Do It Volunteering and Its Work in the UK
Volunteering isn’t something that is normally done just to take up spare time. Most people who choose to volunteer do so because they truly enjoy helping others. The United Kingdom participates in the United Nations Volunteers program .Volunteers from various UN Nations gather together to offer their time, services and knowledge as a way of giving back to the community, no matter where in the world they are needed.
Benefits of Volunteering
Volunteering offers many benefits. Organizations across the United Kingdom are constantly trying to attract volunteers who have specific skills. Some benefits may be fleeting, but others can remain visible for years to come. One such organization, Independent Living Alternatives asks for volunteers to help disabled individuals learn to live on their own. Some organizations require individuals with various skills, while others only require a thoughtful smile and a caring hand.
- Sense of accomplishment – One of the most popular reasons for volunteering is a sense of accomplishment. For example, individuals who volunteer in London at the Paraylmpic Games get to play a vital role in helping those individuals succeed.
- Give back to the community – Giving back to the community through various charities allows individuals to help those less fortunate. An excellent example is Volunteering England. This extensive database lists a multitude of organizations and facilities that are constantly seeking new people. This group is broken down into local units that work within their own areas to help encourage others to donate not only their money, but their time as well. A few of the organizations included are:
- Volunteering Manchester
- Volunteering Edinburgh
- Do It Volunteering London
- Share the wealth – Individuals can share the wealth by offering to financially support certain projects. Those who don’t have the financial means to donate money, can help by offering goods or services.
- Almost 70% or all people who donate their time, do so because they gain valuable knowledge that will help them in their chosen career, according to TimeBank.
Almost 20 million residents in the United Kingdom, donate in some fashion to local groups, organizations and facilities at least once a year.. Many continue to do so because they can see the results of their work.
Volunteering with Children
Volunteering with children can be extremely rewarding for individuals who choose to do so. Children who have little to no family are often left with teachers and other public individuals who have little time to show them any attention.
- Children’s hospitals – Childrens hospitals in London, Scotland, Wales and Ireland encourage individuals who have a way with children to volunteer in the facility’s childrens ward. They can hold and sooth newborns who may need more attention than what the staff and parents can provide. Many children only need the comfort of being held.
- Schools – Schools often ask for volunteers to go on field trips or to chaperone parties. Schools are always in need when it comes to individuals who are willing to go on field trips or speak about certain careers or social events.
- Nurseries – Children’s nurseries and day care will often ask for volunteers much like children’s hospitals do. Many day care facilities look for volunteers who will come in and hold the smaller children as a way of providing them with much needed comfort while staff members are busy attending to the other children.
- Libraries – Adult volunteers can donate their time to run book sales or read to small children while their parents are in other areas of the library.
- Bullying advocates – Anti-bullying groups are becoming more prominent throughout the United Kingdom and other parts of Europe. A Do It Volunteer can choose to work with almost any type of organization, including those that support anti-bullying. Major cities like London and Manchester have many individuals who are passionate about volunteering in many different ways.
- Financial Support – Almost 75% of United Kingdom residents donate money to their favorite charities on a regular basis.
Volunteers who work with children often do so to further their career goals. Many are going to school or are already working in an environment that involves children. Volunteer work in London can be used as life experience when it comes to certain college classes. Students who are enrolled in teacher programs, are often encouraged to volunteer their time in educational facilities or children’s hospitals so they can become accustomed to dealing with certain issues that may arise.
Volunteering with Animals
Many people choose to do animal volunteer work. Throughout the United Kingdom, animal activist groups are encouraging individuals to spay and neuter their pets. Many of those organizations have volunteers who will help pet owners get their animals to the vet to ensure the procedure is performed. This small act of kindness helps to reduce the stray animal population in many of the larger cities including London, Glasgow and Dublin.
Volunteering in local charities is extremely popular with a local volunteer centre may host a charity event for a local youth group or children’s organization. Almost 80% of people who volunteer, choose to because they say it demonstrates how strongly they are connected to their community.
Local charities will often ask for volunteers by advertising for them or by listing themselves in databases that are designed to connect charities with individuals who are willing to donate time, materials or financial support. These databases take the guesswork out of finding a worthy cause to donate to.
Volunteer UK or Volunteering England is one such database that has connected hundreds of thousands of volunteers with worthy organizations who would not be able to succeed without their assistance. Many organizations rely very heavily on volunteers. Without them, they would not be able to hold events or even function on a day to day basis.
Volunteers most often choose charity events that had to do with sports and athletics, such as the Paralympic Games in London. Sports, recreation and fitness are very popular and volunteers like to offer the athletes as much support as possible. Close to 65% of volunteers who work with these particular events choose to participate because they like to see the athletes succeed at reaching their goals.
Over 62% of volunteers of most organizations, athletic or otherwise, participate because they believe the work is important and that they want to see the organization succeed. Close to 58% of individuals interviewed claim that the only reason they do not volunteer on a regular basis is because their work commitments do not allow them enough time to play an active role in the organization or the events they commonly hold.
Why do people volunteer? There are few reasons:
- To make a difference in their own community
- To make a difference in the lives of their families
- To help make decisions that will affect the growth and well being of the community
- Foster community awareness (Over 85% of volunteers claim that their local neighborhood is culturally and socially diverse).
The numbers concerning volunteering have not always been as good as they are today. Prior to 2005, the actual number of individuals who had dedicated themselves to serving a world wide cause had dropped dramatically. In the years leading up to 2012, the number of people willing to offer their time and money to local charities had slowly began to increase.
Both the Prime Minister of England and the Minister for Civil Society, Nick Hurd, both claimed that 2012 had seen an unprecedented resurgence in active volunteering. Both claimed that the resurgence in volunteering was having a dramatically profound effect on the United Kingdom as a whole. They also attributed the overall outlook of the British people to the positive numbers stemming from the increase in volunteering.
A few of the most successful events included:
- 8,000 British youth participated in NCS
- Over 300,000 people will participate in the Olympic legacy volunteering programme
- It is estimated that in 2012, almost 71% of the population of the United Kingdom volunteers in some capacity at least one time per year
- The London Olympics boasted over 120,000 volunteers
Volunteering in the United Kingdom is on the rise once again. With the database collections of organizations that are searching for volunteers continually growing, individuals who want to donate their time and money will not have any problem finding groups to their liking.