There is often a misconception amongst the youth of today that voluntary work is mainly for middle aged and middle class people and mostly made up of women or those who have retired and have got plenty of time on their hands but they’d be very much mistaken. There are thousands of young volunteers, many of whom will be under 18, who will be out and about as you read this giving their time and their skills voluntarily. And, whilst it is true that some organisations and certain voluntary roles require you to be older, there are plenty of opportunities for younger people to get involved in volunteering and many charities will actively try to attract the younger element citing a younger person’s energy and enthusiasm along with their fresh approach and willingness to come up with new ideas and ways of doing things as a healthy complement to the more mature and established views offered by the more experienced volunteer.
What to Look For As a Young Volunteer Just like anybody else who is involved in volunteering, younger people must first identify those causes and projects that they’re attracted to, that they can offer a firm commitment to and ones which will allow them to best demonstrate the skills and personal qualities they have to offer. It’s also important to choose a role which can provide you with a real training opportunity in order to increase your skills base which will inevitably look favourable on your CV as it’s quite common for younger people to have to rely heavily on any experience they can think of in order to get their first break on the career ladder and a carefully managed period of voluntary work is always considered highly valuable by prospective employers, especially when you’re just starting out. It demonstrates commitment, a willingness to learn, an ability to work as part of a team and an appreciation of a particular cause – all qualities that are highly desired by employers.
Doesn’t It Cost Too Much, Isn’t It Boring And Won’t It Take Up Too Much Of My Time? These are probably the three most frequent objections cited by youngsters when questioned about voluntary work. However, there are plenty of opportunities out there which rely on people of all ages to make a contribution and the charities and organisations behind these initiatives are getting keener to ensure that they try to be flexible as possible when it comes to the amount and regularity of time that people need to put in. They also understand the pressures faced by younger volunteers in terms of juggling school or college commitments, maybe a paid part-time or full-time job as well as other commitments such as sports and social activities, all of which tend to be high up on the agenda of the younger volunteer. They also appreciate that money is often not a premium when you’re younger so in the majority of cases, you can be assured that you will be reimbursed any travel expenses you may incur and you may even be entitled to a meal allowance also. There are also plenty of opportunities to combine hobbies and pastimes in a voluntary capacity.What Kind Of Voluntary Jobs Are Available To Young People?Younger volunteers are so sought after these days that the range of opportunities available to you is almost endless. However, typical work can include helping out with environmental and conservation projects locally e.g. cleaning up rivers and ponds, working in hospital radio, helping younger children with basic maths, reading and writing, working in a charity shop and there are countless opportunities to find voluntary work in both the arts and sports volunteering sector where you can combine your passion for a particular hobby and still make a very valued contribution to society – a good example could be getting involved in refereeing disabled 5 a side football matches or wheelchair basketball tournaments or designing stage sets for your local community theatre. The key thing is to appreciate that volunteering is for everyone and that no-one needs to feel excluded and, for a young person, it can not only help you to feel good about yourself but it can also teach you new skills, improve your self-esteem and how to relate to other people of all ages and backgrounds with whom you may not have previously come into contact with and it will give you a real sense of purpose and an appreciation of your ‘place’ in your own community. Furthermore, a stint of volunteering will often prove to be the foundation of the transition to adulthood as you start out to pursue a career and your experience will often instil a good set of values within you which you will carry throughout life.
Hi I'm 13 and I would really love to do some local volunteering but I'm not sure how I can do it.I would love to work with children and people with disabilitys.Do you know anywhere I could help out if you do please tell me
We don't know which area you live in so can't give any specific examples. Many organisations only take volunteers over 16. The best places to start looking are your local council, Citizens' Advice and the CVS (Council for Voluntary Services)
VoluntaryWorker - 14-Mar-17 @ 10:40 AM
Hi I'm 13 and I would really love to do some local volunteering but I'm not sure how I can do it.
I would love to work with children and people with disabilitys.
