People choose to volunteer for a variety of reasons. For some it offers the chance to give something back to the community or make a difference to the people around them. For others it provides an opportunity to develop new skills or build on existing experience, knowledge or wellbeing.

Regardless of the motivation, what unites them all is that they find it both challenging and rewarding. Virtually every charity relies on volunteers to help carry out its work successfully. You can learn more about volunteering on the Government’s website.

NCVO champions the voluntary sector and volunteering. They connect, represent and support voluntary organisations. You can find out more about volunteering via the NCVO’s ‘Where volunteering begins’ video below which illustrates inspirational stories from ordinary people doing extraordinary things:

Macmillan and Barnardo’s are two major charitable organisations who welcome new volunteers to help support their good works. Contact the Elderly, and Age UK both encourage volunteering, which makes a real difference to the lives of older people. Other charities may of course offer similar opportunities.

For further guidance on supporting a charity, Charity Choice , Charity Job, Time Bank, Reach and Know How are organisations which encourage and welcome new volunteers who wish to assist with charitable work throughout the country. They can provide information on many registered charities and may be able to assist in finding a suitable volunteering opportunity for you. You may also find Do it trust useful for information on supporting people to effect social change.