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volunteer work for a 14 year old

(25 Posts)
tharsheblows Thu 20-Sep-12 21:01:19

My son's school requires them to do some sort of volunteering if they don't do CCF. He'd love to work in a hospital but is a bit too young, so we've been trying to think of other things. The school does provide a first aid course which counts, but I think he'd be excellent doing something with actual people and that it would be a lot more beneficial for him (and for the community!).

Anyway, I've made a bit of a list and will ring around but thought I'd ask the fount of all parenting knowledge too.

oddslippers Thu 20-Sep-12 21:11:07

The best thing to do would be to for him to contact your local volunteer or look online at, the volunteer centre is probably the best bet as they will meet him and put him in touch with organisations that involve younger volunteers. As a volunteer manager, my advice would be that the worst thing you can do is do the ringing round for him, in the nicest possible way it's him that's volunteering not you so the organisations need to see he's got the umph to make contact.

Honestyisbest Thu 20-Sep-12 21:16:14

Scouts and cubs always need extra helpers. Our group had some you lads helping as part of their D of E.

Honestyisbest Thu 20-Sep-12 21:17:35

Also do you have a local food bank, such as One Can Trust? A 14 yr old could def help pick and pack.

EyesNEars Thu 20-Sep-12 21:20:17

I so agree about not doing the ringing around for him. Give him a list of numbers and a ghost script at most.

madwomanintheattic Thu 20-Sep-12 21:20:46

when i was 14 i volunteered at a camp for underprivileged children for a week. i spent most of it cleaning toilets, as i recall.

soooooooo many opportunities, though. most kids who are involved with scouting or guiding find it really easy to drop a couple of sections and volunteer for the whole year as a junior leader type.

i would start with looking st what he feels strognly about though - old people? children with disabilities? is he ecologically minded? access to trailbuilding organisations?

so many things. but try and feed his interests and build on it. and get him to do the donkey work of calling and emailing etc. he's 14.

Sirzy Thu 20-Sep-12 21:22:32

St John Ambulance? Will give him the chance to go out on public duties and help in the local community that way

TwllBach Thu 20-Sep-12 21:26:30

I volunteered at my local RDA stables from the age of 13 - 19 and as far as I'm aware they always need volunteers!

tharsheblows Thu 20-Sep-12 21:43:14

Ooh, thank you so much for all the suggestions. And for telling me not to ring round - I'd never known I wasn't supposed to, I thought that they'd need to speak to me. (In defense of my cluelessness, I'm American and grew up in the 'burbs; his childhood here in London is very different than mine was... )

He really wants to work in a hospital and will probably do that in a couple of years when he can. He's happy to do anything now - although is more of a people person than an animal person. But I will keep the animal and eco charities in mind when my nature loving youngest gets to this point!

marriednotdead Thu 20-Sep-12 21:51:19

Hi, another one to think about. My DS had to do voluntary work as part of his Duke of Edinburgh award. He'd previously done half of his work experience at a local day nursery and they were delighted to have him back as he was so good with the little ones smile If your DS is a people person that could be right up his street.

QueefLatina Thu 20-Sep-12 21:58:30

Get him to contact your local council for opportunities. I worked in libraries and we had a lot of volunteers but there's also care homes, youth work, parks, museums, sports, drugs partnership etc.

Worth a try

oddslippers Thu 20-Sep-12 22:08:36 here's a starting point for him specifically for 14-25 year Olds, there will probably a designated contact in your volunteer centre as well

oddslippers Thu 20-Sep-12 22:09:22 here's a starting point for him specifically for 14-25 year Olds, there will probably a designated contact in your volunteer centre as well

oddslippers Thu 20-Sep-12 22:09:55

So good I did it twice oops grin

thewhistler Thu 20-Sep-12 22:14:39

One of the much needed things is for support for the elderly. Curiously DH weeded for an old peoples home instead of CCF and Ds is following in his fathers footsteps but talking to them instead.

burmac Thu 20-Sep-12 23:34:39

My 14 yr old volunteered on the children's reading scheme in the library the past 2 summers and i think that was part of a national campaign. If your council is proactive about volunteering, there may be term time opportunities available.

tharsheblows Fri 21-Sep-12 21:42:41

Thank you! It's very helpful.

I love the idea of him working with the elderly as I think he'd be really good at it. smile But all of it sounds really worthwhile!

hellhasnofurylikeahungrywoman Fri 21-Sep-12 21:46:01

Special school? The one I used to work in took volunteers from secondary schools.

amck5700 Fri 21-Sep-12 22:31:20

I used to drop into the local old peoples home and just go round chatting to the residents when I was about that age - some of them are lovely and some aren't! It was great fun most of the time and you learn a lot.

Theas18 Fri 21-Sep-12 22:40:50

Its almost impossible these days to find volunteer work below age 16 and often below age 18. It's all elf and safety and CRB gone mad!

Schools tend to be good. I'm not sure if care homes would allow it these days ;(

thewhistler Sun 23-Sep-12 08:26:27

We have a few good homes near us and they are delighted to see children and young people. (They are the sort of home that also has dogs too.) It's more a question of finding something that fits with them. Weeding, chatting, making a collage for them or a record book of what something was like when they were young like school or bringing up a family.

OneHandFlapping Sun 23-Sep-12 08:32:44

Small independent charity shops, such as hospice shops seem to be less focussed on having to be 16.

Takver Sun 23-Sep-12 14:08:05

I was going to suggest volunteering with older people - SiL did this as a teen because she wanted to be a doctor and was looking for relevant experience (she then progressed to paid care work with older people as a holiday job so helpful that way too).

I used to volunteer at a homeless drop-in when I was younger, mostly I made sandwiches and washed up but it was very sociable.

Takver Sun 23-Sep-12 14:08:33

And good on your DS's school, what a good idea.

directoroflegacy Sun 23-Sep-12 16:29:24

My 14 year old DS volunteered at the local library this summer holidays (well I forced him to volunteer) and is carrying on through the term as he enjoyed it so term time (mantra: mum is always right) so it'll count towards his D of E.
Why not try there or as others have said cubs/beavers?

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