There are many opportunities available for you to work voluntarily, giving your time free to help and support individuals or organisations.
Voluntary work is unpaid and the hours can normally be selected to fit in with what you are able to offer. Organisations will prefer you to choose regular times when you would be available so that they are able to plan cover, but most will be flexible to fit in with your needs.
Accessing voluntary work can vary greatly, it may be very informal and simply turning up to offer your time or there may be a formal interview process. Choose what type of volunteering you would like to do and then find an organisation that provides that to the local community or individuals.
Providing voluntary work is a good way to increase your work skills and experience whilst supporting your local community or an individual. It is also a good way to have fun, improve your self confidence and gain real work experience. You will gain many of the benefits of paid work except that you will not receive any pay or money for giving up your time.
Most high streets have a number of charity shops that are normally happy to accept volunteers to sort stock, collection donations, deliver customer orders or to work in the shop. Charitable organisations are frequently able to offer a wide range of work experience and job training and all of this can be used on your CV as evidence of work experience.
There are a very wide range of volunteering opportunities available, such as:
- charity shops - collecting donations, delivering purchases, sorting and working in the shop
- individual support – helping someone access local amenities, travel or providing company
- animal rescue – cleaning, feeding, exercising or fostering
- local groups – litter picking, supporting disadvantaged members of the community
- local and national charities – a huge range of options, check local press or search online
- day centres – supporting individuals and activities at day centres or in supported living
If you are claiming benefits check with your advisor that these will not be affected by doing voluntary work i.e. if you are volunteering you are technically not seeking employment during that time and you may incur sanctions on your benefits.