what voluntary work do you do?

(51 Posts)
reallyyummymummy Tue 22-Jan-13 18:40:00

DS1 is due to start school in September and DS2 full-time pre-school.

I know that I don't want to do regular paid work (I can afford not to and I don't like it particularly) but would really like to do voluntary work (maybe with children, not quite sure).

So I am curious, what voluntary work is it that you do? and how did you get involved in it?

I help to run a toddler group, I set it up. Other parents I know listen to children reading at school, is Home Start still going? That always seemed a good thing to do.

hokeycakey Tue 22-Jan-13 20:06:41

I run a toy library/toddler group & am on a partnership board for the children's centre. I also teach over 60s exercise with age uk which I love I just contacted them after I saw an ad

Most places will have a volunteer centre you can go to, or just find out what's in your area and you can phone them up.

Good luck

Nevercan Tue 22-Jan-13 20:22:50

I work for my local NCT organizing nearly new sales and helping at toddler group - nice social thing

reallyyummymummy Tue 22-Jan-13 21:36:05

Not got a clue what Home Start is.

Home start is an organisation which matches volunteers with struggling families, maybe a mother with PND who is finding it hard to cope, or someone with twins etc, or a disabled parent. The volunteer generally goes to visit and might either listen to the parent, or play with the children, help with a few light chores etc. I know a few people have had a volunteer and it was great for them to get back on their feet. Try googling it.

AngelsWithSilverWings Wed 23-Jan-13 07:34:56

When my DCs were toddlers I helped run a toddler group. Now they are at school I work one afternoon a week in a Y1 class at my DC's school ( a different class to the ones my DC's are in)

It's different every week. Last week I helped take the children on a tour of the school as they were being history detectives. The week before we were producing short animated films. Sometimes I do a bit of filing or putting up displays of the children's artwork.

I love it and am thinking about volunteering for an extra afternoon.

lljkk Wed 23-Jan-13 07:54:18

I have been putting things on my CV, I have:

volunteered regularly in DC classroom
Been Chair of a preschool committee
done CRB checks for another preschool
helped run 2 toddler groups
On committee to create a Travel Plan for DC school
PTA member at DC school
helped run sport events at one of DC clubs

oddslippers Wed 23-Jan-13 08:01:50

What about something like this children's literacy charity

ImpatientOne Wed 23-Jan-13 08:02:22

I am a Brownie leader and got into it as I never really left from being a Guide blush except 3 years away at Uni.

Obviously this is evenings mostly so probably not suitable for you at the moment. We do always need volunteers to do other things though like PR and accounts which can be done at anytime wink

There's lots of opportunities and very worthy organisations crying out for help so I hope you find something

I am treasurer of my local NCT and have run the toddler group, I am also chair of the preschool & help run rainbow unit.

I would volunteer in DS school but you can't with younger children and DD doesn't start pre school until April, then DC3 will be along.

As well as this, DH is a scout leader so I regularly end up helping on scout trips and last year catered scout camp and will be doing it again this year with a three month old (mad emoticon)

I am a peer supporter at a breasfeeding group and training to be a BFC. And I am a parent governor at DD's school. I am not really enjoying being a SAHM and feel like they keep my brain working.

I took over a parent and toddler group with 2 other parents, but only because my DD attends it. When she joins the nursery class at our local school in September I won't be continuing (I will be frantically trying to jump-start my old career back into life!!)

throckenholt Wed 23-Jan-13 12:27:04

I have done a variety of things. Playgroup volunteer, committee member, chair. School governor. Admininstration (mostly filing and typing) for local CAB and voluntary organisation. Transcribing parish registers (on the back of years of family history research).

I know people who have worked at local museums, National Trust sites, being a guide at the local cathedral, and in charity shops.

It depends on how regular and when you are available - daytime, evenings, weekends.

Local scouts groups are always crying out for more helpers.

Jojobump1986 Wed 23-Jan-13 13:15:01

Currently I am involved with running a toddler group, a once-a-week café & I help out at our local foodbank. Foodbanks are great to get involved with - there are lots of different roles involved! smile

stickylittlefingers Wed 23-Jan-13 13:19:44

I went along to our local volunteers coordinator: I don't know if it's something particular to the NE with the unemployment rate so high, but they actually were finding many volunteering roles were very oversubscribed! Particularly those ones that look more like "real" jobs, like doing admin for charities etc.

Anyway, what I do is take people out running. If you are someone who likes running and would like to spread the word, contact RunEngland and they will pay for your training so you can take people out, it's very rewarding.

Other than that it's been school related, helping at events, reading, school trips etc.

throckenholt Wed 23-Jan-13 13:33:23

Forgot to say - I have also done volunteer driving in the past - eg taking people shopping, to the doctors, one blind man I even used to take to the betting shop so that he could follow the horse racing (he had a small share in a race horse) grin.

There are an amazing amount of things to get involved in if you look around.

