Volunteering for 8 year old.

(34 Posts)
Brot64 Sun 08-Sep-19 21:04:19

My 8 year old DD is very interested in volunteering (long story behind this involving her grandparents who do not live in UK) in London on weekends (preferably 2 weekends a month but we can be flexible). I had a look online and it appears that most places only accept teenagers which is understandable. However, I am willing to volunteer with her and would therefore be around throughout and be responsible for her. We are open to all and any charities although, she is very keen on reading or playing music for the elderly and/or ill children (we tried Great Ormond as she thought she could read, paint, entertain, play etc with the children but they don't take under 18's). All food banks seem to operate during the week and during school times so we cannot do those either.
Any other ideas where we could try?

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Leeds2 Sun 08-Sep-19 21:11:51

What about going to visit, with you, an elderly neighbour? Maybe take them shopping, or do their shopping for them? Take their dog for a walk? Chat over tea and cake.

NaughtToThreeSadOnions Sun 08-Sep-19 21:12:50

Not London, and not quite as young as 8, but this organisation seems to take volunteers from 10 as sort of peer play leaders I guess I wonder if there's something like this playgloucestershire.org.uk/young-volunteers-gloucestershire/

Other wise how about the brownies or cubs they often volunteer as part of their community badges?

worriedaboutmygirl Sun 08-Sep-19 21:16:00

You could get involved with beach clean ups www.mcsuk.org/beachwatch/greatbritishbeachclean

or the Wildlife Trusts


It's quite difficult to find volunteering opportunities for this age group

TheRLodger Sun 08-Sep-19 21:18:35

Would joining the brownies be an option. Not volunteering per se but they do activities which involve volunteering and charitable work

Waffleswaffles Sun 08-Sep-19 21:18:35

I could be wrong, but I think that employment laws also apply to volunteering, so as eight year olds can't work a lot of charities wouldn't take them on even with an adult.

Brot64 Sun 08-Sep-19 21:19:37

@Leeds2 great idea, although there isn't that sense of community where we live and we don't know a single elderly person well enough to offer. People in London (and this is a generalisation) tend to be very private and lead their own closed lives. It would be difficult to approach anyone without raising suspicion.

Thanks I will have and see if there's anything similar over here.
Hadn't thought of environmental causes (shame on me). Thanks will definitely have a look. Yes it is very difficult. I was hoping the fact that I would be there with her would make it slightly easier but that doesn't appear to be the case.

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emummy Sun 08-Sep-19 21:24:06

You could volunteer at parkrun, though she might not be interested. If you both register there are lots of different volunteer roles, and there is junior parkrun also.

Brot64 Sun 08-Sep-19 21:26:06

Brownies close to us are on week days evenings, which is not doable for us as we couldn't commit to every week. Thought with a charity we could let them know before hand that we could do every other weekend (if they can accommodate us and depending on their needs) as that is what we can currently commit to.

You might be right with employment laws, which would explain why it's so hard to find anything. I will have a look. Thanks.

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Vinorosso74 Sun 08-Sep-19 21:32:10

Animal homing centres if she likes animals? My DD "tests" out cats at Cats Protection alongside me to help aasess if they wull be suitable in homes with children. Not all charities will do this but some may have something similar.
I agree environmental causes are good-kids of that age are pretty aware and enthusiastic about such issues.

BikeRunSki Sun 08-Sep-19 21:37:20

I bet that - even in London - there will be pensioner’s day centres which have a befriending/visiting service. Age UK have information about this, and a link on their website to find opportunities. I know a 14 year old who started doing this when he was 10, and now has many “older” friends and a bit of a fan club!

BikeRunSki Sun 08-Sep-19 21:38:31

link to go with my previous post

Brot64 Sun 08-Sep-19 21:53:57

. @BikeRunSki

This is exactly what we were looking for. A befriend programme. Thank you. I will look further into this. Just looked briefly at the link you sent and can see that they do have this and are happy to include younger children.

