Medical Research Charities

Home > VolunteerCharities > Medical Research Charities

It is likely that at some point in our lives we will receive medical treatment that has been made possible  as a result of research carried out by medical charities.

For example, Cancer Research UK’s groundbreaking work has resulted in the overall cancer survival rate doubling since the 1970s, which means 50% of people will now survive cancer.

The British Heart Foundation have also made dramatic progress with research into heart attacks. Before the 1960s, 7 in every 10 people would die as a result of a heart attack but today, 7 out of 10 people survive.

Medical charities rely on public funding to continue their research, as well as practical support from volunteers. It cannot be stressed how important your contribution to a medical charity will be – your role, whether big or small, will be contributing towards saving and improving people’s lives and keeping families together. Most of the voluntary roles within medical charities are geared towards raising money as this is the single most helpful thing you can do. There are multiple ways to get involved from charity shop work to volunteering at an event fundraiser.

Some people choose to support a medical charity as a direct result of personal experience for example where they, or a friend or family member has suffered from a particular illness or disability. Others volunteer simply because they want to give back to the community, you can browse our list of medical charities below to find one that captures your interest.

What sort of roles are available?


Aside from research, medical charities campaign and spread awareness of their cause within communities e.g. councils, schools, universities and local community groups. A volunteer speaker will educate people on a particular illness with the aim of making sure people are able to identify it, so it can be treated as soon as possible. People who are educated about a particular disease are also more likely to donate to its cause.

Charities such as Diabetes UK offer roles like this to confident public speakers who are passionate about their cause.


Fundraising is one of the most useful ways you can support a medical charity and its up to you to decide how you go about it.  For example, you could undertake a personal challenge and appeal for sponsors. You can fundraise for any charity you like from Epilepsy Action to Brain Research UK – they will never turn down a generous donation. Fundraising can be a flexible way to support a charity as you usually take part in a one off event, rather than making an ongoing weekly commitment.

Charity Shop Work

If you want to help a medical charity raise money over an extended period of time, then why not adopt a volunteer role at a charity shop? There’s plenty of unwanted treasure to sort through and price up – or maybe you’d like a customer facing role, interacting with customers whilst working the till – it’s your choice. Some charities have more shops than others e.g. Cancer Research UK, so you will need to find out which medical charities have shops local to you.

Take part in an event

Medical charities regularly hold events as they’re a great way to bring people together to support a cause. For example, Stroke Association hold a Step Out for Stroke event – a community walk for people raising money for people affected by strokes. Charity events are great opportunities to share stories and make friends, whilst fundraising for a fantastic cause.

Additional roles supporting medical charities

For more information on supporting medical charities in ‘behind the scenes’ roles, please click through to our Office & Admin page.

Which charities can I support?

British Heart Foundation, Cancer Research UK, Diabetes UK, Stroke Association, MS Society, Anthony Nolan, AT Society, Epilepsy Action, Lupus UK, British Lung Foundation, Brain Research UK, British Society for Immunology, Macular Society, Meningitis Now

Why volunteer later in life?

More and more people are finding satisfaction in Volunteering. Find out why you should become a volunteer and the benefits it can bring.

Explore volunteering roles

There are so many ways you can make a difference. Discover a wide range of volunteering opportunities and find the role that’s right for you.

Get the latest ideas, advice and inspiration

No spam. Just useful and interesting stuff, straight to your inbox. Covering jobs, finance, learning, volunteering, lifestyle and more.

By providing us your email address you agree to receive emails and communications from us and acknowledge that your personal data will be used in accordance with our Privacy Policy and Terms and Conditions. You can unsubscribe at any time by following the link in our emails.