Children & young people

There are so many ways you can volunteer with children but you will need to be patient. You’ll need to have a background check done (the forms are easy to fill in) and you might need to be trained. So it might be a few months before you actually start volunteering. Don’t let that put you off, take a look at what’s on offer:

  • Action for Children - the latest volunteering opportunities across the country are listed on their website. You can mentor a child (this usually involves a two year commitment to enable the child to build up a relationship with you), visit someone in a care or foster home or if you can’t commit for a long period, try their weekend clubs or do some admin work at community centres.
  • Barnardo’s - you can work directly with children such as mentoring and befriending or as care group workers located across the country.
  • Volunteer Reading Help - play a big part in inspiring children to become confident and literate for life. And you get to develop some key skills too. You get to read with children aged 6-11 who struggle with their reading and are in need of extra support and mentoring. You’ll need to be able to commit for one school year and be able to go in three hours a week in school time over two 90 minute sessions. If you want to get into teaching many volunteers go on to become a classroom assistant so this really is a two way type of volunteering.
  • Children’s Society - assist their trained experts in providing help to vulnerable children in need. The projects operate throughout the country.

A couple of our staff volunteer with children and they both find the organisations really great to volunteer with.

Kids Company - Andy works in our fundraising team and volunteers pretty much every Friday. He leaves work an hour early each week to volunteer at Kids Company, the children’s charity that supports vulnerable children in London. He says that there are plenty of opportunities as a volunteer, depending on your skills and interests and no day is ever the same. His main role is to help out as an activities leader at the after school art club, supporting the kids with their work as well as crowd control! He’s also a professional musician and plays in a band and he lends his talent to run a drums and percussion class for 4-11 year olds every few months too. The kids absolutely love him as you can imagine!

Whizz Kids - volunteers give disabled children wheelchair skills training and help run social groups. Volunteers are often needed at local events for fundraising and Whizz-Walks. They have eight ambassador clubs in Blackburn, Newcastle, Birmingham, Glasgow, Belfast, Guildford, London and Swansea. As a volunteer ambassador you meet six times a year to discuss campaigns and fundraising activities.

Want more ideas or advice?

You might also want to try a google search for your local children’s centre or Sure Start centre. They’re a really good place to go as they run a whole host of services for children aged five and under and their families. They could always do with extra help. They work with a variety of outside agencies too such as Contact a Family, midwives, speech and language therapists, Job Centre Plus, Family Action, Learn Direct and nutritionists so if you work (or want to work) in any of these areas this could be for you.

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