Doing Voluntary Work - A Guide To Getting Started

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Doing Voluntary Work

If you’ve thought about doing some voluntary work and don’t know where to start, here is some general guidance that may help you to decide which area you want to work in and where you can go to get more information.

Volunteering can make you feel good about yourself, because you’re doing something practical to help others. Volunteering also inevitably means having greater opportunities to meet other people. You could think about volunteering for an overseas project in a Third World country, which is bound to have an impact on your outlook, or you could give up an hour or two on a weekly basis to help an elderly person to do their shopping or have a cuppa and a chat.

Whatever area interests you, realising that you’re more fortunate than others, while you do your voluntary work, can have a profound and lasting effect on you.

Work And Your Community
There is always so much that you can do in the area that you live or work in. These are just some of the opportunities to help local groups that may exist in your local area:-

Animal care
Charity Shops
Decorating / DIY
Fund Raising

Play Schemes
School assistance

Your Life
There are benefits for volunteers as well and it can be a great way of getting to know new people, or to:-

Change direction
Learn new skills
Broaden existing skills
Get out of the house!
Bridge the gap between unemployment and work
Gain confidence
Feel more worthwhile and valued
Have fun with like-minded people

A lot of volunteer centres do not get any government funding whatsoever and they rely heavily on volunteers. You really will make a big difference to someones life so, if you’ve been thinking about it, now is the time to take action.

Initially all it takes is a phone call to the organisation. If you do an internet search for voluntary work or volunteers in your local area. You’ll probably be amazed at home much work there is, and the demand there is for volunteers.

Take time to look through websites of local organisations and to read the information for each volunteer position. If anything in particular “jumps out” at you and you think that it is a job you think you would enjoy, contact the organisation and they’ll explain everything to you.

Normally, any “out of pocket” expenses are re-imbursed by the organisation, and if you are claiming benefits, they’ll cover any implications that may have.

So you’ve got nothing to lose and you could really make a big difference to a person’s lfe.

Good luck, whatever you decide.

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