What is volunteering?
Volunteering England defines volunteering as any activity that involves spending time, unpaid, doing something that aims to benefit the environment or someone (individuals or groups) other than, or in addition to, close relatives. Central to this definition is the fact that volunteering must be a choice freely made by each individual. This can include formal activities undertaken through public, private and voluntary organisations as well as informal community participation.
Every year over 20 million people across England and the UK volunteer, donating more than 100 million hours to their communities every week. It is estimated that the annual economic value of volunteering is worth in excess of £40 billion to our economy.
Volunteering can be very flexible and depending on your interests, time and skills, there are hundreds of different charities and community groups in Ealing which you can support and hundreds of roles available to you as a volunteer. From being a befriender, to helping with administration to website design or assisting at events – there is a wide range of activities to suit you – from full-time volunteering to one-off activities.
There are many reasons why people choose to volunteer:
- It's fun!
- It improves your health and happiness
- Something different
- Make new friends
- Learn new skills
- Develop the skills you already have
- Get involved in your community
- Help local people and causes
Things to consider before you start...
How can Ealing Volunteer Centre help?
We have a database of the volunteering roles offered by Ealing based charities, community groups and public sector organisations. We promote these on the national volunteering website www.do-it.org, at events and at our 1:1 brokerage appointments.
First of all, why not look at the website www.do-it.org? This will enable you to search for a volunteering opportunity.
If you are unsure and if you live, work or study in the borough of Ealing you can call 020 8280 2240 to make a one-to-one appointment with an advisor. Or you can email us, please make the subject line - Appointment, please! In the text of your email, include your name, a phone number and your preferred choice of appointment. Appointments are available at 10, 11 and noon on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. We will offer you advice about the sort of role that might be the perfect fit for you. Please note we do not currently run a drop-in service.
We aim to respond to all volunteering enquiries within 5 working days.
Virtual, online and micro-volunteering
Virtual, online and micro-volunteering are ways for people to make an impact on their communities online. This rapidly growing form of volunteering allows people the flexibility to complete tasks at a time and place that suits them best. Participants are sometimes described as 'online' or 'remote' volunteers. It typically does not require an application process, screening or training period, takes only minutes or a few hours to complete, and does not require an ongoing commitment by the volunteer. To find out more about volunteering your time in bite-sized chunks, from your own home or on the move, click here.
Ealing Volunteer Centre recognises the important contribution made by volunteers by awarding 100 Hour Certificates of Volunteering Achievement to volunteers within the borough.
If you have completed 100 hours of voluntary service in Ealing within the past 12 months and would like to apply for a '100 hour' Certificate of Volunteering Achievement please complete this form, ask your supervisor to sign it, and return it to us. You can apply at any time. Certificates are prepared on the last Friday of every month and will be posted to you.
Ealing Volunteer Centre is helping to pilot a not-for-profit volunteer recognition scheme in Ealing called ValueYou. This scheme works with businesses in the borough to secure discounts and gift vouchers for charity volunteers. A whole range of businesses are taking part, including cafes, restaurants, bakers, florists, butchers and fishmongers. Gifts include lunch, tea and cake for two, flowers, book tokens, beauty treatments and much more. The 100 hour certificate is used as the basis for eligibility for the scheme. To find out more you can email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit their website.
The option of receiving a ValueYou discount card is part of the 100 Hours Certificate Application Form.
Information about other award schemes for volunteers can be found by following these links:
Volunteering at Ealing CVS
Volunteering at Ealing CVS is both rewarding and fun! There’s a variety of roles to choose from, which will help you develop new skills or use existing ones, and you will really be making a positive impact. At the moment, we are particularly looking to recruit individuals interested in joining the brokerage team at the Volunteer Centre – enabling other people to volunteer in the borough.
Our volunteers enable us to do so much more within Ealing and you will be joining a friendly and supportive team. If you are interested in finding out more about what roles are currently available, why not email the Volunteer Centre Manager to find out what roles are currently available?