How to Volunteer at Home

3 July 2020

For most of us, a lot of 2020 has been spent at home. Some of you may have had more spare time than usual and thought about getting involved in voluntary work – either continuing what you already do or venturing into volunteering for the first time.

If volunteering from home sounds like an oxymoron, don’t worry! There are actually plenty of remote volunteer opportunities.

Volunteering at home has many benefits – the largest being the fact you’re helping others from the comfort of your own home. See below for some ideas on how to volunteer remotely.

Teach online

There are plenty of platforms where you can use your time to teach subjects like English to refugees and others in need. In many cases, you don’t need any teaching qualifications and you will be supported by the organisation throughout your time as a volunteer.

It’s a great way to meet and teach people virtually, whilst learning and building on your own verbal skills and confidence. It can also look great on your CV for future professional roles.

Become a mental health worker

Lots of mental health charities and organisations train volunteers to respond to members of the public who may be experiencing mental health issues like anxiety or depression. Shout is a UK based text service that operates 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and anyone of any age or background can get in contact. The organisation is powered by a team of volunteers who are trained up to help those who are in a crisis.

However, there are certain criteria as being a mental health volunteer isn’t for everyone. Being over 18, resilient, mentally robust, and able to commit to a certain number of hours a week are a few examples.

Make a donation

If you have a very busy schedule and can’t commit to a voluntary role, donating is the next step. As well as donating money to charities and fundraisers, you can also donate physical items. The most common is taking old clothes and homeware to charity shops, but you can go one step further with an organisation called Community Calling.

The scheme aims to aid those who don’t have access to any type of internet or phone in their house. It encourages people to donate their old smartphones to those who need them during the pandemic.

Use your skills to help

One way you can use your time to help others is by utilising your own skills. Perhaps you’re a graphic designer, consultant, or fashion designer? Whatever the skill, there are lots of small businesses and charities in need of talent who may not be able to afford it.

A lovely thing to do for businesses who may be struggling is offer your services for free or a reduced rate. It not only helps them but can boost your own profile too.

Help with admin tasks

Many organisations need people behind the scenes doing finance, event planning, communications and more. These roles are often not as public facing so could be done from home. As a Civilian Assistant in the Army Cadets, for example, there are plenty of things you can do behind the scenes.

If there’s an organisation like the ACF that you would like to be involved with but cannot commit any in-person hours, get in touch and see how you can get involved from home. Many organisations need help with their finances, event organisation and other important administrative tasks.

Help combat loneliness

The Silver Line’s scheme of combatting loneliness in the elderly population is another option of voluntary work from home. Being a ‘helpline friend’ includes ringing and video calling people who may be lonely and not get much contact with others. You could also become a penfriend and write letters to those in similar positions.

Further volunteering opportunities

When the time is right, plenty of organisations will be welcoming back their volunteers to in-person and physical roles. However, we predict that remote volunteering opportunities will continue, as society has seen the positive results that can be achieved from home working and volunteering.

If you’re interested in the Army Cadet Force, we have a range of roles that are available for anybody over the age of 18. Whether you have a military past or not, the ACF is an inclusive environment that encourages adults from all over the UK to inspire cadets whilst learning new skills themselves. See the benefits of volunteering and find your nearest detachment to learn more.