Do you know anywhere I could help out if you do please tell me
Elsie Holstead - 11-Mar-17 @ 11:15 AM
I am 13 years old and I live in Slough. I am currently looking for volunteering opportunities for my Bronze Duke of Edinburgh programme. I have already tried a charity shop but the times were inconvenient for me. I would prefer something on the weekends from 10am - 7pm or on a weekday from after 4.30pm. If you know any places suitable for me then please let me know. Thank you.
Taaseen - 2-Mar-17 @ 9:41 PM
Hi! I'm Saira. Im a muslim. Im 14 years old and I am looking for a place to get volunteering hours, since I really want to help out with the community. I love fitness, I love running, I love baking. I love basketball (Not that im good at it though ;D) And im currently looking for a place to volunteer that is in coventry, since my parents wont drop me off far, Around Radford please. I need community service hours too and to be honest, i love meeting new people, I am quite shy, and I hve stage fright but i really want to help the community.
Thanks for taking the time to read this ;)
Saira - 20-Jan-17 @ 3:01 PM
I'm 13yrs old and have been accepted to do the bronze DOFE. For the voluntary section I would like to help and care for people, this is because in the future I want to be a doctor/nurse, therefore I need experience at helping and caring for not just family but the people in my community. If you know a place near Milton Keynes, Aylesbury and Buckingham where I can apply please don't hesitate to share or reply to this comment.
lia - 14-Jan-17 @ 4:13 PM
Daughter is 14 and wants to volunteer, starting DOE soon. Loves animals and has applied to the cinnamon trust however no need in our area at the moment. Any ideas please?
Popsie - 3-Jan-17 @ 11:23 PM
I am 13 and have been looking for ages for volunteering work but it has ages restrictions. I love animals and younger children. I am happy to give up my week end mornings to help.
Pearl - 31-Dec-16 @ 5:36 PM
Hi I'm 15 years old and I just really want to help people. My goal for 2017 is to try and make a small difference to someone's life because everyone deserves happiness. I love to write and make people's lives easier, is there anything that would suit me and would fit around a busy school schedule with homework and exams?
Olivia - 21-Dec-16 @ 10:32 PM
Hi, I'm 14 years old and i live in telford (near Birmingham) and i really, really want to help people. I want to help the homeless because when I see them it breaks my heart a little, because I know which are on drugs and inflict it on themselves, I want to help them too, but I especially what to help the homeless people that have been kicked out or have no where to run and want to do good in life, ones that will put themselves before others and have a good heart. I want to help people who feel like they have no one and need help finding shelter, a warm meal and drink, or a friend. I would also love to help the elderly who have no family and are alone at Christmas time and are isolated in an care home and that need a friend and someone who they can talk to. I know it might sound cheesy but I want to help people, I want to make sure that they are happy, and not lonely, and warm with shelter and food. I want to do good in this world(yes I realise how cheesy that sounds too).Aslong as it is after 2pm on weekdays and anytime after 10am to 7pm on Saturdays I would really like to help and give back to people who need help and someone that they can trust. I can't do holidays as I'm either at my nans or dad's. I would love to help people. I am always great with the elderly and can be a real people's person once you get me started talking. I might be a little shy. but thatshe also another reason that I want to do this. I want to help build my self confidence and others. if I'm given a chance I know that I can do good and help people who need someone to trust.
banana - 16-Dec-16 @ 8:51 PM
Hi I'm 13 and looking for volunteer work in leeds. I can work on Saturdays snd possibly week day nights between 5:30 to 8 pm. I also have a friend looking for the same thing. I will volunteer for elderly, children and homeless places. I have experience in entertainment, i am willing to put myself forward for any kind of volunteer roles, I would be extremely grateful. Thank you.
