Young People & Volunteering
The benefits of volunteer work — for anyone, of any age — are virtually endless. Volunteer work expands your understanding of other people’s lives. It gives you a new view of the world and the problems within it; it also shows you how hard people will work to solve those problems. There’s no better cure for the blues than helping someone who’s worse off than you are. It seems paradoxical, but volunteer work amid the most severe social problems can often be an abiding source of personal hope.
For young people, volunteering has additional bonuses. By taking action you will not only benefit your community, you will also gain skills and experience that will help you to achieve great things at school, in further education and in your employability when you look for a job.
Repeated or dedicated volunteer work demonstrates that you’re not simply participating in the activity for the sake of trying to look good – you actually care about changing the world! That’s a testament to your character that no test result or qualification can duplicate.
People under the age of eighteen frequently don’t meet legal or insurance requirements in order to volunteer. Because of this, young people don’t have as much of an opportunity to get involved in the voluntary and community sector, and subsequently have a smaller chance of being able to help make meaningful changes within their community.
Too often society fails to listen to young people’s views or recognise their ability to make a positive difference. It’s time for that to change…
What You Can Do
Whether it’s protecting the environment, tackling knife crime, improving mental health, combating racism, campaigning against period poverty or something completely different, everyone can make a difference. There are lots of ways you can take action.
If you think you won’t have the time to take up a permanent role, that’s fine too! The Bracknell Forest Volunteer Pool encourages people to ‘Dive In’ and get involved as and when they’re available! If you add your name to our mailing list, you will be sent email alerts informing you about local events and opportunities that don’t require a big commitment. Tasks can be anything from basic conservation work to charity collections.
This way, if you’ve got some free time and you see something you like the look of, all you need to do is contact the organisers to let them know you’d like to come along, and you can start making a difference!
You can even get yourself and your friends involved with volunteer work in your own unique way! You could help an elderly neighbour with their shopping, mentor someone younger than you, encourage local shops to use less plastic, or campaign against discrimination in your community.
You don’t have to try and save the world on your own. If everyone takes small positive actions, this will add up to make such a huge difference.
At involve, we work hard to get as many people involved in volunteering as possible. Our volunteer website, Bracknell Forest Get Involved, was set up in June 2018 to make it even easier for people to find suitable volunteer roles. We’ve got over 150 opportunities on our volunteering website, with this number constantly growing, many of which are suitable for younger people!
We also have some opportunities on the site which are suitable for people with additional needs, as well as a Supported Volunteering service which allows people who need a little bit of extra help to find and get settled into appropriate volunteer roles.
If you’d be interested in getting involved with volunteering in your community, get in touch with involve Community Services: