Jump to content

Accessibility: Make adjustments to your contrast and font here

Become a volunteer &
make a difference

What is Volunteering?

 

Volunteering is defined by the NCVO (National Council for Voluntary Organisations) as any activity that involves spending time, unpaid, doing something that aims to benefit the environment or someone (individuals or groups) other than, or in addition to, close relatives. Central to this definition is the fact that volunteering must be a choice freely made by each individual.

More Information

Hospital corridor
What to expect as a Volunteer:
  • Where can I Volunteer in Lancashire and South Cumbria?

    It’s estimated there are over 10,000 charities and voluntary service organisations across Lancashire and South Cumbria.

    Lancashire and South Cumbria is split regionally into five Integrated Care Partnerships and you can find out about local voluntary groups in each area usually through the local Council of Voluntary Services (CVS). They Inspire people and organisations to action through volunteering, donating money or resources to make a positive contribution to the life of the community. They are experts in all things volunteering.

    You can also apply to the NHS Trusts who have voluntary services:

    East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust https://elht.nhs.uk/working-us/volunteering

    Lancashire & South Cumbria NHS FT https://www.lscft.nhs.uk/Volunteering-Services

    University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay https://www.uhmb.nhs.uk/get-involved/volunteer-us

    Lancashire Teaching Hospitals https://www.lancsteachinghospitals.nhs.uk/volunteering-opportunities/

    Blackpool Teaching Hospitals https://www.bfwh.nhs.uk/our-services/volunteers/

     

  • Where can I volunteer in the UK?

    Charities, community groups and non-profit organisations such as Age UK, Barnardo’s, British Red Cross, Cancer Research UK, the National Trust, The Prince’s Trust, and many more are in constant need of volunteers. You can also work in schools, hospitals and local community centres. Volunteering is possible in most roles, however, some organisations require experience and knowledge, so make sure you do some research before applying.
    There are many ways and places you can volunteer locally across Lancashire & South Cumbria and beyond. They include:

    • Volunteering at Schools – such as helping children with reading, numeracy or giving talks on specific subjects.
    • Emergency Volunteering – Volunteering to help out in an emergency needs people who are prepared to take responsibility. Lancashire Volunteer Partnership were able to respond to the pandemic by being prepared – read more here: LVP – emergency response
    • Volunteering in Sports – Many sporting activities rely on the skills and commitment of volunteers to exist whether it’s as a coach for a children’s football team or more specialised coaching to encourage physical activity for disabled people. Look at Active Lancashire for inspiration and how to get involved.
      However, specialist knowledge or skills in a sport isn’t always needed, everyone has something to offer, whether it’s helping run sporting events, making refreshments, or book keeping for a local club, there are many different ways of volunteering in sport. The Sport and Recreation Alliance’s new Volunteer Opportunity Finder here, is a good way to start, or search Join In.
    • There are also volunteering opportunities in other sectors such as:
      ● Hospitals
      ● Social Care
      ● Animal Welfare
      ● Conservation
      ● Mental Health
      ● Arts and Culture
  • What are the benefits of volunteering?

    Volunteering can make a real difference to your own life and the lives of those around you.

    It improves and strengthens local communities and can have a transformative effect for those who are recipients of support from volunteers.

    Benefits include:

    • Enhanced wellbeing
    • Feeling valued and appreciated
    • Increased self-confidence and sense of purpose
    • Being part of a team: feeling more connected with opportunities to meet new people
    • Learn new skills or develop existing ones
    • A great way of building on career opportunities or can provide a route to employment (eg by developing skills and getting references)
    • Doing something you enjoy, not just because you’re paid to do it
    • Satisfaction in helping others and knowing you make a difference.
  • What age do I have to be to volunteer?

     There is no legal reason why young people age 16 and 17 years cannot volunteer, however children are classed as a ‘vulnerable group’, so any organisation who takes on young volunteers must be careful to protect them.    Legally a child is defined as someone who is under 18 years old, or under 16 if employed.

    Spending some time with elders or vulnerable adults can be very meaningful for under 16 year-olds.  Preteens can volunteer but of course with adult supervision and in suitable safe environments.    Learning the ethos of giving and helping others at a young age can help build character.   Most organisations will have their own policy.

  • What information do you have to give to volunteer?

    Usually your name and address and other details depending on what you are volunteering to do.       They might need proof of your age or check your health for physically demanding roles.     They will need to check your driving licence if you will be volunteer driving and also that your vehicle is road worthy.   Organisations must treat your information in line with GDPR requirements and explain why they need information, how it will be stored and so on.

  • Where can I Volunteer?

    Volunteering in the UK
    Charities, community groups and non-profit organisations such as Age UK, Barnardo’s, British Red Cross, Cancer Research UK, the National Trust, The Prince’s Trust, and many more are in constant need of volunteers. You can also work in schools, hospitals and local community centres. Volunteering is possible in most roles, however, some organisations require experience and knowledge, so make sure you do some research before applying.
    There are many ways and places you can volunteer locally across Lancashire & South Cumbria and beyond. They include:

    • Volunteering at Schools – such as helping children with reading, numeracy or giving talks on specific subjects.
    • Emergency Volunteering – Volunteering to help out in an emergency needs people who are prepared to take responsibility. Lancashire Volunteer Partnership were able to respond to the pandemic by being prepared – read more here: LVP – emergency response
    • Volunteering in Sports – Many sporting activities rely on the skills and commitment of volunteers to exist whether it’s as a coach for a children’s football team or more specialised coaching to encourage physical activity for disabled people. Look at Active Lancashire for inspiration and how to get involved.
      However, specialist knowledge or skills in a sport isn’t always needed, everyone has something to offer, whether it’s helping run sporting events, making refreshments, or book keeping for a local club, there are many different ways of volunteering in sport. The Sport and Recreation Alliance’s new Volunteer Opportunity Finder here, is a good way to start, or search Join In.
    • There are also volunteering opportunities in other sectors such as:
      ● Hospitals
      ● Social Care
      ● Animal Welfare
      ● Conservation
      ● Mental Health
      ● Arts and Culture
  • Do you need qualifications?

    It is rare to need qualifications, but your skills, knowledge and experience will usually be of great interest to organisations. Sometimes they need specialist know-how like digital skills, including social media, project or time management, communication skills or finance and budgets and always they will look for sensitivity and discretion with personal information. Organisational skills are always useful too.