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One-off or regular donations are vital to our work, helping us ensure that young people everywhere have the oracy skills they need to thrive



We’re hugely grateful to those who volunteer their time in helping to organise and run ESU programmes and competitions. Find out how you could help


‘We rely on the generous support of our members, donors and volunteers to ensure we can reach those children who need our help most’

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By volunteering with us you can help ensure that young people have the speaking and listening and cross-cultural understanding they need to thrive


There are many ways in which you can volunteer at the ESU. Some people choose to engage at their local branch level, helping to organise events, fundraise for our work, or engage with local schools. Others, perhaps with a public speaking or drama background, help by coordinating or judging at one of our competitions. However you choose to help, you will be part of an established network of volunteers helping to ensure that young people have the speaking and listening skills they need to thrive in a changing world.

‘Judging the heats at the IPSC this year was one of the most inspirational experiences I’ve had. Seeing all these incredibly talented young people was awe-inspiring and gave me hope for the future’

Anita Stern, ESU alumna and volunteer judge

Read more of Anita’s story

Why volunteer?

  • Help to ensure that young people, regardless of background, have the speaking and listening skills to achieve their full potential
  • Broaden your skill set and bolster your CV. From public speaking to event organisation, mentoring and more, volunteering with us allows you to develop diverse and valuable skills
  • Meet like-minded people of all ages across the country, and internationally
  • Supporting our cause is stimulating and life-affirming, as you can see from our short video below

Help judge our competitions

We’re always looking for judges to help run our Performing Shakespeare and ESU-Churchill Public Speaking competitions. Full training is provided, helping you to give constructive feedback and encouragement, and ensuring young people can speak more confidently and feel a sense of pride in themselves and their achievements. Take a look at this short video to find out more about our competitions and the difference they – with your help – make.

ESU-Churchill Public Speaking Competition Judge

The ESU-Churchill Public Speaking Competition is the largest and most prestigious schools public speaking competition in England and Wales. Join our team of volunteers as a judge offering competitors constructive oral feedback at a heat in your area.


Find out more

ESU Performing Shakespeare Competition Judge

The ESU Performing Shakespeare Competition allows young people (age 11 – 14) across England and Wales to practice their oracy and drama skills. Join our team of committed volunteers to judge and offer feedback at an area final in your region. 


Key information

Applications to be a volunteer judge with the ESU are open year-round.

Please complete our short online application form and a member of the team will be in touch shortly. If you have any questions, please phone 020 7529 1591 or email and our Senior Volunteering Officer, Tom Kirkham will be in touch.

Please also see to the right for a detailed overview of what being a competition judge with the ESU entails.


The ESU is committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and young people. All appointments are subject to satisfactory pre-employment checks, including a satisfactory Enhanced criminal record with Barred List check through the Disclosure and Barring Service. Read our full safeguarding policy.

Equality and Diversity Monitoring form

The English-Speaking Union is committed to providing equal opportunities in our recruitment process. Completing this form is voluntary and all information you provide will remain confidential, however, it will allow us to assess the diversity of our workforce and ensure equal opportunities for all ESU staff and volunteers.

Equality and Diversity Monitoring form

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