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Volunteering, such as charity work, can be an amazing way to pad out your CV, help those in need and a useful thing to fill your free time with! This post is to just make sure you feel confident taking that first step into the world of charity work and volunteering.

A small amount of volunteer time can be anything from an hour a fortnight to weekly or even daily work. Any time you can spare can be an incredible help to those in need and is equally as impressive to put on your CV, or just something good you can do within your own comfort zone and available time.

There are a plethora of opportunities all around, you only need the motivation to look!

Charities tend to give back to you just as much as you give to them through helping you grow, meet new people, develop lasting friendships and offering amazing opportunities!

Volunteering for a charity, can involve anything from working in a shop, organising fundraisers or just helping when you have the time!

Close to Bournemouth university, there are many shops on Winton high street, Bournemouth square and Lansdowne! Amongst the food and clothes shops, there are many charity shops all constantly looking for people to come help with collection, organisation, being on the storefront and more background work. Whatever you can offer and strengths you can present, they will be willing to accommodate and thrilled to have you working within their team. You simply need to visit the shop or email the charity and ask how to get involved! I would always recommend going in person, its an extra opportunity to show off your personality and so they can match a face to the name.

Shop work isn’t for you?

There are countless organisations around all desperate for an extra pair of hands. You can research from the comfort of your home, looking up local charities such as Girl Guiding, Scouting, St Johns ambulance, homeless shelters and more. You only need a quick search, obtain a contact number or email and ask!

Be open with them, explain your hours available and even if you can only come in once a week, fortnight or even month – anything is better than nothing. Within organisations such as Girl Guiding, there are many qualifications they will help you obtain such as leadership. Being such a large charity they are worldwide so if you move, you can move within them.

Want something even closer to home?

Contact the university’s societies and ask if they want you to organise or help out with any fundraisers! Smaller societies especially need help with fundraising for trips, equipment or uniforms, etc. all year round.

The best thing to remember when it comes to charity or volunteer work is as long as you have the right attitude, even if you have very limited time, how you choose to use that time can be a massive help to those all around. So, don’t be afraid to contact people, ask questions and offer only what you can provide. Don’t bite off more then you can chew and volunteer to work for more than you can and cause yourself stress. Make sure to put your physical and mental health first.

Some of my experience

Personally, I have volunteered at a number of different organisations. When i’ve only had time to lend a quick hand i’ve been to food banks, helping ferry items around and organising them. I have contacted and done some occasional work at food shelters, helping serve food and the cleaning up and cooking that goes behind it. Helping with fundraisers for schools, charities and school/university clubs and societies. I am a Girl Guiding leader so when I am home from university I help out at the weekly meetings, helping organise anything from fundraisers, camps and trips to PGL! now that the majority of my time is at university, I remain active helping plan some events and evening, and remain home contact for when they go out. It is very useful to be home contact for the unit, as they can go out and about without having to either lose a leader to stay behind or wasting time trying to find one. Volunteering has also always been kind and considerate to my schedule and understanding when I need to take time out. Throughout my experience I have managed to collect qualifications such as first aid, leadership, safeguarding and more. Not to mention countless memories and life long friends. Whether I have an occasional hour to spare, weekly free time or even less. Any time I could provide has always been well appreciated and always been of good use.