Civic participation is the encouragement of the general public to become involved in the political processes and issues that affect them. Civic engagement has many elements, but in its most basic sense it is about decision making, or governance over who, how, and by whom a community's resources will be allocated. Participation in civic roles is the backbone of our community. Across the country, thousands of people serve in a wide range of roles essential to the successful running of civil society.
All civic volunteering opportunities add value to the services we all benefit from and many help to monitor and moderate decision making, bringing vitality, accountability and impartiality. There are many opportunities within public sector organisations. Ranging from some which take a few hours a week to the majority which require many months of vetting and selection tests before you may be offered the opportunity to join the training scheme. Look below to find out more information.
School or College Governor
Becoming a governor is a rewarding way of making an important contribution to education. No specialist qualifications are needed just enthusiasm, commitment and an interest in education. You don't need to have a family member attending a school or college to become a governor and people from many different backgrounds volunteer for the role. For more information click here
Magistrates are volunteers who hear cases in courts. Magistrates hear criminal cases, send cases to the Crown court, deal with civil disputes and with experience and extra training can go on to deal with cases in family courts. Magistrates come from a wide range of backgrounds and occupations and do not have to have any legal qualification. Follow this link for more information. This website will also tell you more.
Volunteering to work with detainees, prisoners and offenders
Official Prison Visitors are drawn from many different walks of life and create an informal friendly relationship to try to encourage a constructive use of a prison sentence, a sense of community and an ability to contribute to society's wellbeing. Visit the Association of Prison Visitors website for more information. If you are interested in volunteering to check standards in prisons, please click here.
Independent Custody Visitors (ICVs) are local community members who check on the welfare of people in police custody by visiting police stations unannounced. Training is providing by the police, in partnership with the Independent Custody Visitors Association. Follow this link to find out more.
The role of an Appropriate Adult is to support and advise a young person or vulnerable adult in police custody and to facilitate communication between them and the police. An Appropriate Adult can be a family member, a friend, a volunteer or a social/health care professional. More information can be found through the National Appropriate Adult Network website.
Charity Trustees are the people who serve as volunteers on the governing body of a charity. They are responsible for the general control and management of the administration of the charity ensuring it is well run and delivers the charitable outcomes for the benefit of the public for which it has been set up. To find out more about
being a charity trustee, visit the Trustee Works website.
Metropolitan Police Volunteering
This programme gives members of the public the opportunity to support the Metropolitan Police Service and across London. It increases contact between local communities and the police, and improves the service to the public. To find out more, click here.
Volunteering with Ealing Council
In addition to these civic volunteering roles, Ealing Council also offers a variety of opportunities, ranging from weekly drop-in sessions in the kitchen garden at Walpole Park to being a Streetwatcher. Click here to find out more.