Becoming a volunteer can be personally rewarding, a valuable way of gaining work experience, and can allow you to give something back to your community.
As a volunteer you will be giving your time to help others and you will also increase your own confidence whilst gaining a sense of satisfaction and achievement. It's a great way to make new friends, and can help you to gain new skills and increase your future job prospects.
There are many ways to volunteer depending on how much time you can spare. Full-time, part-time and evening volunteering are offered by various organisations. They are usually looking to recruit new people.
There are hundreds of volunteering opportunities in your borough. Each borough has a dedicated Volunteer Centre who will be aware of most of the volunteer opportunities in your area.
Your Volunteer Centre will support you in finding the kind of volunteer work which appeals to you. They can also assist you to plan ahead by building your skills through volunteer work and training, and supporting you to look for permanent paid work.
And if you are an organisation who would like to involve volunteers in your work the Volunteer Centre will put you in touch with appropriate people.
Contact your local Volunteer Centre for more information:
The Hammersmith Volunteer Centre
The Kensington and Chelsea Volunteer Centre
Team Westminster is Westminster City Council's flagship volunteering programme. There are many ways to volunteer, and 3 different programmes available.
To get an idea about the wide variety of opportunities available via your local Volunteer Centre take a look at these case studies which tell you what other people have been able to do:
Case study 1 - Gardener
RB found volunteering in a number of gardening related opportunities, including Westminster Academy's garden, The Abbey Community Centres Patio area and the Volunteer Centre's patio.
R has been utilising his skills as a professional gardener / DIY'er by pruning, planting bulbs, sweeping, watering plants and painting exterior walls.
R likes to volunteer as it allows him to keep busy and he enjoys the routine of regular opportunities. He is very altruistic and often helps out others, and says he gets enjoyment from this.
Case study 2 - Varied Volunteering Roles
RB has been a service user of Volunteers Centre Westminster's Disability project since 2007. He has built up a variety of skills through a variety of volunteering placements. He has volunteered at the Passage Homeless Centre, The London Jesus Drop-in Centre and at the Abbey Community Centre. He has been involved in sorting donations, painting walls, planting bulbs and also shredding.
R likes to volunteer as it allows him to keep busy and get out of the house. R has said he finds volunteering fun. It has helped to make him more confident and allows him to see new places around London
Case study 3 - Meeting New People
DH has recently volunteered at London Jesus centre and at the Abbey Centre in a variety of roles, including sweeping a patio and sorting donations.
D really likes to volunteer as he gets chance to try new things and meet new people. He has improved his communication skills and gained other invaluable skills.
For ideas about other opportunities to volunteer in your local area please have a look at our separate page on Other volunteering opportunities in your area