Plenty of us would like to get more involved with helping out in our communities. But more often than not, we just don’t know what opportunities are out there, or where to start. No matter what your passions, skills or interests, there’s bound to be a volunteering role out there that’s perfect for you. To get you inspired, we’ve picked out 10 rewarding ways you can do #BagsMore in your local area this year.
1. Join your local Wildlife Trust
If you’re passionate about the environment and love being outdoors, why not volunteer with your local Wildlife Trust to help conserve the natural habitats in your area? There are lots of ways you can help out, from donating your time by carrying out species surveys, community gardening and hedge laying, to simply making space for nature in your garden at home.
Not the outdoorsy type but still want to get involved? Organisational, IT, administrative and financial skills are all needed, so there are lots of options available if you want to do your bit.
2. Become a community first responder
Cool, calm and collected? If this sounds like you and you want to help others in your area, becoming a community first responder is a role in which you can make a big difference to someone’s life.
To become a community first responder, you’ll need to undergo training as well as have your own car and more than two years’ driving experience. You’ll also need to be prepared to give up five to eight hours of your time per week. The role can involve anything from simply offering reassurance, to providing immediate emergency treatment, making it a particularly fulfilling way to volunteer.
3. Help out at your local nursery
Working with children can be very rewarding. If you’ve got young children or want experience working with kids, helping out at your local nursery could be a fun way to do more in your community. You’ll need a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check before you can get involved, but nurseries, or charities such as the Pre-school Learning Alliance, are often looking for volunteers to help out with early learning.
4. Volunteer at your local heritage site
If you’re passionate about preserving the heritage sites near you, why not think about volunteering at the National Trust? From taking care of some of the UK’s most beautiful historic buildings, to working with expert gardeners to help make their gardens flourish, there are a whole range of ways you can do bags more.
5. Coach a local sports team
From football and rugby to netball and hockey, coaching or managing a local sports team can be a great way to get involved with a sport you love. If you don’t feel like coaching is something you’ll enjoy however, why not think about lending a hand in a more administrative role? There are plenty of skills required to run a sports club successfully, many of which you might already possess.
6. Help out in a charity shop
With numerous charity shops around the UK all supporting a range of worthy causes, there may be one in your area you can help out. A great role if you’ve got a lot of time on your hands and would love to get involved with something that has a social side to it, volunteering in a charity shop can involve anything from interacting with customers and window dressing to sorting through and arranging stock.
7. Become a befriending volunteer
Loneliness can have a massive effect on those who are socially isolated in our communities. If you’re passionate about improving the wellbeing of the older generation in your area, why not volunteer as a befriender?
Taking up around 30 minutes to an hour of your time per week, you can either give someone a call or pay someone a visit at home to have a chat. There are plenty of charities which facilitate this service, from local Good Neighbours causes to UK-wide charities such as Age UK.
8. Mentor a young person
If you want to make a difference in your community, mentoring a young person to support them towards employment, education or training is a great way to volunteer your time. Organisations such as the Prince’s Trust can facilitate mentoring roles, allowing you to gain skills of your own in the process.
9. Volunteer at your local animal rescue shelter
Love animals? If so, you could think about donating your time to your local animal rescue shelter. There are plenty of small local animal rescue shelters dotted around the country that are often in need of volunteers. Roles can range from working closely with animals to helping with marketing and photography, so there are plenty of ways you can get involved.
10. Fundraise for local causes
If you’ve not got a lot of time on your hands but would still like to do bags more, why not consider taking part in a fundraising event to raise money for local cause you care about? There are numerous fun ways you can raise money in your community, such as getting sponsored for taking part in a charity run, holding a bake sale or arranging a charity auction.
With so many ways to do #BagsMore, why not start looking at what causes there are in your community? If you’ve got a cause in your community you’re passionate about, let us know about it on Facebook or Twitter.