Where to find your perfect volunteer role - or your perfect volunteer...

As we slowly start returning to work, be it from furlough or going into the office from working from home, it's easy to feel like your time is being sucked up by a sudden commute or just by 'being busy'. We've gone from seeing nobody, to seeing loads of people (behind face masks) and everything feels a little more hectic because we're trying to fruitlessly return to a previous life which now has all of these rules in place.

One of the good things to have come out of the pandemic is the vigour with which people have volunteered their time, and the droves of people who have done so. A lot of people (myself included) found that work had either diminished or vanished completely and found that volunteering was a way of keeping sane and adding value to what seemed to be a fruitless situation.

For those of you who are continuing to spend time volunteering, or if you're a non-profit organisation who wants to find volunteers, below are some links that might help you connect with the perfect person or organisation.

Go Local

There's a lot of impact to be had from volunteering locally, because you can directly see the impact you are having, and get to know people in your area - creating your own network of strength. You can search for local opportunities on the Government Website, through that I found the NCVO and my AgeUK Merton roles - I've been shopping for my neighbour and having regular check-in-and-chat conversations with Lady T. Also, you should definitely check out your local Mutual Aid Group. Mutual aid groups are on the rise and are so important when it comes to ensuring that your neighbours are doing okay.

National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO), Volunteering Matters, Charity Job

Go Global

If you don't fancy keeping it to your local area, you can search for opportunities from around the globe. There are loads of opportunities to teach or help charitable causes overseas, but it will require a budget or some sponsorship on your part - flights, accommodation, innoculations etc. It will also probably require some level of fitness as well, as a lot of these roles are physically demanding. That being said, you can still volunteer remotely - see below...

AFS, Global Volunteers, Helping Abroad, Travel With A Challenge

Go Remote

Going remote allows you to go local or global - because you don't have to be there. This one is great for people who want to donate their professional skills such as marketing, graphic design, Google AdWords or web design. There are loads of small charities with tiny budgets who would be super-grateful for any help or time that you can give to them - even if it is just casting a professional eye over what they do and advising them. I'vefound recently been creating content for Leeds Castle after I was matched with them by Furlonteer, and I found my Charity Excellence Framework role through Media Trust. If you're looking to repurpose your skills for good, this is the way to do it.

Furlonteer, Furloughed.Life, Media Trust, Volunteer Match, Vuva Volunteering, Points of Light, UNV Online Volunteering

Or, just try getting in contact with your favourite cause and see if they want your help

If there's a cause that you want to volunteer for, why don't you try getting in touch? If you come up with a really great idea for a fundraising campaign or a marketing idea, why on earth wouldn't your favourite cause want to hear from you? If you are fully-committed to a cause, your charity needs you, especially now.

Think about what you LOVE to do - and go for it!

This also works if you're thinking about changing careers and want to gain experience in a new sector. If you are willing to dedicate your time for free to prove that you are capable of a certain task, or if you just love driving, or want to teach a free Zumba class at your local community hall, just get in contact and see if they'll go for it. I don't see why they wouldn't.

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