Want to try something new, grow your skills, and do some good, all at the same time? Discover different ways to volunteer and boost your job prospects with the icould guide to volunteering.
Volunteering is a great way to:
- gain work experience and show your interest in a particular type of work. This can really help give your future job applications that extra edge
- build your skills bank with examples, such as teamwork or problem solving, that you can include on your CV or talk about at interviews
- try something new to see if you like it. Lots of volunteering roles offer a trial session, so you can quickly get a feel for whether you’d like to become more involved
- get an inside view as to what a type of work is really like. Even if you’re doing something simple, you’ll often have the chance to see what people in other roles are doing
- develop your network. You’ll meet other volunteers and make contacts which could lead to new things
- do something worthwhile and rewarding
Volunteering helped Anna discover what she wanted to do.Watch video
There are lots of different ways you can volunteer. In some cases, you need to be over 18 to volunteer but there are options out there for younger people too.
Volunteering as part of a package
- Do-it makes it easy for anyone to volunteer in their community and lists over a million opportunities.
- GoodGym combines physical tasks that benefit the community and keep you fit. Join a group run and work on a community project or do one-off missions. You’ll get the help of a qualified trainer and support to achieve your goals.
If you want to support a cause or get experience in a particular job area, try looking on relevant organisations’ websites. And it’s not just charities – big events and festivals often rely on volunteers for roles such as marshals, ushers, and car park attendants (sometimes in exchange for free entry or backstage access).
Here’s a few ideas to get you started:
- The Conservation Volunteers help thousands of people each year reclaim local green places
- At the British Red Cross you can volunteer in emergency response and first aid, charity shops or fundraising
- Interested in bird life? The RSPB welcomes volunteers from bird identifiers to graphic designers
- Volunteer at homelessness charity Crisis and help deliver services, campaigns, fundraising, admin and IT support
- Are you a good listener? Samaritans volunteers support people who get in touch by phone, email, letter and in person
- Cancer Research UK recruits event, media and office volunteers
- GOV.UK has a section on volunteering, with information about your rights as a volunteer.
- NCVO has lots more information about volunteering, including ideas on finding volunteering opportunities, and problem solving for volunteers.
If you’re established in your career and want to share your skills:
- Reach connects volunteers with professional skills with charities looking for support
- Inspiring The Future connects workplace volunteers to inspire children and young people in schools by talking about their job and career path, or sharing their experiences
- Inspiring Governance connects volunteers interested in becoming a governor or trustee with schools and colleges in England
Find out more
See Start planning your summer for ideas on working holidays.
Last updated: 13th September 2023
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