There are few things more rewarding in life than giving up your time to volunteer for a cause you care about. I once spent a year or so helping a charity which rehomes battery hens. Instead of the hens being slaughtered at the end of their prosperous egg-laying years, the farms sold them to the charity. A network of volunteers all over the country would then work together to find the hens new homes, and transport them there. I saw some sights which are very upsetting but it felt so good to see these hens get their first experience of walking outside on grass and living out the rest of their lives in peace. I’ve also volunteered weekly for my local cubs group many years ago. It was such a lovely thing to do and now I have moved counties I am looking into volunteering near me.
There are so many volunteering opportunities out there to get involved with. If you have even a small amount of time there will be something that you can help out with.
Why Give Up Your Time To Volunteer?
Volunteers all over the world are giving up their time and resources to help someone out, while gaining a lot back in return. Of course the most obvious reason to do it is because you will be helping someone in need. There are fabulous initiatives out there in our communities which provide a much-needed service, and for whom volunteers are an essential component. Not only will you help others and get to share your unique skills, you’ll also help yourself by learning new ones and gaining a sense of satisfaction that you are helping others. You’ll get to meet new people, and enhance your life in ways you perhaps didn’t even anticipate. For many people, volunteering can also be a way to enhance their CV and gain new skills relevant to an impending change of career.
Either way, there is so much to be gained from volunteering.
What Volunteering Opportunities Are There?
There are so many unique opportunities out there to volunteer that it’s impossible to list them all. Pretty much anything you can think of doing, you can do to help someone else out. The list of things you can get involved with as a volunteer include:
- activity coordination
- animal care
- kitchen assistance
- swim buddy
- administration & finance
- social media support
- newsletter editor
- community ambassador
- volunteer coordinator
These are just a few of the things you can do as a volunteer. There are so many more options which are more specific to particular charities.
Where To Find Volunteering Positions
I discovered the Do-it Trust when I was looking for local volunteering opportunities. It’s a really useful website, as it contains over 1 million volunteering opportunities. Local trusts can sign up to publicise their opportunities, and you can search by postcode to find openings local to you. A quick search of my postcode found volunteering opportunities that started within my own village and expanded out by distance. I had no idea there was so much need for volunteers in such a close proximity to me.
You can also walk into charity shops, search through your local paper, or walk into your local volunteering centre to ask about opportunities. I also recommended contacting local organisations directly to ask if they require voluntary assistance.
Some Things To Bear In Mind Before Volunteering
Many positions require that you have a DBS check (Disclosure and Barring Service check) before you start working. There is good information online if you have questions about DBS checks.
Be aware of any suspicious activity around volunteering positions. Ensure you do your research on organisations and individuals before getting involved.
Ensure that your health and safety is regarded by an organisation in the same way as if you were an employee.
Know that any time you can give, no matter how little, will be of huge benefit to those in need of your help!
For me, I am now looking at a couple of positions. One is working with a battery hen rescue charity as I did before, and the other is at a local animal sanctuary.
I would love to know about your experience as a volunteer, or as part of an organisation which uses volunteers.
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