Voluntary Working Basics: What You Should Know
Voluntary workers are people who give their time freely to help and organisation or charity. A voluntary worker can come from any walk of life and can, during the time away from voluntary work be employed in any other profession.
Voluntary workers can give as little or as much time as they choose. There are no limitations set in order to be a voluntary worker; you don’t have to be well educated, well off financially or in a position to be able to provide anything other than your time and dedication to your chosen cause.
What sort of Voluntary Work Can I Do?From a voluntary point of view there are – again – no limitations on what kind of voluntary work you can do as long as you are prepared to give your time and help out where needed. Voluntary work can be in your local youth club, community centre, mother and toddlers group, hospital, hospice, charity office, the list is endless. Many community organisations are funded solely by the generosity of the neighbourhood and local businesses adn will always have a requirement for voluntary workers.
You may decide your talents lie in fundraising in which case your chosen organisation could benefit from your ability to encourage local businesses to donate equipment or money. Or you might decide that your strength lies in working with people etc.
Many organisations – especially those facilitating services for children – will have a need for volunteers who are good with children and can have a positive influence on them. Community groups, youth clubs, cross community groups and other organisations principally in existence to offer help and support to young people should be very much at the top of your list when it comes to deciding where you would like to spend your volunteered hours.
How Can I Volunteer My Time?If you wish to offer your time to any organisation the first thing you should do is contact them directly – if you are unable to do so then your local council or Local Education Authority (LEA) – should be able to direct your enquiries to the right people. Most organisations – again especially those dealing with children – will ask that you provide a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS), check or disclosure as it is known. This is so that it can be demonstrated you are not a risk to children, the elderly or any other group which may be categorised as vulnerable.
It is advisable to think long and hard about how you wish to offer your services. If your skill lies in fundraising then planning ahead and getting to grips with what areas of an organisation’s funding are lacking is a must. Drawing up an action plan in this instance can only be a good thing.