There are so many different volunteering opportunities to choose from depending on your skills, interests and availability. Whether you are keen to go do something locally or further afield, volunteering could be your next big adventure.
Read on for volunteering ideas as well as useful links to various organisations for further volunteering information and opportunities.
Volunteering at home
You don't need to look far to find organisations willing to accept the generosity of your time. Have a think about the type of people you'd like to work with, the skills you are able to share or the experience you'd like to gain. Here are just a few suggestions:
School or College Governor
School or College Governors support the senior leadership team within the setting. Governors help with;
Governors must be aged over 18.
You can apply to be a Governor online or you can apply directly to your local school or college. Click on the link for more information: Governor
Magistrates are volunteers who hear cases in courts in their community. They can hear cases in the criminal court, the family court, or both. Magistrates are supported by a legal adviser who ensures the law and processes are adhered to.
Magistrates deal with crimes like:
For more information about vacancies in your area click on the link: Magistrate
Across 280 local Citizens Advice in England and Wales are 21,300 highly trained volunteers who are invaluable to helping people find a way forward with the problems they face, and campaigning for changes to unfair policies and practices. Citizens Advice helped 2.6 million people face to face, over the phone, by email and by web chat in 2017-18.
There are so many ways to get involved, from admin, fundraising, and trusteeship, to helping clients find the information and advice they need. Click on the link to find out more about volunteering for this essential service: Citizens Advice
Museums and places of interest
Many museums, attractions and places of interest rely on volunteers for a range of tasks from tour guides, welcoming visitors, organising collections and supporting learning. Organisations from the National Trust to Historic Royal Palaces welcome help from volunteers and many of the roles available are detailed on their websites. Check with your local museum or place of interest to discover how you can get involved. Check out volunteer vacancies at Historic Royal Palaces and The National Trust
Every charity relies on the help of volunteers to operate and raise funds for their cause. Whatever is special to you, there is probably a charity operating for the greater good of the cause. Contact charities directly for volunteering opportunities.
Further information and organisations who can inform of local opportunities:
Do-it.org is a database of UK volunteering opportunities. You can search more than a million volunteering opportunities by interest, activity or location and then apply online.
Volunteering England to find volunteering opportunities in your area.
Volunteering Matters to find volunteering opportunities in your area.
Join-in runs local sporting and community volunteering projects as a legacy of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.
National Association for Voluntary and Community Action a database of local volunteer organisations across England who offer support and can connect you with local charities.
local Volunteer Centre a database of local volunteer organisations across the UK
Reach Volunteering a website for volunteers with specific skills including accountancy, marketing, law, management, mentoring or IT
Rest Less a website featuring a host of volunteering opportunities
Voluntary Service Overseas runs education, health, food, training and farming projects in 24 countries, from Zimbabwe to Papua New Guinea. It needs volunteers with experience in everything from teaching to business, engineering and IT.
Global Vision International Offers more than 150 volunteer abroad programmes in areas ranging from marine conservation to healthcare, animal care, construction and sport. Family volunteer holidays are also available.
Projects Abroad offer opportunities to anyone aged 16 to 75-plus, in 30 destinations, covering the likes of micro-finance, community work, creative arts, agriculture, childcare and much more.
POD Volunteer is a non profit volunteer organisation who offer volunteering with animals, communities and long term partners worldwide.
Kaya Volunteer is a volunteer organisation offering volunteering with animals, communities and long term partners worldwide.
The great thing to remember about volunteering is that it doesn’t have to be a huge commitment. Start with just a few hours and build from there - if you are willing and able and do it because you enjoy it.
We’d love to hear your stories and recommendations of organisations to volunteer with. Please post in the comments so that others can benefit from your experience.