How to get involved in volunteering if you feel like you have no time

Volunteering is all about offering your time to a good cause. But with work and family commitments taking up your time, you may not think it suits you.

One reason why people sometimes struggle to volunteer is because they can’t commit to blocks of time.

Thankfully, though, this isn’t the only way to do it.

With advances in technology, you can volunteer remotely whenever suits you, helping out and still keeping up with day-to-day responsibilities.

We’ve picked the best ways to volunteer even if your schedule is packed.

Be My Eyes

Be My Eyes is one of coolest ways tech can help you help others, and you can do it whenever you have a spare minute.

Blind or low-vision people are connected with a sighted volunteer for a video call, where they can get help with things like expiry dates, distinguishing colours, or reading instructions.

It’s easy to use: just download the app, and get ready to receive a request from someone who needs you to quite literally be their eyes.

Plus, if you know another language, you can help translate things too.

Find out more and download the app here.

GoodGym

Do you go to the gym or work out at home? There’s a way to take all this exercise and make it even more virtuous by volunteering at the same time.

GoodGym operates across the country, and allows you to take on ‘missions’ when you have time.

These could include picking up shopping for an elderly person, carrying heavier items for community projects, or ending your usual run with a social call to someone who might be isolated.

You won’t be committed to any blocks of time, so can pick up tasks whenever.

Put your postcode in to find out if there’s a GoodGym project near you.

The Crisis Project

Founded last year, The Crisis Project sends letters to isolated elderly people or NHS workers.

If you want to show your gratitude but don’t have time for regular volunteering, you can write a heartfelt letter to someone who needs – and deserves – to hear it.

If you know a key worker who would appreciate a letter, you can also nominate them for one.

Sign up here.

Inspiring the Future

Whatever your profession, you could use your knowledge to help young people – particularly those from disadvantaged positions – to learn work and life skills.

Volunteers sign up, state which industry their expertise is in, then might be asked to give a careers talk in a school, help with CVs, or be part of mock interviews.

The charity also allows you to offer work experience or shadowing for young people interested in your field.

Volunteering opportunities are on an ad-hoc basis, and you can put your availability on your form to ensure you won’t unexpectedly get a call. As well as this, there are plenty of volunteers who help Inspiring the Future virtually.

Find out how to get involved here.

The Access Project

With The Access Project, you can become a virtual tutor, helping a disadvantaged child to ace their exams and hopefully get a place at the university of their choice.

You will need to commit to one hour a week during term time, but as it’s done online you won’t need to commute or travel to take part.

Tutors need to be a graduate or studying at university themselves to take part.

See if you’re eligible and how you can help here.

Shout

One for night owls or those who work odd hours, Shout is looking for text chat volunteers during the night.

There is a commitment (you’ll need 25 hours of training and have to commit to 200 hours of volunteering in total), but it’s ideal if you’re always busy during the day but have time after dark.

Use the skills you’ll learn in training to help people getting in touch about their mental health, offering support to them via text.

See if it suits you here.

On Hand

On Hand tout themselves as the Tinder of volunteering, matching those who need a hand with those who need one.

Tasks include helping elderly people with groceries, making befriending calls, and general small errands that can make someone’s life easier.

You’ll need to get your employer to sign your staff up, as it’s a corporate scheme and not something you can apply for separately.

If they do, though, it’s a wonderful way to get out in your community and do something good.

Find out more here.

Do you have a story you’d like to share?

Get in touch at [email protected]

Volunteers’ Week takes place 1-7 June and highlights the amazing ways people can give back and help others. To get involved click here. 

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