I would like to make a difference somewhere, and make positive use of my spare time. I am a full time mum with kids at school and I’m struggling to keep myself busy, with anything. I would rather be doing something constructive and for the better good. Where and how do I start?
A short question that begs a long answer! For years I have told people that if they want to apply for funding, or to the Lottery, but can’t think of a project, then a Volunteer Agency would be the perfect solution. Matching up volunteers with the right organisation is a full time job in itself. Every charity I know – and some deaf businesses too – say the same thing: far too many people approach them asking about voluntary opportunities, and they often don’t even bother with the requests (shocking but true) because they don’t have enough information to go on.
My advice, therefore, is: treat looking for voluntary work in exactly the same way as you would a job search. State what your interests are. Do you want to work with adults or children? Do you want to work in the office, or with people? Why do you want to volunteer? (if it’s hope that it will lead to a job – forget it) To kill time? To make yourself useful? To improve your typing skills? To buy time to think about a career change?
Be honest with yourself. It’ll make for a much clearer and more coherent application. Once you’ve answered those questions, then research the most suitable organisations to apply to. No point in applying to ChildLine or the NDCS if you hate children. Don’t send out a hundred requests to random companies. They hate that and they’ll hate you. Good luck.