Annie Bocock

Volunteering

Volunteering is a fantastic way to boost your skills, give back to the communities you love and to make friends!

Benefits of Volunteering

Connect with others

By volunteering you often get to connect with other, like-minded people. These people can become peers, mentors and even friends over time due to your shared passion for doing good. 

Do good in your community

The work you do by volunteering can really help your communities thrive. Whether it’s by improving your local environments or assisting  the most vulnerable within your communities, you’ll have a real impact on those who matter to you.

Be a part of something bigger

When you volunteer you become a part of a global network of communities striving for a better world. 

Learn practical skills

There are countless transferable and technical skills you can gain from volunteering. From social media marketing to content creation, or mentoring to advising, there’s plenty you can gain for your development. 

Tackle problems that mean something to you​​

Care about a particular issue? There’s no easier way to help tackle it than through volunteering! Maybe you want to give back to a service that has helped you or a loved one, or maybe you simply want to make life better for some people; whatever the reason, volunteering is the easiest way to help.

Improve your mood

Studies have shown that volunteering helps boost our mental health, and overall mood, substantially. Now if that’s not convincing then I don’t know what will be!

Where Do You Find Opportunities?

Social Media

Social media is surprisingly one of the easiest ways to find volunteering opportunities. On Facebook, for example, try searching for local volunteering groups. On LinkedIn (which we recommend you get) add build up your connections and follow relevant non-profits, you’ll see opportunities popping up in no time!

Do-It

Do-It are an organisation which host a national database of volunteering opportunities. Similar sites include: Volunteering Matters, Reach Volunteering and Charity Job.

Local Volunteer Centres

Using the Volunteer Centre finder from the NCVO, you could find your local Volunteer Centre and find an opportunity through them! 

 

Securing Opportunities

Most volunteering opportunities only ask for enthusiasm and an idea of your skill set upon applying, however, with more competitive opportunities there are ways you can make yourself stand out:

  • Do your research on the cause and organisation
  • Tell them what you could bring to the role, and any project ideas if you have them
  •  Explain how this would fit in with your career goals
  • Try and match your experiences and skills to the candidate brief

Physical Opportunities

These are opportunities where you often go out and get stuck-in!

Likely opportunities include:

  • Bucket collections/fundraising
  • Organising events
  • Environmental projects
  • Activism
  • Representatives/spokespersons
  • Board members
  • Learning assistants
  • Providing SEN support
  • Leafleting
  • Call centre work
  • Charity shop work
  • Crisis volunteers
  • Elderly work
  • Media volunteer
  • Scouts/Guides

Digital Opportunities

You can even do some volunteering from your own home through the Internet!

Likely opportunities include:

  • Content writer
  • Social media coordinator
  • Organising events
  • Crisis volunteers
  • Press ambassadors
  • Board member
  • Researcher

Finding Your Worth Whilst Volunteering

Whilst volunteering is invaluable in terms of the skills and other benefits it can give you, there may come a time in your volunteering journey when you feelers undervalued, after all, you’re putting these hours in and getting no financial support in return. It’s important that charities find volunteers where they can, however, sometimes there’s a very fine line between you being a volunteer and you clearly being underfunded for the amount of work you do.