We volunteer too
We don’t just work for a volunteering charity, we volunteer too.
That’s how we know what makes volunteering rewarding. And we know where you're coming from.
Mercedes from our finance team gets away from budgets and spreadsheets and goes back to school when she volunteers - reading to primary school children. Find out what other members of the TimeBank team do. Here are their tips and words of wisdom:
Be patient (don't give up!)
Heidi says "Be patient – remember that even though you’ve made the decision that you want to volunteer and have decided you’ve got the time, the need might not be there immediately."
Mercedes agrees "It might take longer than you think before you actually get to volunteer. It can take a while to find the right opportunity, then you might need training or criminal record bureau (CRB) checks, and some things are only once a month or at certain times in the year. So don’t be disappointed if you have to wait a bit before you get started. It will be worth it in the end."
Get in touch
Fran suggests "If the organisation you want to volunteer with doesn’t get back to you straight away, don’t think they don’t want you. If they're a small charity, chances are they may not have the infrastructure they'd like - keep on calling and emailing."
How do I decide what to do?
Elaine says "Choose a cause/charity that you really believe in or is close to your heart. Then you'll find that however you spend the time you give them, it will be rewarding just to know you've helped."
Andy says "Think about a skill you have that you could use or why not choose something that annoys you! Fed up of all the rubbish in the street - find a local project (or set up your own) that can change that."
Don't be afraid to say no
Eva says “A bit like a hobby or job, if you feel like it's not turning out the way you'd hoped or it's not right for you, you don't have to carry on. Be honest. It shouldn’t be a problem, just don't forget to let the person in charge know.”
Challenge yourself - try something you’ve never done before
Kate says "Giving yourself a challenge really puts your mind to something. It'll give you a real buzz and challenging roles are often the most fulfilling too."
Criminal Records Bureau check (CRB)
Sharon says “If you're thinking about volunteering with children or vulnerable adults you may need to have a Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) check. The organisation you're volunteering with should sort all of this out for you, but it takes time and you may have to wait up to eight weeks so bear this in mind."
Sam says "You may just surprise yourself. You don't have to stick to something you do for your day job or only do something that you have skills in. Volunteering is a really great way to develop skills and interests you never knew you had. Some people even decide to change careers as a result of a new found passion."