Ellie Sin: 5 ways to get into volunteering (from someone who’s done it!)

Are you looking to do something with your free time that won’t only look great on your CV but will actually make a real difference? We asked Ellie Sin, a List for Life writer and someone who’s been there and done it!

Here are her ideas on why and how to get out and spread some good by volunteering.

Here’s why:

More and more people are looking to volunteer and give a little back, and with all the new organisations and platforms such as Do-It and NCVO appearing it’s now easier than ever to join in.

Your actions, whether big or small, will make a positive impact and just knowing that can give your self-confidence a big boost. You’ll meet new people, explore other communities and gain great personal experience at the same time. Helping out also reduces stress and strengthens your immune system so it’s healthy too!

Here are some ways how:

1. Find your nearest animal shelter and spend some time walking the dogs or playing with the cats. As a volunteer at a local shelter I can vouch for the immense satisfaction from an appreciative wag of dog’s tail. You could even foster and give a furry friend a temporary home, or make a donation in the form of food, blankets or toys. No action is too small!

2. If you fancy taking an even bigger step why not go abroad? There are loads of programs in conservation, community and teaching available and you can gain some worldly experience in a foreign country while you do it.

3. If you’re interested in working with young people then look up mentoring schemes in which you can spend quality time with a young person. You’ll be building their confidence and providing support but you can expect to benefit as much as you give back.

4. Lots of hospitals and residential homes look for volunteers to help patients and residents. Whether you’re helping the old or the young you’ll be making a very positive impact and putting a smile on faces, including your own.

5. Get involved in events; lots of organisations such as Cancer Research hold regular races and fundraisers and always need volunteers to help out. From administration to local promotion, there are tons of different ways to get stuck in.

Words: Ellie Sin