Top Five Places to Volunteer At

volunteerVolunteering can be incredibly rewarding – and at the same time, great fun. It’s fantastic for people who’ve been out of work for some time and who are looking to get back into it, for college students at a loose end or for people who genuinely want to help out their community. Anyone can volunteer as long as they have a few hours of spare time – so check out some of the volunteering ideas below to get you started.

Cats/Dogs Home

Cats and dogs homes can be a fantastic place to volunteer at and they’re perfect for people who are looking to get into veterinary care. You need to be quite hardy to work at an animal shelter as some of the animals are often very poorly and you’ll be dealing with a lot of illness. You may also be in the position where you have to deal with animals that are going to be put down, so it’s important that you have a strong enough demeanour to pull through. If you can deal with that, the love you’ll get from the animals will be reward enough. For volunteering opportunities, visit your local shelter.

Home for the Elderly

This is a great volunteering opportunity for people who only have a few hours spare a week. Homes for the elderly are great places for giving care and medical attention to the residents, but many of the people living in the homes may feel lonely or like they don’t have anyone to talk to. That’s where you come in – you could go into the home and just talk to the residents, or if you have a skill such as playing the piano, you could share it with everyone. Speak to your local hospital for details of local homes for the elderly.

Nursery School/Kindergarten

Most schools will always be looking for someone to lend them an extra pair of hands, especially in classes for younger children. This is a great opportunity for someone looking to move into childcare, or for someone who’s just had a child. Responsibilities will include arranging toys and activities, looking after the children, leading them in activities, preparing food and putting everything away at the end of the day. This type of volunteering is very flexible, too – if you only have one afternoon a week, you could go in for just one afternoon. If you have more time, let them know and they may be able to lend you to another class that needs help. Just go to your local school for more information.

In Hospital

Even if you don’t have any medical background, most hospitals would still be grateful of a volunteer to chat to the patients and to keep their spirits up – especially on trauma units or on children’s wards. What you have to do at the hospital will depend on your previous experience and on which ward you’re placed on, but you can expect to talk to a range of people from a range of backgrounds with a number of different medical problems. Again, you have to be tough to volunteer in a hospital as chances are, you’ll be dealing with death on a daily basis. Speak to your local hospital for more details.

Charity Work

Is there an illness in your family? Have you lost someone or something through an illness or disability? If you have, charity work may be for you. Maybe a certain charity has helped you or your family – contact them! All charities are ran by volunteers, so it’s people like you who run the whole organization – and every charity is grateful for help and volunteers. If you have a specific charity in mind, give them a call – if not, take a look on the internet for some inspiration.