Unit helper at our local Rainbow/Brownies. Love it and find it very rewarding, was approached by the unit leader after I was moaning that i ate too much while sat at home for the 1 1/2 hrs that she was there. Now I just eat the tuck!

lljkk Wed 23-Jan-13 14:11:53

Oh yeah, different Scout groups are trying hard to get their tentacles into me, lol.

I am opposite of OP sort of, I want to do voluntary work that doesn't involve vulnerable people, or weekends or evenings.

zcos Wed 23-Jan-13 15:31:50

I do hospital radio been involved for years ... its a charity so lots of fundraising doing a show is great fun too and I have made life long friends.
hospital radio stations are usually quite involved with other hospital charities and the community too. Think that most people get a lot out of it probably more than you put in. there are soo many charities out there crying out for volunteers glad to see topic about it.

Ragwort Wed 23-Jan-13 15:38:10

I've done loads of different volunteering over the years - usual playschool/PTA stuff/school reading - can be very challenging rewarding depending on what bits you take on grin. Meals on Wheels is good fun, I help organise various events for the elderly, charity shop work, editing and publishing newsletters, Scouting, food banks, Church stuff, fund raising.

Think about what your skills are and what you enjoy - there will be a voluntary opportunity for you somewhere; try your library/local newspaper for advice. Most towns have a 'vounteer council' or similar these days.

Muminwestlondon Wed 23-Jan-13 15:42:23

I currently do school appeals panels a few times a year. The LA advertise from time to time on their website. Unpaid but you get lunch and coffee etc.

I have also been involved as in sports, theatrical events, music club etc over the years as DC have been involved.

A couple of my colleagues at work are magistrates, which looks really interesting...

pmcblonde Wed 23-Jan-13 16:31:35

I've just done a 4 year stint as a school governor. Interesting and lots of skills development for me. I'm not a parent at the school concerned so was a community governor. You can see what's available locally by contacting Governor Services at the local authority or checking with SGOSS

I posted on this thread earlier, but reading all the other replies has inspired me to find something else to do too.

Any ideas for a rural area for up to 2.5 hours one morning per week, with small (3 years in April) child in tow? Something with the local elderly population maybe? I currently co-run a parent & toddler group so that one is covered!

throckenholt Thu 24-Jan-13 07:30:54

Try a local nursing home and ask if you and your littlie can come visiting one morning per week ? When my mum was in a nursing home last year I was amazed at how visitors there were signing the visitor book and made me realise that some long term residents probably only ever saw the staff. Having a young child visit may do wonders for some of them.

Good idea throckenholt, and good way to include DD. According to yell.com our nearest one is over 6 miles away which would be a struggle to do regularly though. I am planning to phone our nearest Age UK branch today and see if there are any elderly people in our village who could benefit from someone popping round once a week to put a duster round and have a chat.

Almostfifty Thu 24-Jan-13 12:38:45

I do quite a lot of different things. I help out at the local Primary School, am on the PTA and Parent Council of my DC's school and am also a Scout Leader.

I also do voluntary work in the office of our local Children's Hospice. I thoroughly enjoy that.

zcos Thu 24-Jan-13 21:29:11

That visiting elderly people in neighbourhood thing sounds fab! When I was a little girl my sister and I used to make mice pies etc for widow who lived across the way he loved it and we loved the attention too!

zcos Thu 24-Jan-13 21:30:08

Opps I meant mince not mice! He wasn't a cat wink

IrnBruTheNoo Fri 25-Jan-13 20:01:43

Going to be hosting a child from Belarus in a few months' time through the charity 'Friends of Chernobyl's Children'. He will live with us for four weeks. Slightly different from your typical charity work, but really looking forward to it!

It will involve helping with the excursions/sightseeing (child will be coming over with other children who will live with other host families in the area) with other volunteers and spending lots of time with the children.

Fuzzymum1 Sun 27-Jan-13 18:35:15

I help to implement a reading booster scheme at Son3's school - I went on a 2 day training course with a TA from the school and between us we support two children at a time for ten weeks to improve their reading. I'm in school three times a week and on two of those days I also listen to other readers. Our year 1 is split between two classes (10 in a mixed YR/1 class and 10 in a mixed Y1/2 class and I'm currently doing the scheme with two of them and reading with the rest of the year ones in the class. I love it :D

In the past I have been on various committees (toddler group, pre-school, PTA, governing body etc) but currently I'm not doing any of those.

Rattitude Sun 27-Jan-13 18:40:31

The Do-it website is very good at filtering your local volunteering opportunities based on your interests.

mumblechum1 Sun 27-Jan-13 18:43:06

Family Support Worker for Barnardos half a day a week, and Riding for the Disabled (Kids with SN) for one morning a week.

Both enjoyable, tho' the Barnardos thing is hard sometimes if you have a family with multiple problems.

