In A Better You, General Knowledge

Volunteering in the United Kingdom

Volunteering is one of the best things you can do. It can be a rewarding experience. While some of the volunteering England offers is designed for people with specific skill sets, such as a doctor or dentist, even teens can take the time to volunteer. This can help to fulfill requirements for programs that your child is involved in or can even give you something your family can do together to give back to others. Here are some things you should know if you have a teen that wants to do volunteer work.

The Benefits of Volunteering

If you are already planning to volunteer to meet a requirement, then this may seem like the benefit in and of itself. However, there are many other benefits to volunteering that you should know about. In fact, you may find that it has a more profound impact on your life than you may have ever realised.

  • Helps to build self confidence and self esteem
  • It can give you something impressive to add to your resume- perfect for teens who may not have any prior job history
  • Form and maintain important business contacts
  • Learn a new skill or improve ones you already have
  • Gain valuable work experience
  • Teach someone a skill
  • Make a difference is someone’s life or within your community
  • Allows you to feel needed and appreciated
  • Can be an excellent way to meet new people

Volunteering in the UK

There are many options when you are looking to volunteer. Even though some ways of volunteering may not appeal to you, the wide range of options means that you can find a volunteer opportunity that does interest you. Here are a few of the options you have available for volunteering in the UK.

Volunteer Now UK

If you are looking for the perfect opportunity for volunteering UK has to offer, then this may be the best way to find it. here you can search through many different opportunities at once. You can narrow your searches by activity as well as different categories, such as volunteering for people over 50. You can even find organisations that focus on areas that interest you, such as animals, homeless, mental health and more. This can be great when you have a specific way you want to volunteer.

Volunteering England

This is a site specifically designated for finding positions for volunteering London and the rest of England have to offer. This site offers links to local centres and directs volunteers to where they need to go. It is also a helpful resource with plenty of information to help you know what to expect when you are volunteering. There are also campaigns that can be started on this site to help bring volunteering to an area that is currently unrepresented.

Do It

This is another site that is designed to help match volunteers with the opportunities that are right for them. They have a menu that allows you to search and find the options within a range of your area. This means you can search for volunteering opportunities in Wales and click the activity you want to do and then find the opportunities available there. The problem is that this site does not have as comprehensive of a list as some of the other sites do, which can make it hard to find volunteering options near you.

Other Ways to Volunteer

There are several other ways that you can volunteer within your community that do not involve searching online for the right organisation. One is volunteering at your religious organisations. There are many activities that are needed to keep the organisation up and running, such as cleaning, data entry, accounting, child care and more.

Another option is to go to your local library. While many people have forgotten about the library in this digital age, they still exist and they are often in dire need of help. Just simply taking the time to organize books and put them in their proper place is a great help that they can use. Along these same lines, historical societies can be a great opportunity for volunteering as well.

You can also check with your local recreation leagues to see if they are in need of help. This is most beneficial to those who have a skill. For instance, if you are an excellent footballer, then you may want to volunteer with a local league for children. You can give back and do something you enjoy at the same time.

NCVO

Many of the volunteering sites out there link back to this site, simply because of the wealth of information they have to offer. Here you can find news about volunteering, current opportunities and so much more. This is a site that is dedicated to not only helping people find the best organisations for their volunteering but also for representing the voluntary sector and volunteering to government.

National Trust

According to their site, this purpose of this organisation is to “protect some of the most important spaces and places in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. We take care of historic houses, gardens, mills, coastline, forests, woods, fens, beaches, farmland, moorland, islands, archaeological remains, nature reserves, villages and pubs – and then we open them up forever, for everyone.” This means they can be perfect for just about any volunteering you want to do where you want to ensure that there is a beautiful tomorrow without forgetting the past.

Tips for Volunteering

Whether you want to volunteer in Glasgow or any other area, it is important that you know a few things. This will help you to get the best result from the volunteering you do. Here are a few things to keep in mind:

  • Choose an activity you are passionate about. It will make the experience more rewarding. For teens, this can also be a great way to help determine what career path you want to take with your life.
  • If you are not sure what you are passionate about or want to do, think about the activities you are good at. Take some time and think about what you have to offer. If you are not sure you should talk with people who know you best. Once you have an idea of what you can offer, find a volunteer opportunity that allows you to use these skills. For example, if you have great people skills, then you may find that the best places to volunteer are with organisations that work with seniors or children.
  • Some people find it helpful to find volunteer opportunities that align with their long term career goals. This can help to give you on the job training that can come in handy down the road.
  • Take the time to read through an organisation’s site before contacting them. Know what they offer, who they help, what they look for and all the information you can find on them. This will help you to determine if they are one you want to be affiliated with.
  • Know the requirements of the volunteer program before you sign up. For instance, some organisations will require you to volunteer for a specific number of hours or on specific days. Make sure that this works with your schedule so that this does not cause any conflicts.
  • Do not be surprised when the organisations questions you. While most charities and organisations are in desperate need of help, they tend to be discerning of the people they bring on as volunteers.
  • Ask the organisation for referrals and follow up with the ones you receive. It can be helpful to understand how the experience of working with them is before you actually start volunteering. This can help to avoid wasted time and ensure that you find just the right organisation to volunteer your time with.

There are many different ways that you can volunteer and give back to your community. Whether you know what you want to do or not, it is never too early to get started. Take a look at some of these links and see what they have to offer. Start searching the different organisations you will work with. Chances are you will find one that has core values that are very similar to yours and can be an excellent way to give back. Volunteering with an organisation that you love is never wasted time, even if you do not get credit for it for anything outside of your own personal satisfaction.

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