So, summer is here and so are the days of lazing around in pjs, watching daytime TV and eating your way through the contents of the fridge! But if you’re already starting to feel bored. and you’re longing for something interesting to do with your time, take a look at this list the Student Hut team has put together of 6 ways to volunteer over summer.
If you’re wondering exactly why you should get off the sofa and put yourself out to volunteer, think about these very valid reasons:
You will be helping others
You’re bored! Volunteering will keep you occupied and out the house
You will get to meet loads of new people
You’ll gain so many skills and so much experience... which can then be put on your CV!
When considering voluntary positions, do remember that sometimes you are expected to commit to working with them for a certain period of time - so be clear that you are only looking for a position to last for the summer.
There are certainly worse ways to fill your time over the summer period! So take a look at our suggestions of cool ways to volunteer this summer.
Volunteering in a charity shop, you can expect to sort through donations, price goods that have been donated, work the till and create window displays.
Generally, you won’t need any relevant experience and you will be given training when you arrive. There are also usually no strict rules about what hours you work, as long as you are able to commit regularly. There are loads of charity shops around that will be grateful for your help, so have a look along your local high street!
VOLUNTEERING WITH ANIMALS
There is such a variety of voluntary jobs that involve helping animals; from dog walking to working in an admin role. It’s not all just about volunteering in animal shelters, so make sure you look into all the opportunities.
These are some important things to remember if you are considering voluntary work with animals:
The application process might be a little longer and more in-depth than it would be for other voluntary roles
You may be required to undertake training before you can start volunteering. This could be in the form of one-to-one training on your first day or you may have to book in for a training session
Allergies can become a problem, even if you’re in an office-based environment. So be sure you don’t have any animal allergies before committing yourself to a role!
If you are working closely with animals, attachment, and sadly sometimes heartbreak, are part of the job. Just try not to get too emotional when the animals go to their new homes!
If you are an animal lover and/or studying veterinary science, this type of volunteer job would be perfect for you!
MUSEUM / ART GALLERY / HERITAGE SITE
If you volunteer in a museum, art gallery or heritage site, you can, again, expect to have a varied day-to-day experience. You could be helping out with collection filing and databases one day, and greeting and helping visitors the next!
The best tip with regards to this kind of volunteer role is to avoid the (admittedly more appealing) big, national museums because they are often overrun with volunteers. As a result, the application process is pretty strenuous and you might not even be offered a position! Even if you are, it will only be for a few hours and it will most likely be in one, niche area. Why not try smaller, local museums where they will be very grateful for the help and where you will pick up a much broader range of experience!
This is a great volunteering option if you study History or Archaeology, or if you plan to complete an MA in Museum Studies. If you want to work in the heritage sector after uni, volunteer experience like this is pretty much essential!
volunteering with older people
There may be some difficulties with actually volunteering inside a nursing home because of policies and restrictions with working with vulnerable people. However, if you feel that you really want to spend your time volunteering with older people, why not consider a role in a charity where you are on hand to offer them information and advice?
Or, you could always volunteer in the traditional way by becoming an elderly person's companion and either ringing them to see how they're doing or visiting them for a cup of tea and a chat.
This sort of volunteer job would be incredibly fulfilling and would certainly make people happy, but consider whether this is the sort of role you’d want to have over summer. Perhaps this would be better as a year-round commitment as you won’t want to make a lovely new friend and then suddenly disappear off back to uni!
Volunteering in a food bank can be a brilliantly fulfilling experience - and there is more variety with what you can do than you probably even realised!
You could be the person working in a food bank centre, but you could also choose to work as a warehouse volunteer or as a collector of donations from supermarkets.
Food banks offer an incredibly important service, so you can be sure that your efforts will be much needed and appreciated!
Seeing as it’s summer and you have three months of freedom stretching ahead of you, why not think about taking up a volunteer position abroad? You could visit some amazing, exotic places and help people who really really need it. I can think of worse ways to spend the summer!
Why not check out our jobs page to see if there are any exciting opportunities for volunteering abroad this summer?
So, there you have it, 6 cool ways to volunteer over the summer break! What do you think? Do you want to volunteer this summer? Can you think of any other cool ways to volunteer?
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