Ebony - 8-Dec-16 @ 5:49 PM
Hi, my daughter is 14 and is looking for voluntary work for her Duke of Edinburgh award and would love an opportunity to work with children or animals. We live in Surrey and have contacted a couple of places but no luck as yet, any suggestions please? Thanks
AmandaM - 19-Nov-16 @ 3:49 PM
I am 14 years of age and I am doing my duke of edingbugh award is there any where in Coalville. Leicestershire I can help out ,
I really would like to make a difference to homeless people.
Gina - 10-Nov-16 @ 6:03 PM
neli - Your Question:
Hi, I am 14-15 years old and I am looking for somewhere to volunteer for my bronze Duke of Edinburgh. I was thinking of volunteering in a place with children with disabilities but I need it to be after three o'clock and not every day of the week so I can do my physical and skills course along with it. Do you know a place in Birmingham where the accept under-aged volunteers to work with disabled children?
Wobblers and wheelies disabled sports and swimming club ask for helpers on a Friday Evening: "you will be very welcome. You are never too old or too disabled. We always welcome new helpers too. You could be a helper as part of a Duke of Edinburgh's Award scheme community service"
You could also try: Whizz kids who are looking for volunteer youth activity volunteers and leaders.
VoluntaryWorker - 10-Nov-16 @ 12:30 PM
Hi, I am 14-15 years old and I am looking for somewhere to volunteer for my bronze Duke of Edinburgh. I was thinking of volunteering in a place with children with disabilities but I need it to be after three o'clock and not every day of the week so i can do my physical and skills course along with it. Do you know a place in Birmingham where the accept under-aged volunteers to work with disabled children?
neli - 9-Nov-16 @ 8:45 PM
Hi, I am 13 years old and I am looking for somewhere to volunteer for my bronze Duke of Edinburgh. I love swimming and swim at my competitive club 3 times a week also I love animals owning quite a few and would love to do something related to that, however I have searched all over the web and cant find anything that will take me. I live in Surrey, Biggin hill and Caterham area. information regarding website links would be great if possible. Thank you.
Sara - 9-Oct-16 @ 6:15 PM
how old do you have to be to do voluntary work?
nicole - 21-Sep-16 @ 7:24 PM
Isabel - Your Question:
Hello. My daughter is 13 years old, nearly 14 years old, and is looking for voluntary work. She can work on theatre plays or television. She's a professional dancer with experience in dance shows. She also loves children and loves teaching. She has good maths / English levels at school so would be able to help small children. She is equally good at working with computers programs and good at sports.Could you please advise where we could search for work. We've searching different sites but is has proven difficult to find voluntary work for our area ( probably not lucky enough). We live in London, Borough of Kensington and Chelsea but able to travel to surrounding Boroughs in zones 1 or zone 2.Thank you. Isabel Roxo
Many organisations are reluctant to take on volunteers under the age of 16. If your daughter asks at her drama club, any local after school clubs, youth clubs or holiday clubs if she can help with the younger children, they'd probably be glad of the help.
VoluntaryWorker - 7-Jun-16 @ 10:28 AM
My daughter is 13 years old, nearly 14 years old, and is looking for voluntary work. She can work on theatre plays or television. She's a professional dancer with experience in dance shows. She also loves children and loves teaching.
She has good maths / English levels at school so would be able to help small children. She is equally good at working with computers programs and good at sports.
Could you please advise where we could search for work. We've searching different sites but is has proven difficult to find voluntary work for our area ( probably not lucky enough). We live in London, Borough of Kensington and Chelsea but able to travel to surrounding Boroughs in zones 1 or zone 2.
