Bring some joy to the world this festive season – sign up for one of these fantastic volunteering opportunities through www.i-volunteer.org.uk. There's something for everyone – whatever your age or interests, and wherever you're based. You can even volunteer from the comfort of your own bedroom!
On the first day of Christmas, a volunteer gave to me...
12 geeks a-helping!
If you live in the Cambridge area and you're computer-savvy, Cambridge Online needs you. They provide free computer training and advice for disabled and disadvantaged people – and urgently need more volunteers to offer one-to-one support to those who may need additional help to use a computer. Training, support and expenses are paid – so put your PC skills to great use by helping others!
11 children smiling!
Barretstown in Ireland is an amazing residential camp for seriously ill children – and they're recruiting volunteer chaperones from the UK for spring and summer 2011. You'll escort children visiting the camp and then help out once you're there – and in doing so, help them to recover their confidence and self esteem (and put a smile on their face!)
10 badgers badgering!
Find yourself on Facebook all day? Well, put it to good use! SuperBadger is a Facebook campaigning application that allows you to send emails direct from your profile to key people making the decisions. Whether it is badgering politicians about climate change, or badgering supermarkets to stock more Fairtrade products - can you rise all the way to 'SuperBadger' status?!
9 bikers rescuing!
If you live in Worcestershire and go biking, a new Mountain Bike Search and Rescue Team wants your help. You'll be trained to work with Police, Ambulance Service and Fire and Rescue teams assisting in times of need, and offering medical response. No experience required, as full training will be given. The team need help 365 days of the year – so whether you're free days, evenings, weekdays or weekends, why not lend them a hand (or pedal power)?
8 creatives surfing!
Want to be part of the team building one of the most ambitious interactive websites for 2011? The London Repertory Company needs you! They're looking for web designers, animators, multimedia creatives and more – and the most impressive volunteers will get opportunities to assist with the core 'Raise-The-Curtain' campaign team, and possibly get paid work in the future. Go for it!
7 nature-lovers saving (the planet!)
Help endangered animals and wildlife by using your computer: create a 'Panda Page'. The World Wildlife Fund's fantastic new Panda Pages allow you to create your own webpage about your favourite animals and wild places - and spread the word about them. By doing so, you help to raise funds to support WWF's conservation work. Great for kids who love animals (and adults, too!)
6 Iraqi lives transforming!
A little research on the internet can go a long way in relieving the suffering of children abroad. One in 13 children in Iraq suffers from a disability – and you could be the person to help them find free medical care or donations via guided online research. Sign up now to help change a life – from the comfort of your own home.
5 pets rehomed!
If you love animals, the RSPCA in Cambridge would love your help. They need volunteers to pack up house contents donated to sell in their shops; volunteers to paint and decorate various places; and if you don't live in Cambridge and/or can only offer support from home: volunteers to help spread the word about all the lovely animals they need rehoming. Tons of opportunities, tons of ways to help our furry friends.
4 digital houses!
Nottinghamshire is switching over to digital TV in March 2011 - and CSV is looking for volunteers to help to spread the word among older and disabled people, so that no one is left with a blank screen after switch over. Volunteers can give as much time as they like, getting out and about in their communities, spreading the word and ensuring information and materials are easily available. So why not help others to be as switched on as you are?!
Want to change a kid's life in London? Chance UK need dedicated and fun people to mentor children aged 5-11 with behavioural difficulties. You'll be matched with a child with a similar personality, have lots of fun and be fully supported. So if you think you can get down to a child's level, be positive and broaden their horizons, this could be an amazing chance to transform both their life – and yours!
If you're good with people and would like to give a few hours each week to help others gain confidence and ability, then why not do some voluntary work for Compaid. They aim to ensure that all disabled people in and around Kent can achieve their aspirations - and currently have volunteer opportunities in residential homes in both Staplehurst and Tunbridge Wells; as well as at day centres throughout Kent.
And a website that's all that you need!
For constantly updated info and news on volunteering opportunities throughout the UK, check out www.i-volunteer.org.uk. You can find voluntary work, connect with other volunteers, set up a profile so charities and companies can find you – and much more. Transform the lives of others – and your own – this festive season: join in at i-volunteer.