This is a guest post from Sam Reeve, Project Manager at Project Dirt, an online network connecting and resourcing environmental and community projects.
In the past couple of years I have volunteered for a couple of days serving lunch to guests at Crisis at Christmas and volunteered regularly at a project that supports young people with their literacy skills. I have also caught up with my young mentee for catch up over coffee, in the park and over the phone. I have found all of these experiences to be fantastic, but very different. None are regular, once a week commitments and all of them have suited my skills, passion and availability. However, I appreciate they might not be the right volunteering opportunities for everyone.
At Project Dirt, we know from community groups that use our site that there are many different ways to give your time and we know from the individuals that use our site that it’s important to find a role you enjoy and that fits into your life.
Lack of time is often cited as a barrier to getting involved, however there are plenty of volunteering opportunities that are flexible and can fit around work commitments. Mentoring can be an opportunity to make a huge difference in another person’s life whilst being flexible and often for fixed time periods. Organisations like TimeBank, the Prince’s Trust and Centrepoint all offer amazing mentoring schemes.
There are so many different ways of volunteering that are often overlooked; volunteering as a trustee or a school governor is a fantastic way to share skills you may have developed in your professional career. Or supporting a small charity remotely by contributing to their social media from home or helping out for a clean-up day can also be a rewarding one-off commitment.
Thanks to Team London, Project Dirt have been able to develop a brand new volunteering tool that allows both people to search for a volunteering opportunity that suits them and organisations to recruit the right volunteers for their projects. We are really keen to see wide a variety of volunteering roles advertised and to get your feedback about how this tool can make it even easier for you use.
One of our Project Dirt members used the volunteering tool to find a volunteering opportunity that suited her interests: she took part in the West Hampstead Green Gym where she helped restore a pond by clearing the water of weeds and litter. She described the day as a great atmosphere as she ‘liked being outdoors in a natural environment, learning new things about conservation work’ whilst making ‘real improvements to the pond area and the local community’.
If you have any questions about how to make the most of the tool, please don’t hesitate to contact us.A new tool to help you recruit volunteers flexibly,