Volunteering isn't just for Christmas!

TimeBank’s Christmas Party volunteering was a great success! We had unprecedented interest in the idea - and the BBC even came to film one company who turned their party into a communal gardening effort for vulnerable residents.    

It was wonderful to hear from so many employees interested in giving something back. So when I read the research conducted by nfpSynergy about Christmas Volunteering, it was great to see that they believe it has the potential for real growth.

From clearance work in a park in Waltham Forest (in December!), to packing Christmas presents for Samaritans Purse to be sent to children across the world, Christmas Party Volunteering certainly got lots of employees in the festive spirit. Volunteers spent quality time with each other, and gave their time to make someone else happy – surely these are the moments Christmas is all about. As a project coordinator it was a pleasure to organise each project and be with the volunteers to see how much enjoyment they got from giving something back to local communities.

The research from nfpSynergy confirms what TimeBank already knows, that volunteering can be part of everyday life, and volunteering at Christmas is a great place to start! It found that charities were the biggest recipients of Christmas volunteering time, ahead of churches and community organisations. A third of respondents felt that Christmas was a time of giving and ‘wanted to get into the festive spirit’. A quarter of Christmas volunteers said the holidays gave them more time to volunteer. The conclusions from the research suggest that charities could be missing out on potential volunteers over Christmas, which is a great shame when resources are increasingly be stretched.

But of course volunteering isn’t just for Christmas – it’s something that can be enjoyed all year round. I found a really useful post on Volunteer Match’s website with some great tips on how to keep your volunteers after the festive season. Suggestions include finding out about your volunteers’ motives for helping and how to make volunteering fit into people’s everyday lives, which our essential to recruiting and maintaining volunteers in your organisation. And we definitely agree!

At TimeBank, we hope that volunteering at Christmas will have given lots more people a taste of how rewarding it can be – both to employees and the companies which engage with us to get their staff involved in their local communities.  You can get an idea of just some of the benefits here.

So whether you’re an employee looking for a rewarding volunteering experience for your team or you’re an organisation looking for skilled volunteers please get in touch with me on 020 3111 0728, or email richardg@timebank.org.uk.