In these unusual times, one of the things we might struggle with is continuing to do hobbies we love. Even though we have to adapt, there are so many ways to still volunteer virtually. Even if you have never volunteered before, now is the time to help the local community, whilst also helping you maintain your work-life balance when at home.
For me, volunteering has become a regular part of my weekly routine. While I can no longer go to volunteering events in person, there are ways that we can continue to volunteer from home. The NHS recommends using the website Do-it.org to search for volunteering opportunities in your local area. If you are unable to go outside to volunteer, there are also opportunities to volunteer from home. Here are some of the most interesting and unique volunteering opportunities you might be interested in.
With children out of school at the moment, now is a great time to volunteer and help them keep positive. Post Pals is a fantastic volunteering service that allows people to write letters and emails to unwell children and their siblings. It is a fantastic way to spread cheer to those who need it most. This is something you can do from anywhere in the world – Post Pals now also lets you send emails to children and their families to spread support. These positive messages can be so helpful for children who are confused by these unusual times.
For those who are still based in the UK, joining your local Mutual Aid group can be a fantastic way to help your community. From local businesses to individuals nearby, there are so many people who still need help to get groceries, keep their businesses afloat or collect medicines. If you are still able to go out, this can be a fantastic way to connect with opportunities in your area. For those who might not be able to go out, or might require extra assistance, this can also be a great way to ask for help from those close to home.
Living in London at the moment? These opportunities could be for you! The Mayor of London’s website has multiple opportunities – all of different varieties – to support different boroughs during these tough times. You can filter to your specific area and register at the local volunteering centre or take a look at urgent requests all over the city.
Even though this opportunity is temporarily on hold (the NHS are currently reviewing over 750,000 applications), keep an eye out on the website to see how you can directly help frontline workers and vulnerable people. For those without a nursing or medical qualification, there are still so many unique opportunities. This includes transportation for essential medical supplies and discharge patients, so if you do have access to a car this could be extremely helpful. As well as this, the NHS has launched a “Check-In and Chat” opportunity for those looking for short-term volunteering. I was drawn into this, as it allows you to chat over the phone to those who might feel isolated or are at risk of loneliness. It is a wonderful opportunity to get to know new people and hear about their interesting experiences as well.
If you are looking for something new to do, these are some of the great ways you can not only find something exciting to try, but also help your local area. Again, if you have been nervous to try volunteering in previous terms, starting off remotely could be a great way to ease yourself into it.
Have you tried remote volunteering? Tweet us at @warwicklibrary, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, or leave a comment below.