FadBook Sun 27-Jan-13 18:51:03

Some lovely acts of kindness here volunteering.

I am a peer supporter at my local breast feeding group. I tend to make the tea and toast (a highly important part I must add!) whilst the medically trained staff deal with the yummy newborns. I do speak to the mums about weaning options and bf problems like baby refusing bottle (common).

LifeIsBetterInFlipFlops Sun 27-Jan-13 18:59:30

Different things over the years including mentoring a teenager who was excluded from school and had a difficult home life...different charities do this across the UK, but you'll find info online. Perhaps being a magistrate would suit you, if so, try Ministry of Justice website.

EssexGurl Mon 28-Jan-13 12:19:07

I help out at DS's school and Beaver group.

I found the school work quite an eye opener. I thought I was quite authoritative - when I worked I was told I was "scary". But these 7 year olds just run rings round me! I had thought about retraining to be a teacher when DD was at school. No way after last weeks session!!!

I run a rainbow and brownie group and volunteer for the NCT running coffee mornings. I love both, my rainbow and brownies are in an area where most girls had never even heard of guiding, and they love it! I've found the NCT great for making friends and very welcoming.

Rooble Tue 29-Jan-13 09:19:47

I'm a school governor, and volunteer in the local Leonard Cheshire home (for the disabled) where I do craft/baking activities with the residents. They are always desperate for drivers. I also help with the school cooking club. For quite a few years I was a Samaritan but that can be quite emotionally draining.
Lots of our local parks are "run" by teams of volunteers in conjunction with the council. We have a city volunteering service who can match you up with volunteering opportunities (though I found they weren't v helpful - just found my stuff by ringing people direct and asking how to become a volunteer).

IrnBruTheNoo Fri 30-Aug-13 13:05:19

Helped out for first time at my local food bank this morning. DS2 has just started nursery (preschool) which frees up my mornings now. So glad to be able to do stuff like this.

noisytoys Fri 30-Aug-13 13:21:35

I volunteer on the SOS bus in town from 9pm-3am. It is a bus parked on the high street and we deliver fast response first aid for the nightclubs and surrounding areas, help homeless people find places in shelters and give out food / cups of tea, take minors home and make sure they are safe, take non emergency incidents to A&E and have a general presence give out contraception and advice where wanted by people who are out late and give out free flip flops to people in crazy high heels or walking in bare feet.

Tee2072 Fri 30-Aug-13 13:24:26

I do graphics for an organisation I believe in.

IrnBruTheNoo Fri 30-Aug-13 14:53:49

noisytoys what a great volunteering experience - you must see all sorts during the night. I am sure the work you do is really appreciated smile

noisytoys Fri 30-Aug-13 16:36:27

It is appreciated we all recently got the Queens award for voluntary service - the highest honour a volunteer can get smile

IrnBruTheNoo Fri 30-Aug-13 16:42:08

That's fantastic, noisytoys!! Congrats flowers what a lovely story smile

ChoudeBruxelles Fri 30-Aug-13 16:53:02

Beavers leader

TheYamiOfYawn Fri 30-Aug-13 16:56:05

I've spent a day a week this summer holiday volunteering as a summer reading challenge assistant at my local library. I am the hosting rota for an NVT coffee group, but that doesn't really count because it's just having friends over, really.

DS starts preschool in September, so I'm going to see if I can help out at DD's school, and maybe do more volunteering in local museums or libraries.

BackforGood Fri 30-Aug-13 17:07:18

Home Start is fantastic, if you want to carry your parenting skills into your volunteering, rather than doing something completely different - always need volunteers too, and can make such a difference to families' lives.

IrnBruTheNoo Fri 30-Aug-13 17:58:21

"if you want to carry your parenting skills into your volunteering"

Agree with this point. These skills are transferable to various types of volunteering. I did some charity work earlier this year, looking after a child from Belarus for one month by hosting. Really enjoyed it and doing it again next year. You see such a huge difference in the children from when they arrive at the airport, to when you wave them off home at the end of the month.

bumperella Sun 01-Sep-13 19:56:39

I help out at a rural-skills training garden for vulnerable adults - that's a great one to take DC to, as she loves the mud, and the people, and I do feel that forming positive relationships with a variety of adults - esp those who just happen to be disabled or mentally unwell is good for her (esp as we live in a rural area where the population is pretty homogenous). It's great for both of us.

I'm a non-exec Director on the board of a different garden - obv she doesn't go along to meetings! I'm on a could local charity committees.

I was a volunteer reader at school - ironically had to give it up because I got a paid job!

I'm also on the management committee of our local community centre. I've recently secured funding for us to refurbish the centre which was really satisfying. I've also organised community events there.

I've recently got involved with a group who are setting up a WI.

Also, the organisation I work for provides services for older people. One of the projects they run is a befriending service for people who are isolated and lonely. The older person is paired up with a volunteer with similar interests who then visits regularly to chat and give them some company.

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