, with 38% of employees aged 50 years and over compared to 35% for the public sector and 30% for the private sector.


Some of the key employers within the Public Sector are Epilepsy Society, BFBS, Hightown Housing Association, Groundwork South Trust, Child Bereavement UK, Talkback UK, Buckinghamshire Mind, The PACE Centre, Brain Tumour Research, BucksVision, and Action4Youth.

Why not visit their websites and see if your skills and qualifications match the roles they are looking to hire for? If you are keen to get into this workforce and need to up-skill or study further, see below for what routes you can take into one of these careers.


Use the list below as a starting point for what you could study in order to work within the Third Sector in Buckinghamshire. 



Third Sector / Voluntary Sector Resources

Students Special Educational Needs and Disabilities

Bucks Disability Service Reach4Work Programme

Bucks Disability Service Reach4Work programme is now open to 16-18 year olds. If a student has a long-term condition or disability this is t...

1 min reading
Life Science, Healthcare and Social Care Third Sector / Voluntary Sector
Students Graduates Career Change Redundancy Support Special Educational Needs and Disabilities

ICould Career Videos

From carpenters to city traders, care workers to celebrities, ICould’s real-life storytellers offer an inside view of their current job an...

1 min reading
Construction Creative Industries Digital Technology +10 More
Special Educational Needs and Disabilities

Volunteer work for those with a long-term condition or disability

The BuDS Reach4Work scheme offers people skilled and semi-skilled volunteer work, with every volunteer role crafted to suit each individual.

1 min reading
Third Sector / Voluntary Sector

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