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What is the Volunteer Idea?

Updated: May 20, 2020

We're living in a material world, and I'm a Volunteerial Girl. But why?

The Volunteer Idea is the idea that everyone has something to give. And I mean EVERYONE.

It's also the idea that when you have some spare time, you're not spending it sitting on your arse playing Candy Crush and watching Love Island - you're actively doing something which isn't rotting your brain.

The Volunteer Idea actually started as a site during the lockdown imposed by the Covid-19 pandemic - although, I had been thinking about starting something for a while (but things kept getting in the way). I found myself in a really bizarre place where I had a lot of time on my hands, and no work. I spent my first week cleaning my house furiously - reorganising the fridge and freezer, cleaning out the cupboards, wardrobe and putting together a massive charity bag. Once that was done, I started on the mountain of ironing and started watching The O.C. And then I felt my brain slowly rotting...

I was stuck in a rut - after a week! There was no work out there. I felt redundant and impotent. I needed to do something. I needed to add value. So I got to thinking... What motivates me? What do I LOVE doing? It was really difficult. I was in a brain fug from having binge-watched too much shit television, so had to go out for a run, when it came to me...

I know, I love volunteering!

I love volunteering because you get to meet great people (as for the most part,it's main;y nice people who give their time and skills for free). You get to add value. You get to learn new things and use your skills. It's also great for your mental health because you feel great when you are occupied and you are doing good things for people who need it. I had previously volunteered at the 2019 Cricket World Cup, and I was due to start as an Oval Ambassador at the Kennington Oval and as a team leader at EURO 2020 - but those projects were put on hold for obvious reasons. There had to be other organisations looking for people who wanted to do something to help the fight...

Where do I sign-up?!

I signed-up for the Royal Volunteers. And Voluteering Matters. And AgeUK. And Merton Voluntary Service Council. And Wimbledon Guild. And I created a profile on Charity Job. Then I twiddled my thumbs and waited. I turned on the GoodSAM app and within two days got my first call out! This ended up being a false alarm (I think they wanted to see how the process worked).

And then nothing. I got to thinking again, what can I do right now to make a difference? I wasn't about to get a cape on and get out on the streets in a wave of masked vigilantism, but I wondered if there was anything that I could give that was within my control. So I started this blog so that I would be able to track through my journey in volunteering.

I'm still awaiting my next call-up, and will go wherever I am asked to. For now though, I'm finding my feet and thinking of ways in which I can add value to my community with the skills and resources that I have at my disposal. Starting with tomato plants. But that's another story...

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