People who volunteer are healthier and happier - there are studies to prove it! Volunteering can boost your confidence, teach you new skills, and enhance your overall sense of wellbeing.
Rosie, a freelance writer, has written this article that looks into the different ways we can all get involved and give back to our community to celebrate Volunteers' Week and #MonthOfCommunity.
Volunteers’ Week is an annual event that will be taking place between the 1st and the 7th of June. It is the perfect time to see what volunteering opportunities are available in your local area and start making a difference.
Looking for ideas? Here are 10 ways you can volunteer in Hertfordshire:
1. Mentor ex-offenders
Mentoring ex-offenders can be extremely rewarding as you will offer valuable support and play a crucial role in helping them integrate back into society. Volunteers offer practical support in employment, health, and housing. Working with ex-offenders can be challenging and you may need to demonstrate some experience or undergo training before you can start.
2. Work in a community library
Community libraries are run by volunteers, and they are always looking for new volunteers to help out. As a librarian, you would be responsible for dealing with customer queries, signing up new library members, and helping to open and close the library. You may also have the opportunity to organise library events like storytelling sessions for children.
Check out this community library volunteer opportunity that is currently available in Hertfordshire.
3. Visit an elderly care home
Volunteers provide a valuable source of social interaction and companionship for elderly people living in residential care homes. You can also volunteer to visit elderly people at their homes to socialise and offer support with daily tasks like cooking or cleaning.
According to Helping Hands Home Care: “Volunteering in the local community is a great way to meet new people and ensure that you and others have the vital social interactions that most of us need.”
4. Become a Duke of Edinburgh volunteer
Working as a Duke of Edinburgh volunteer can be lots of fun, especially if you enjoy being in nature and doing outdoor activities. You will help young people expand their skills by joining them on walking, biking or canoeing expeditions. Find out more about becoming a Duke of Edinburgh volunteer here.
5. Volunteer at Mind
Mind is a mental health charity in England and Wales that is looking for volunteers for a diverse range of roles. Volunteering in mental health services can be extremely rewarding as you will provide valuable support and make a big impact on the lives of people suffering with mental health problems.
Contact the Mind Hertfordshire Network if you would like to find out what volunteering opportunities are available locally to you.
6. Help children learn to read
Many schools are looking for volunteers to provide students with one-to-one reading support. Encouraging children to read can be extremely rewarding! You will have the opportunity to build close relationships with the children you work with and will make a real difference to their learning and academic performance.
Contact School Readers for opportunities near you!
7. Join Friends of Greenspaces
Friends of Greenspaces in an organisation dedicated to improving local green space, such as local parks and Nature Reserves. As a volunteer, you will be responsible for providing ideas on how to manage green spaces efficiently. You will also get involved with conservation activities like walks and fundraising events.
You can apply to become a volunteer at Friends of Greenspaces by clicking here.
8. Volunteer at a hospital
There is a diverse range of volunteering positions in hospitals such as administrative support, ward volunteers, fundraising, and patient support. You will offer valuable support to healthcare staff and make someone’s hospital stay a little easier. Visit the NHS website if you are interested in volunteering within a health care setting.
9. Become a guided walk leader
This could be the perfect volunteering role if you enjoy getting outdoors and being active. A guided walk leader promotes walking and other activities in the countryside to encourage people to lead a more active and healthy lifestyle. You will be responsible for researching routes and planning well-organised, enjoyable, and informative walks or events for people in your local area.
10. Volunteer as a dog walker
Statistics show that roughly 664,000 dogs are put into animal shelters every year. Dogs need daily walks to maintain their physical and mental health and shelters are urgently looking for volunteers to walk dogs. You will help the dogs become more social and trusting which will improve their chances of finding a forever home.
There are loads of great reasons to volunteer in your free time. Volunteering will boost your confidence, help you meet new people, and give you a true sense of purpose. Lots of charities in Hertfordshire are in desperate need of volunteers.
GoVolHerts is a website funded by Hertfordshire County Council which makes it easier than ever for residents to find their perfect volunteering opportunity and for charities across the county to recruit volunteers. With over 200 volunteering roles to choose from at over 150 local charities, there really is something for everyone!
Full credit and thanks to you for such a brilliant article Rosie.