Voluntary work

Voluntary work

Want to use your new freedom to give something back to the community? Or perhaps learn new skills you can use later for paid work?

Many voluntary organisations value the wealth of skills and expertise that older people bring. What's more, getting involved is a great opportunity to pass on your experience, stay active and meet new people.

But it's all very well wanting to give something back to the community but when reality kicks in, will you have enough income to see you through retirement? Find out how much income you might need and how much you might get.

Here are just a few ways you can volunteer:

Local projects

There are sure to be all sorts of different projects happening in your local area. Just a few hours of your time a week could make a real difference to something you care about.

Become a coach or mentor

You could give regular advice to people in the early stages of their career – perhaps even sharing specialist industry knowledge you gained in your own professional life.

Help the environment

Councils and voluntary organisations often run conservation projects. The British Trust for Conservation Volunteers have 'green gyms' that help you get fit while you help out.

Working with animals

Most animal charities offer volunteering opportunities – either working directly with animals at rescue centres or helping organise fundraising events.

Employee volunteering

This is volunteering that is supported by your employer, during work time or outside of work hours.

Useful links

Search the Volunteer Centre Finder

Volunteer Centres are local organisations that provide support to volunteers and the organisations that involve them. If you want to find an opportunity in your local area, this can be an ideal place to start: www.ncvo.org.uk/ncvo-volunteering/find-a-volunteer-centre

Get connected

ivo is a social network for the community minded – connecting people and organisations that want to make their worlds a better place. It allows you to search through 25,000+ jobs and volunteering opportunities in the not-for-profit sector. www.ivo.org

Volunteering England

Part of the National Council for Voluntary organisations (NCVO), this organisation champions volunteering in society. The website provides information on where to find volunteering opportunities, plus advice on how and why to volunteer. www.volunteering.org.uk

UK's national volunteering database

Do-it.org makes it easy for anyone to volunteer in the community. Do-it.org lists over a million volunteering opportunities posted by volunteer centres, charities and voluntary groups. Enabling 250,000 people every month to donate their time and build their skills, Do-it ensures that over 50,000 organisations find the help they need to provide vital services to the community. www.do-it.org

Find a charity job

The UK's busiest site for charity jobs and volunteering opportunities, CharityJOB regularly has more than 1,000 voluntary, internship and trustee positions available across 27 job categories. If you're looking to volunteer in the UK or looking for opportunities abroad, CharityJOB might just have the perfect role for you. www.charityjob.co.uk

Find a business mentor

This is Britain's first online gateway for small and medium-sized enterprises looking for mentoring services. The site offers businesses access to a list of quality-assured business mentoring organisations across Britain. An easy-to-use search engine allows businesses to refine their searches according to the life stage of their business and their location in Britain. www.mentorsme.co.uk

Training and support

CSV's mentoring and befriending schemes are designed to fit in with your busy schedule. CSV makes sure you're matched with the right person, giving you the training and support you need every step of the way. www.volunteeringmatters.org.uk

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