A few months ago i started volunteer work for a charity in my town. Feels good to be part of something which is helping people.
Agreed. I volunteer and find it very rewarding.
Would love to get involved - how do I get into this?
Check out your charity shops in the city centre/town centre.
Fill out the health and safety forms, and you can usually start right away.
No commitments or real responsibilities, just generally helping out.
I usually print off lables and stick them on DVDs/CDs/Books etc and just general maintenance and helping out
Sounds great but would love to do some work outdoors (improving a park eg) or helping out with youth/elderly support
The closest thing i have heard of for that is " Men in sheds " which you help do DIY and build things for the elderly.
In Northern Ireland we have www.volunteernow.co.uk
Sign up and list your skills and what you want and they’ll find you something. I was talking to them last week about helping do admin for charities.
Google volunteering where you live and there will be something
My wife helps at the local NCT which means I’m roped in for various things. Mainly lifting and shifting. It’s quite nice doing something on a voluntary basis. Even if I do think the NCT take the piss by keeping 80% of the profits.
If you’re in Scotland then keep an eye on opportunities via volunteer Scotland - https://www.volunteerscotland.net
Ive done a lot of volunteering in charity shops. You can normally just call down and ask. Most are more than happy with any help they can get.
As a runner, I like to give back to the running community. Help out at major events on marshalling duties especially Brighton and London marathon that if I am not running it. Also help out at my local weekly 5km Parkrun , these FREE events are held all over the UK and some countries overseas at 9am every Saturday. http://Parkrun.org.uk for more info.
I think it depends entirely what you want out of volunteering, and where your skills lie.
Some like the small charity shop of a weekend, for others it’s linked directly to what they want to do in the furture (say, St John’s Ambulance Service). Some want ad-hoc volunteering (eg. at a festival or annual celebration such as Pride events), while others want a more long-term committed volunteering role (eg. volunteering in the armed forces or as a Police Officer).
First thing to consider really - as oddly “selfish” as it sounds - what do you want to achieve from volunteering?
For me, i had a difficult few years with mental health but am now fully recovered and it’s a way for me to get back on my feet as a productive citizen in society.
Start small then perhaps. Work upwards.
For me, I wanted to give back to London at the same time as acquiring new skills and having a long term committeed role, so that’s how I chose to do what I do.
Yep thats what im doing, started doing one day per week now doing two.
Next,hopefully will be part time employment.
They’re essentially a running club, where you run in a group to a project, (could be anything from clearing rubble on community garden, planting etc, helping a school shift bulky items), and then you run back. You have runners of all abilities, ages and backgrounds and everyone is super friendly. They have a side service where you can befriend an elderly person, run to their house and do some chores for them, or even just have a chat and a cup of tea. My friends love this as they have a lot of stories to share!
If you’re looking for volunteering I’d recommend Do-It. Website where you can search through thousands of volunteering places locally.
For those of you in London.
If there is any interest - this is a bit more of an intense volunteer position, but for me it was a perfect fit for what I wanted to do.
We have a few people who have completed the course to become a Mental Health First Aider. They are trained in providing support and guidance to colleagues going through periods of poor mental health or looking to improve their mental wellbeing.
They aren’t therapists, but it’s great to know that they are here to talk to, listen, reassure and guide us in times of need. Everyone in the company knows who these people are.
Some of the courses cost and may be something your employer could sponsor, I imagine most would be really supportive of this. There are also courses specialising in youth mental health and the armed forces too.
A great way to give back a little closer to home