Thank you. Isabel Roxo
Isabel - 5-Jun-16 @ 8:59 AM
Think you all need a goodpraise.everyone who is willing to help the young people of today has courageand understanding of the troubles of today's life. With a bit of help hopefullybetweenuswe can make a differencex
Jess - 3-Jun-16 @ 12:31 AM
CleverleyA1 - Your Question:
HiI've just recently finished a degree and my dream job is to work within youth offending to help and guide young people. I have a few bits of experience doing so but would love the opportunity to volunteer with YOT with the idea of working towards a career in this avenue. I am from the Solihull/Birmingham area and would really value and help or guidance I could be given to take the first steps in volunteering within the youth offending teams within my local communities. If you have any information regards to numbers or email addresses I should use to put myself forward for volunteering roles, I would be very grateful.thanks, Millie
I've just recently finished a degree and my dream job is to work within youth offending to help and guide young people. I have a few bits of experience doing so but would love the opportunity to volunteer with YOT with the idea of working towards a career in this avenue. I am from the Solihull/Birmingham area and would really value and help or guidance I could be given to take the first steps in volunteering within the youth offending teams within my local communities. If you have any information regards to numbers or email addresses I should use to put myself forward for volunteering roles, I would be very grateful.
CleverleyA1 - 16-May-16 @ 10:06 AM
I am 13 and looking for somewhere that will let me help them with animal sheter in Coventry. I also like to help with kids who have disabilities eg. down syndrome, Williams syndrome, and my mum would be quite happy to help oout with that too!
D - 5-Apr-16 @ 4:57 PM
I'm going to be 13 soon and I really want to do some voluntary work. I live in coventry but and I've checked the voluntary work but I don't know if I'm age appropriate for it.
Sabby - 25-Mar-16 @ 2:13 PM
I would like to help out because I would like to help over people and make them happy.
Amie - 13-Mar-16 @ 7:28 PM
Troy - Your Question:
Hi my name is Troy I was wanting to volunteer with ex offenders being one myself over 8 years ago. I believe with my back ground and experience I could help encourage and support offenders trying to make a break in life away from crime. I was once a drug addict but has been free from drugs for over 8 years. Have a wonderful job as a supervisor with a prestigious company , I would like to help in my spare time hopefully as local as I can get coming from Coventry. please could you offer advice. Also I am a Christian who would love to offer hope to the hopeless. Kind regardsTroy tyler
Contact Coventry Youth Offending Services about volunteering opportunities. You can email them at Info@coventry-yos.org.uk or phone 02476 831414. Or write with some details about yourself to:
VoluntaryWorker - 25-Feb-16 @ 9:57 AM
Hi my name is Troy I was wanting to volunteer with ex offenders being one myself over 8 years ago . I believe with my back ground and experience I could help encourage and support offenders trying to make a break in life away from crime. I was once a drug addict but has been free from drugs for over 8 years . Have a wonderful job as a supervisor with a prestigious company , I would like to help in my spare time hopefully as local as I can get coming from Coventry . please could you offer advice. Also I am a Christian who would love to offer hope to the hopeless.
Troy - 22-Feb-16 @ 8:04 PM
i am 14 years old and im from liverpool i am taking bronze in my duke of edinburgh award so is there any volunteering work anywhere please
paige murphy - 12-Jan-16 @ 2:30 PM
I'm doing my DofE and need to sort out some volunteering work. Everywhere i've looked they won't let me because i'm 13. I was looking for something in wakefield or morley. Especially in charity shops, i'm doing it for 3 months and need to have it sorted ASAP. I really need to start it and don't mind what i'm doing. I was wondering if anyone knew of charity or volunteering work i can do that suits all of the above.
Caitlin - 22-Dec-15 @ 4:14 PM
hi, i am 14 years old and am currently taking part of my bronze award for Duke Of Edinburgh i am looking for somewhere to volunteer but it is really hard due to my age can anyone pleas help me find somewhere to volunteer i live next to aldgate east station so anywhere near there would be preferable thankyou
sonya - 16-Dec-15 @ 10:14 PM
Hi i'm 13 years old and have been accepted to gain my Bronze award for DofE I am struggling to do this due to age restrictions is there any organisation i can volunteer to gain this near me i live near Preston Lancashire I also have transport to travel the Chorley and Leyland areas i would appreciate any help as i don't want to drop out and lose out on this opportunity.