Volunteering is a great way to give back to others. There are a wealth of benefits you are likely to receive in return for giving your time – new friends, feeling connected to your local community, a boost on the CV, new experiences and a warm fuzzy feeling inside!
There are so many different ways you can volunteer: you could give the odd day every few months to help out at events for a health charity; a long weekend once a year to help disadvantaged children on a residential camp or a few hours one evening a week providing company for an isolated elderly person.
To start with ask your self the following questions:
HOW MUCH TIME DO I WANT TO GIVE
Be realistic about the amount of time you can give and have a think about your lifestyle. If a weekly commitment is too much then you can look for volunteering on an ad-hoc basis. Alternatively if you are blessed with lots of annual leave then maybe you can look for a substantial chunk of volunteering on residential holidays or week-long projects.
WHAT DO I CARE ABOUT
It is really important that you actually care about the charity that you will be volunteering for and that you are excited about the type of work you will be doing. If you were giving some money and could give it to any charity of your choice which would it be? That’s usually a good indication of what cause is close to your heart.
AM I READY TO COMMIT
Charities put a lot of time and money into training volunteers. It is fine if you try it and discover it is not for you. However if you don’t want the commitment then it is best to look for ad-hoc or casual volunteering opportunities.
Once you’ve answered these questions check out the Volunteering Ideas page to start to get an idea of what type of volunteering opportunities are out there.
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