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How to find the right volunteering

(24 Posts)
Oldmutton Fri 08-Jul-22 21:50:36

I wonder if anyone can advise? I want to try some volunteering, but I don't know what or how to go about finding the right sort of thing. I don't want to be bored! I want to be with other people and to have purpose!

kittylester Fri 08-Jul-22 22:10:46

Do you have any passions?

I started volunteering for Witness Service when my daughter in law told me how much they helped her when she had to go to court to give evidence. I loved it.

I now volunteer with the Carers of people who are living with dementia. I started because a friend couldn't find any information to help her with her husband who had Alzheimer's.

Does your village/area have a Good Neighbours Scheme? Ours does all sorts of things.

Shandy57 Fri 08-Jul-22 22:13:10

I chose to volunteer at Mind, as I wanted to help people with mental health issues. Unfortunately 'Mind' didn't choose their regional staff very well, and they openly bullied the permanent shop staff, so I left.

Taylor2016 Fri 08-Jul-22 22:24:51

Make a list of thing’s that you find interesting then whittle it down in order of preference.
I have always been good with money so volunteer and guide people that are in debt.

BlueBelle Fri 08-Jul-22 22:26:30

I chose a charity shop as I love talking to people and helping
I choose a cracker and have made friends with customers and staff a really happy ship of all ages ( not just old dears) young and old, men and women. Been there 8 years couldn’t ask for anything better

Kate1949 Fri 08-Jul-22 22:33:39

I used to volunteer in a primary school helping 5 and 6 year olds with their reading. It was lovely. The school asked me to assist on school trips. I got to go to theatres, adventure parks, attractions etc. I also got to help with school plays.

NotSpaghetti Fri 08-Jul-22 22:43:59

Contact your local volunteer bureau who will have someone who can talk you through options/ideas.

Have a proper chat with someone who is experienced in placing volunteers.
Think about what you really want and how much time you want to offer.
Good luck.

Grammaretto Fri 08-Jul-22 22:48:26

I used to volunteer with Riding for the Disabled and stopped because it was a bit too physical for me as I got older. I still miss it and the horses. I did it for 17 years.
Now I volunteer at a community run store . It's very busy and friendly and never boring
As others have said, follow your inclinations. I would say do what appeals to you rather than for a sense of duty.
There are websites with volunteer jobs.

Oldmutton Fri 08-Jul-22 23:34:39

Oh thank you so much for all these good ideas! I shall start making a list!

fiorentina51 Sat 09-Jul-22 06:29:57

When I retired from teaching I volunteered as an education ranger with the Forestry Commission. I did lots of fun stuff like shelter building, minibeast hunting, pond dipping etc. Best of all, no planning or marking!
Unfortunately the FC no longer have an education team so that ended after 5 years.
Together with my late husband, I volunteered at my local museum. He demonstrated rope making and I stewarded the air raid shelter. I'm still doing it. I enjoy meeting our visitors, many of whom share fascinating stories of their wartime childhood.
This weekend I have volunteered to be a finds processor for an archaeology team that is digging test pits around our local area. It's surprising what opportunities are out there once you start looking.

Almost forgot, thanks to my time volunteering for the FC I became friends with two other women of a certain age. We meet up weekly to work in the forest. Repairing fencing, clearing brash, surveying reptile populations.........and eating cake, drinking tea and doing a fair bit of nattering too.
Hope you find something you enjoy!

Knittingnovice Sat 09-Jul-22 06:37:21

Knittingnovice Sat 09-Jul-22 06:38:02

Have a look at the website as it tells you some available opportunities in your area.

BigBertha1 Sat 09-Jul-22 06:58:30

I found that you may need to try several things before you settle to

BigBertha1 Sat 09-Jul-22 07:01:45

Settle to your best fit. I am a Trustee for the local hospice. Lots of charities find difficulty in recruiting Trustees. I am also a Walking Netball Ambassador for the England Netball Women's Institute Parternship There are lots of volunteer opportunities in sport...ask at your local leisure centre.

Calendargirl Sat 09-Jul-22 07:17:05

A friend is a volunteer at her local hospital, guiding and helping patients and visitors.

kittylester Sat 09-Jul-22 07:27:36


I found that you may need to try several things before you settle to

I was just coming back to say the Bertha.

When it all changed at Witness Service I started volunteering for a Rape Charity but it just didn't gel. Then I was on the committee that took over our village library. I enjoyed that but I love my current role. I feel that I make a proper difference.

dragonfly46 Sat 09-Jul-22 07:32:36

I volunteered at the local schools in their libraries.

Grammaretto Sun 10-Jul-22 10:36:20

DM volunteered with RVS at the hospital taking tea trollies round to patients having chemo and their relatives. When DH was undergoing that we were so grateful.

lixy Sun 10-Jul-22 10:42:14

Any stately homes near you? They have a range of volunteering opportunities. I garden one day a week and help in the shop on another day at our local stately home.
They're not all English Heritage/ National Trust - our local one is 'independent'.

kittylester Sun 10-Jul-22 10:49:00

Dh volunteers as a driver with RVS, Gramaretto. He takes people for radiotherapy.

RVS have loads of different volunteering opportunities.

Shandy57 Sun 10-Jul-22 10:49:45

Great idea lixy.

I'd forgotten I'd worked at Alnwick Castle in 2006, as a state room guide. Very enjoyable but I found standing for eight hours difficult, we did move to different rooms/locations throughout the day. This was paid, seasonal work.

Oldmutton Sun 10-Jul-22 13:52:13

You are all so kind, so many suggestions, glad I asked!

Aveline Sun 10-Jul-22 14:04:56

I found the RVS via a local volunteer website where you enter your interests and availability and the system tells you what's around that fits.
I matched with the RVS ward volunteer project and I'm happily occupied twice a week visiting and chatting to socially isolated elderly people who may not have many/any visitors. As previously stated RVS has lots of projects and their training is very good. I had to do several modules before I could start and had to get my PVG approval. They provide a uniform too. I'm well supported by RVS.

GrammyGrammy Fri 22-Jul-22 19:14:58

I would never volunteer for an organised charity ever again, not since 'call me dave' hijacked voluntary workers and made it into slavery, complete with heavy handed legislation and rules. If i want to help others I'm not interested in having gubberment telling me how and how to etc. They can rubber orf. Look first close to home. Is your neighbourhood ok? Are people struggling? Lonely? Make sure you literal neighbours are ok first?