Start Your Volunteer Journey Today!

Updated: Jul 17, 2020

There has been so much going on in the world this week, with the #BlackLivesMatter movement, the on-going pandemic and the beginning of pride month. It is more important than ever for us to unite together and help each other – so we are calling on everyone to get involved in volunteers’ week 2020 (1-7 June) and beyond!

By volunteering you can be a voice for change in your community and you really can make a huge difference in people’s lives, including your own.

You may think that coronavirus prevents you from volunteering – but it doesn’t! There is still so much we can do that does not require a lot of physical work, time or skills!

Volunteer’s week is an annual celebration of the contributions of millions of people who dedicate their time to volunteer and improve our society/community. This is a perfect time to get active and volunteer for a cause you believe in.  

To begin your volunteer journey visit the What Can We Do? Actions Page. There are so many opportunities, from volunteering your time to chat to someone in need, to helping someone with their shopping. You are bound to find the right one for you. We have highlighted a few opportunities below but there is always more for you to browse here.  

To make it easier for you to get involved in Volunteers Week 2020 we have compiled a list of volunteering opportunities to help you choose the right role for you.  Read on for our 6 key ways to get involved in volunteers’ week!

1. Nowadays there is an app for everything, even for volunteering! Want to do some local volunteering but don’t know how? Check out these apps.

onHand – onHand volunteers can help older adults with shopping and errands, phone check-ins and companionship, picking up prescriptions and other essentials, gardening and outdoors, dog walking and pet care.

To guarantee the best care and support for their vulnerable participants all volunteers are interviewed and verified.  

If you think this might be the opportunity for you to get involved in volunteers’ week, then download the app or call 0203 488 2912 to match with older adults who need help. 

EarlyBeep – with EarlyBeep you can become a local host or volunteer, determined by your location. Help with food supply, dog walking, logistics, online trainings, virtual talks, medicine supply, webinars. – also based on location, allows your neighbours to request assistance. You can post a request or respond to tasks as a volunteer. Help on offer includes: Phone calls & check-ins, shopping & groceries, medication pickups, cooked meals, dog walking.

Did you know that supermarkets now have special shopping cards to help? So if you want to help others with shopping, check out the Asda volunteer shopping card and Co-op community shopping scheme.

2. Sign up locally via a volunteer centre or at a local food bank 

Volunteer Centres are local organisations that provide support and expertise within the local community. This can be for potential volunteers, existing volunteers and organisations that involve volunteers. A volunteer centre is a great place to start if you’re unsure where to start. Use NCVO’s map to find your nearest volunteer centre.

Volunteer to support a food bank near you. Coronavirus has affected people’s well beings, jobs and ability to afford food. Food banks need extra volunteers to help sort and pack donations in their warehouses, collect donations from supermarkets, and deliver food to people in greatest need. 

No food bank near you? Or maybe they are at capacity? Don’t worry, you can still get involved in volunteers’ week and help to tackle hunger and food waste by volunteering with FareShare. Find the right role for you by answering  five quick questions. Roles include: warehouse assistant, driver, admin assistant, social media ambassador, community champion, community fundraiser.

3. Can’t do it now but want to get involved? No worries, sign up to a volunteering database and stay in the loop – there are more than one million volunteering opportunities that you can search for by interest, activity or location and apply online.

CharityJob – find voluntary work on CharityJob, the UK’s busiest site for charity jobs and volunteering opportunities.

WhatCanWeDo? Newsletter – sign up to our newsletter and we will keep you up to date with all the latest volunteering opportunities on our site. Or volunteer directly with us! We are always looking for enthusiastic volunteers who are dedicated to promoting civic engagement in the UK. Contact us to find out more.

Use your professional skills to volunteer by signing up to:

LinkUp London and UN volunteering service.

4. Want to be an ally of the Black community? You can also support #BlackLivesMatter through volunteering. For additional ways to help, see our latest blog.

Show racism the red card, volunteer with the UK’s leading anti-racism educational charity.

Get involved with Black Thrive – a partnership for Black mental health in Lambeth

Volunteer at the Black National Archives – the only national heritage centre dedicated to collecting, preserving and celebrating the histories of African and Caribbean people in Britain.  

The Baytree Centre is a social inclusion charity for women and girls based in the heart of Brixton, South London. You can also donate and fundraise.

Volunteer with The Africa Centre – a charity dedicated to providing the African diaspora, and all people with an interest in Africa, a platform for experiencing events and engaging in discussions on culture, education, business and art. 

Also as an organisation – don’t overlook black people as volunteers!

Support BME youth in gaining employment opportunities.

Join 100 Black Men of London – become a member or volunteer and collaborate with other like-minded professional passionate and positive Black men and women. If you can’t give your time, you can also donate.

Don’t forget that June is also #PrideMonth! There are many LGBTQ+ charities that you can support. For example, you can become a Mermaids volunteer. Mermaids is one of the UK’s leading LGBTQ+ charities, supporting trans and gender-diverse children, young people and their families.

5. Can’t leave home? Then take part from the comfort of your sofa.

Humanitarian micro-volunteering

There are several regions in the world without adequate geographical data. Read about how maps are helping emergency response during this pandemic and how you can contribute to creating maps from satellite imagery. Anyone can start mapping, learning takes less than 30 minutes! See more information and get started here

Give people a call! 

Adopt a grandparent – You can help to bring a sense of comfort by becoming a virtual volunteer and having calls with residents, sign up now.

Be a volunteer with Chit-Chat, a new not-for-profit organisation creating a place for everyone to have a conversation. All you need to volunteer is a cup of tea, listen and have a friendly discussion with anyone who reaches out. Read more about Chit-Chat's work in our Chit-Chat | Voices of Change guest blog.

For over 45 years, Switchboard’s volunteers have been answering millions of UK calls, talking to LGBTQ+ people seeking empathy and insight. They only have two paid members of staff, so really rely on their volunteers! 

We also have volunteering vacancies within the What Can We Do? team. So please contact us.

6. Have little time? You don’t just have to volunteer to make a difference. 

There are plenty of other kind actions that you can take to help yourself and others during these difficult times. These include giving blood, taking part in fundraising campaigns, signing petitions, and supporting businesses. 

Look through our Actions page for more.

Remember you can always do your own research and reach out. If there is a charity you like or a cause that you are passionate about – just send them a short message! Let them know how much time you can commit and what you can do and if they have vacancies they will be more than willing to have the extra help.

If you didn’t find the right volunteer role in this list then do browse our Actions Page for more suggestions. Get involved in Volunteer Week 2020 and beyond and take your first step into the wonderful world of volunteering. 

We want to learn more and share more from community contributions. Please get in touch!

You can find us on InstagramFacebookTwitter and at our website

Each week we publish more ideas on how you can get involved. If you know of any initiatives in your community that you think we should promote get in touch to tell us about them.

Click through the related blogs below for more things you might like.

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