Voluntary time


Volunteer some of your time and unleash your inner altruist. There are so many roles out there, from community gardeners to helpline advisors; puppy foster parents to micro-volunteering through digital action. These days, volunteering opportunities are endless.

As well as the inevitable warm fuzzy glow you’ll get afterwards, you will also be helping charities, organisations, or individuals who may not receive that support otherwise - all while honing new skills and improving your CV.

What's not to like?!



In a survey of 10,000 volunteers, 93% reported that the top benefit of giving their time was sheer enjoyment. This was followed closely by giving a sense of personal achievement and the feeling of making a positive difference. And for those who prefer a more sciency approach, a study measuring hormones and brain activity found that we gain immense pleasure from helping others, suggesting we are hard-wired to be generous. How lovely.

Yes, you could find an online course, or commit to a pricey evening class. But nothing beats gaining first-hand experience. Think about the skills you would like to develop, perhaps just for fun, or perhaps because you are planning to take your career in a new direction. Volunteering is such a positive way to learn something new and challenge yourself.

Alongside helping your neighbours, volunteering is the perfect way for you to meet people with common interests, realise the resources available in your area and develop that sense of belonging within your community.

As well as the wide range of personal benefits that can be gained from volunteering, the real benefit is the support you are offering to your chosen project. Many charities or community projects lack the resources they really need. But because of volunteers like you, they are able to fill those gaps, support the cause more effectively and continue their brilliant work. Whether the cause is climate change or youth work; litter picking or guide dog training - you'll be leaving a mark.


Find your thing:

  1. What cause? Think about what cause you would like to help with, e.g., environment, community, poverty, sport, education, crime/justice.
  2. What skills? Consider what it is that you'd like to do with your volunteer time - do you want to give your specific skills (such as legal or accounting skills), or are you hoping to learn something new, and have some variety from your day job?
  3. How much time? Be realistic with yourself - how much time are you able to commit? And for how long? By promising more than you can give, you may in fact create more work for the charity than you give.
  4. Find opportunities by visiting charity websites, speaking to your organisation to arrange team volunteering, or use the sites below to run a search.
  5. Sign up and feel good!

Some places to help with your search:

  • Do-it: search for volunteering roles across the UK, by cause, role type, and duration
  • Neighbourly: a great place to start if you want to sign your organisation up for group volunteering.
  • Benefacto: acts like a match-maker between organisations and charities, with opportunities in London, Leeds or Manchester.
  • UN volunteers: search for online volunteering opportunities for organisations working towards peace and development.
  • Zooniverse: contribute to people-powered research from home, from classifying galaxies, to counting penguins, to transcribing manuscripts. Whatever your interest, there's a Zooniverse project for you.
  • Goodgym: for those that are not just socially active but physically active too! You could find yourself shifting earth for a community garden, moving furniture for those less able or sorting cans for a food bank.
  • The Conservation Volunteers (TCV): a well-established charity looking for physical help developing green spaces across the UK. It's a good workout!
  • Your favourite charity: if there's a cause or organisation you particularly support, why not ask if they are looking for trustees? Sitting on the Board of Trustees can be a hugely rewarding way to give your time, and can often fit around your day work nicely.