Voluntary Work in later life
If you feel that you have something to offer
experience, or just time, then there are lots of ways to help. But how do
you get in touch with voluntary organisations? Below we provide a small
selection of UK organisations that may be of interest to you. Also, take a look at our Guide to Voluntary Work. Firstly,
however, there are many local sources of information:
- Your local council will probably have someone
who is responsible for liaising with local voluntary organisations, so
- The library will also have information
- The local paper will, from time to time at least, have
advertisements by local voluntary organisations
- Many high streets now have a premises run by the
local voluntary organisations and staffed by volunteers who will advise
you of opportunities in your area.
Go to www.do-it.org.uk
and search for your nearest volunteer bureau. The web site enables you to
search by post code for any particular interest you have in the voluntary
sector. Many of the organisations that you will find are members of The
National Association of Volunteer Bureaux, whom you will see mentioned on
many of the web sites.
Donate your professional skills
Do you have professional experience in areas such as management, IT, finance, project management, communications, mentoring, fundraising, accountancy, marketing or HR? If so, please consider donating your skills to a charity which relies on experience like yours to grow, prosper, and in some cases, survive.
For over 32 years, the charity Reach has been helping retired, skilled people find interesting and challenging opportunities with voluntary organisations where their talents are urgently needed and highly valued. Busy people with a just a small amount of time to give and an interest in continuing to use and develop their career skills for the benefit of a worthwhile cause are welcome to take advantage of this free service
Our series Reports
from the Reach files profiles different people and the voluntary work activities they
got involved in via Reach - this can give you a real feel for the variety of ways you
might become involved.
For more information about the wide range of volunteering
opportunities they offer throughout the UK contact REACH on 020 7582 6543 or
see the REACH
has volunteering and
sighted guide opportunities. Its main
activities are providing breaks for disabled
people and carers at five accessible sites
throughout the UK and running holidays for
visually impaired people. They are always
looking for volunteers at the centres to
provide support and companionship for their
guests and for sighted guides to accompany
their visually impaired guests on holiday.
Volunteering England works to promote
volunteering as a powerful force for change,
both for those who volunteer and for the
wider community. This web site offers a
range of resources for anyone who works with
or manages volunteers as well as to those
who want to volunteer. If you live in Wales,
www.volunteering-wales.net to find
out about volunteering in Wales. Likewise,
opportunities in Scotland.
If you want to volunteer for overseas work, go to
can be aged up to 75 and, since
their merger with BESO in 2005, they
now offer short-term assignments.
Volunteering overseas can be
tremendously rewarding and, if you
feel adventurous, look at the web
Another interesting site for voluntary work overseas is
www.gapsforgrumpies.com This organisation provides the over 40s
with the opportunity to do five-week community development projects with
similarly grumpy middle-aged/older people in one of five countries – Ghana,
Kenya, Tanzania, Peru or Fiji. You can then stay on for a two to three week
holiday/safari/adventure in that country. To find out more, ring 07983 580844.
The National Association for
Voluntary and Community Action
is, to quote from them, 'the
national voice of local voluntary
and community sector infrastructure
in England. Our 360 members work
with 140,000 local community groups
and voluntary organisations which
provide services, regenerate
volunteering and tackle
discrimination, in partnership with
local public bodies'. To find out
more, visit the website and you will
be able to access voluntary
organisations in your area.
This is a Christian backed voluntary society, but being a Christian is not
necessary if you want to help. On this site you can find out more information, how TOC H
is organised and how you can join.
Jubilee Sailing Trust
If you would like to take part in a very active and enjoyable pastime
together with disabled people then the Jubilee Sailing Trust exists for just this purpose:
"To bring together able-bodied and physically disabled people through the medium
of tall ship sailing and building"
Responsible Cultural Experiences
you want an “experience of a lifetime”?
While working side by side with
local people, volunteers will experience the warm culture of the Far East.
This program is aimed at all walks of life but what is apparent is that
people in the 50 years + bracket have a wealth of experience and skills that
the local people could benefit from.
British Society of Gerontology
If you have an interest in research on ageing the British Society of Gerontology
aims to promote the understanding of human ageing and later life through research and
communication. It seeks to foster the application of this knowledge to the improvement of
the quality of life in old age.
The National Trust
You can volunteer to do a wide range of activities with the National
Trust, from gardening to being a room warden. Or you can go on working
holidays that help the Trust to maintain their properties.
Whatever it is you would like to do, from administration to
clearing ditches and ponds or building dry stone walls there will be an
opening for you in the voluntary sector. It might not be immediately
available or easy to find but a little persistence and patience will get you
that opportunity sooner or later. Many people get immense satisfaction from
volunteering and the feeling that they are putting something back into the
community. Interestingly, BUPA says that volunteering helps people stay
healthy - so that's an added benefit to volunteering. For more help, don't forget our Guide to Voluntary Work, which will give you some more detaild information on various aspects of voluntary work.
There are, of course, many voluntary organisations, both
local and national, that are not mentioned above. They do excellent work in
the community and their work provides a lifeline for many people, but they
require volunteers in order to maintain their services. If you are involved with a voluntary organisation and would like to
request help from visitors to laterlife.com then let us know your website details using
our feedback form and we will add it to the section below. Alternatively, or as well, post an entry in
the laterlife cafe discussion forum which is part of the
Social Network and provide details
of your organisation and make a request for help there.
For organisations that have contacted laterlife for our help
in trying to encourage volunteers, go to our
Guide to Voluntary Work . Also see our section on Jobs in later
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