As part of the Midcounties Co-operative, we’re committed to supporting local good causes, working with our colleagues and members to help communities grow. In 2016, our colleagues delivered over 36,000 volunteer hours supporting their local communities, with a whopping 234,000 hours being volunteered over the last 10 years.
Often, people like the idea of giving back to their local communities, but don’t really know where to begin. If this sounds familiar, don’t worry, you’ve come to the right place! The following list features 6 great ways you can volunteer in your local community, and should provide you with plenty of inspiration.
1) Feed the homeless at a soup kitchen
Soup kitchens provide a vital service, giving out meals, and sometimes other goods and services, to those less fortunate. It takes time, effort and resources to run a soup kitchen, and there are a number of ways you can volunteer your time – from helping collect and sort through donations, to actually preparing, cooking and serving the food.
2) Sign up for a litter picking event
We all take pride in where we live, and as part of that we want our local areas to look as nice as they possibly can. Lots of towns and villages have their own ‘clean teams’ or litter picking events you can help out with, to keep where you live looking clean and tidy. If your local area doesn’t already have one, why not look into setting one up yourself?
3) Coach a local youth sports team
If you’ve got an interest in sports, why not volunteer your time with a local youth team? Sports teams are a great way for children to have fun, make new friends and learn skills like teamwork. Teams are often looking for people to help out, and you could develop a few skills of your own in the process.
4) Volunteer with the elderly
Loneliness can be a major concern among the older generation, but luckily there are plenty of ways you can help address this. Charities around the country are always looking for new recruits, to help out with everything from making regular phone calls or visiting older people at their homes, to organising and running events for the elderly.
5) Help out with Scouts or Girlguiding groups
The Scouts Association and Girlguiding are two of the largest youth organisations in the UK, offering young people the chance to take part in a variety of fun, exciting and educational activities. Both organisations rely on help from volunteers to run – with roles ranging from running the weekly groups themselves, to more ‘behind the scenes’ roles like treasurers and secretaries.
6) Become a dog walker
Finally, if you’re a pet lover, why not see if you can help out at your local animal shelter or animal charity? There are lots of opportunities to volunteer your time, either by becoming a dog walker and ensuring the dogs get exercise and companionship, or by helping out at the shelter itself.
Want to know more? Read about 4 ways we’ve helped our communities over the past year.