Volunteering can be an extremely rewarding endeavour. Knowing that the time you’re giving to a cause is helping to make a difference is a great feeling. Volunteering can be done alongside your career or when you find yourself between jobs. It’s also worth considering if you’re a graduate or you have a few skills gaps on your CV since volunteering will help you to learn new things and show any prospective employers your proactive side.

Many organisations need volunteers, so we’ve put together a London guide to help you find a place to volunteer your time.

If you have been wondering how to help Refugees who have come to London, then why not give your time to a charity called Paiwand. The organisation, based in North West London, focuses on supporting Refugees into new communities. Paiwand originally focused on helping Refugees from Afghanistan but now work with people from all backgrounds. The services they offer range from advocacy and mental health to youth mentoring. They’re currently looking for a Youth Projects Assistant, equipped with skills like a good phone presence, high levels of organisation, and some experience of working with young people – though this isn’t essential. Through your work you’ll be able to help vulnerable people and gain invaluable projects assistant skills.

The London borough of Croydon is on the lookout for volunteers to act as Independent Visitors to help support and befriend children and young adults who are looked after by the local authority. By offering your time you will help a child or a young person learn, grow, and have fun through consistent visitation, at a time when they sadly don’t have anyone to provide that. Each visit can be different (like a trip to the cinema or a game of bowling, all reimbursed) but each time focused on fostering a positive and trusting relationship. It’s typical for an Independent Visitor to meet with their young person every 2-3 weeks for a few hours. You’ll receive regular one on one and group support to help you with the process.

There are many animals out there in need of a little help and love from friendly humans. 

If you melt at the sight of anything furry then volunteering with animals could be the perfect opportunity for you help them and spend some time with four-legged friends. London’s Mayhew charity is on the look out for individuals to help out with a range of tasks – there’s something to suit everyone’s skills whilst learning new ones. You can work in kennels or the cattery, helping with cleaning and socialising the animals. You can also opt for dog-walking if you’d like to combine a good deed with keeping on top of your step count! Roles are also available for more office-based positions like events, reception, and fundraising that still go a long way in helping animals.

Volunteering can be a great way to help develop your skills and grow your CV, but, above all, it’s a fantastic way of helping those less fortunate to have better lives. Offering even a few hours of your time a month can make a big difference in someone’s life. However, if you’re ready to find a more permanent job in the care sector, why not explore the career hub to learn more about the roles available and how best to approach finding your dream job.