Btw I didn't mean that all elderly people are unapproachable in London . What I meant is that, it is (for trust/safety reasons) better to go through a charity as the elderly person/a may feel safer that way.

Thanks everyone, we will also look into clean ups, animal homing centres (she is mad about animals, particularly dogs) and park run.

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BikeRunSki Sun 08-Sep-19 21:59:28

😊 I wish you, your daughter and the pensioners of London all the best of luck and many happy hours of friendship.

I grew up in central Lonfon, I know what you meant about personal safety.

AuntieStella Sun 08-Sep-19 21:59:33

Parkrun has no minimum age for volunteers.

I'm not sure it's quite the sort of volunteering your DD has in mind though. But main parkruns are 9:00 on Saturdays, and Juniors on Sundays. She could perhaps run sometimes and volunteer others.

It might be worth seeing if any local dog rescues have volunteer walkers. But you'll have to go with her - IIRC even if there is some flexibility about age, they want want walkers to be adult-sized (so will take teens) unless accompanied.

NaughtToThreeSadOnions Mon 09-Sep-19 11:48:34

How about volunteering as a family for the national trust www.nationaltrust.org.uk/features/family-volunteering

Usernamealreadyexists Mon 09-Sep-19 12:06:33

I took my 7 year old to help set up a soup kitchen and distribute food to homeless in C London. It was v safe, well-organised and a great atmosphere. The team loved having him there.

bestbefore Mon 09-Sep-19 12:08:28

Have you asked in your local library? There might be opportunities there or posters up about places to check?

KittenFace Mon 09-Sep-19 12:42:01

Do you have a local Homeless Outreach group? Our local group are always looking for people to cook meals / make sandwiches for them to take on their outreach missions (they go out 2-3 times a week distributing food / hot drinks/ clothing etc to homeless people in the city centre). It is also a great way to get kids into cooking.

Brot64 Tue 10-Sep-19 08:42:10

Thanks. I haven't asked at the local library but I will do so this week (hadn't thought of it). Not aware of any homeless outreach groups in my area, however, we are flexible and can drive so I will also look into this. I know of one soup kitchen in C London where I volunteered over the Christmas period a few years back, I will ask them too.

Thank you all for the great suggestions. I have already sent out a few emails to enquire including to Age UK (DD very keen on this one as she wants to invite an elderly person for Christmas lunch. Long shot, but she loves to plan).

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bestbefore Tue 10-Sep-19 18:56:10

@Brot64 your last post reminded me of this project which may also be applicable to you and your family http://www.bistotogetherproject.com/

GreenTulips Tue 10-Sep-19 18:59:02

Where is she getting her ideas from? If it’s school could you ask there?
Have you tried the live at home schemes?

stucknoue Tue 10-Sep-19 19:00:46

My kids have visited the local residential home since that age with their instruments,

Brot64 Tue 10-Sep-19 20:34:48


My mother volunteers with my nephews in Holland at an old people's home. It's a project (connecting the young and old) that is very popular over there. My nephews love it and have made many pensioner friends.

My DD mentioned that she has no grandparents over here and wished they lived closer, my mother told her about it and she loved the idea. Thought she had forgotten about it but she brought it up last week and wants to do it because she wants to "help older people feel like they have family around them" ( her words). Of course I explained that some older people do have families that visit them. Her idea as far as I have gathered is to visit them, read for them, play board games, talk to them etc. Plus she strongly believes (from reading) that they are wiser and according to her she'd love to be as wise (she is only 8 so her picture of the world is very peaceful and everyone gets along).
In relation to sick children, we watched Patch Adams and she thought she could also entertain children (although she's obviously not a doctor) them and make them forget that they are sick even if it's just for a minute (again her words).

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Brot64 Tue 10-Sep-19 20:36:08

@bestbefore thank you, I will have a look at this tonight.
@stucknoue that's great to hear. I have sent a few emails to local care homes and hoping to hear from them soon. Good to know they accept children at such a young age.

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