Volunteering

Anyone do this? Thinking of maybe doing this a night or two a week. Not entirely sure what I would do tbh, but think I would find it quite rewarding. Maybe stuff with the homeless or refugees.

Anyone got any stories/advice? Or and good resources or sites that show opportunities, etc?

I got into my current line of work (albeit indirectly) through volunteering first. Made a request for flexible hours at my then-employer and then worked a day a week for a debt advice centre.

It might be worth having a chat with Volunteering Matters (still known in some places as CVS - not the American pharmacy). They might be able to help match your skillset and availability to a good placement.

In terms of “stuff with the homeless” - I think I’d just exercise a little caution when looking for opportunities. There are lots of amazing volunteer-led groups working with homeless people, but it’s worth considering whether the group is well linked-in with other groups, providing something unique (rather than duplicating efforts) and providing a service that’s going to help homeless people to find and sustain accommodation.

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I used to volunteer with the Simon Community soup kitchen in Glasgow, they held it twice a week on Wednesdays and Saturdays near Cadogan Street in the city centre

You can sign up to volunteer with them on their website

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I think I’ve mentioned this before, but I volunteer doing shepherding on the South Downs: https://www.brighton-hove.gov.uk/content/leisure-and-libraries/parks-and-green-spaces/lookerers-volunteer-livestock-checkers

I can be fairly flexible about when and how much time I give. Having a full time job and a young family means I don’t do it as much as some people do (there was a story I heard about a retired guy who signed up to look after sheep on all the sites, and just spends his day wandering across the whole city)

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my grandparents used to run a volunteer group in their church giving food and clothing and stuff to refugees in the local area. when my gran got too ill she used to just go down and boss all the other volunteers around, they called her house to see where she was one week coz she was too poorly to go coz they didnt know what they were doing without her. one christmas she had a load of xmas presents wrapped generically (like male child, female adult, that sort of thing, and it would be stuff like toys and pyjamas for the kids or whatever and like toiletries and that for the adults) but she got them mixed up with some of the presents she’d wrapped for us, so my mam ended up getting a generic ~girl child~ present and some refugee kid got whatever she’d wrapped up for my mam. my mam was like, mum are you sure this is my present? and my gran was like oh no someone take me to church

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my friend runs a free food waste place so I might start cooking there cause I’m quite good at chopping stuff small and fast and she’s good at getting things done.

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It’d be a good chance to remind the restaurants that pay poverty wages whilst also donating the food waste that they cause all the problems in the first place :slightly_smiling_face:.

Could agitate with the restaurant workers when I go pick up the waste etc.

I wonder if it’s possible for a community kitchen to become number one in the city on trip advisor.

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Definitely do it, it is very rewarding and you meet some really great people doing it, either the people you are helping or the other volunteers.
I’ve done several different things and currently helping at a cat rescue/re-homing place (cleaning up, feeding, etc). I’m doing this one, as I used to have a cat and haven’t been able to have one since due to being in rental, so thought this would be a way to be around for a couple of hours a week.

Have a proper think about what you want to do, so that you know you definitely want to. Be prepared to do it for at least 6 months too, as quite a few places want that and to be honest it’s better for the charities to have volunteers who want to be there a while rather than a lot of turnaround.

Someone further up suggested do-it and I would recommend having a look through the type of opportunities that are available so that you know what is out there, as you may not have thought about some of them before. Once you’ve found some type of opportunity you like, either apply through there or look for specific charities in your area doing that and approach them. It’s how I found the one I’m in now.

Most charities will require a DBS check before you start, but they normally pay for that. Some larger charities will provide formal training, but I’ve only experienced that in 1 place.

To give you a nice story, one of the things I did was help at a summer camp for orphaned children in Bulgaria. It was one of the most amazing experiences I ever had. Met some amazing people and the whole experience entirely changed the way I look at things.

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This is great and inspiring - as are all of the replies (I may reply with further specific questions to some of you in future)

Do you have any advice for identifying opportunities in the local area or is it more a case of a good Googling?

With do-it, you can search via the area, so that’s probably a good place to start. If there is nothing on there where you are that is listed in the specific topic you want to do then Google is your friend. Googling for cat rescue was how I found the one I’m doing right now. Most charities have a volunteer part of the website, so you know what they are after and if it suits what you want to do.

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Great, someone posted that upthread but I haven’t had a proper chance to look at links yet. Thanks very much.

No problem, anytime. Any questions, hit me up

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I volunteer one morning every other week for Sister Supporter, basically I stand outside the abortion clinic as a welcoming face for 3 hours when all the pro-lifers are outside talking shit about sins and aggressively approaching the women using the service.

It’s been a good experience for me, and therss a lovely network of volunteers that you don’t always meet but connect with through the private Facebook group.

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