Break the barriers and start volunteering

If you want to volunteer…

It feels like there’s a long list of barriers and you’ll always find a reason not to volunteer, but that doesn’t have to be the case. You can get all sorts of support to make volunteering more accessible, and you’ll soon reap the rewards too!

And if you’re worried about volunteering, or you don’t know how to get started, you can get in touch to have a chat to one of our project officers or have a look through our online notice board where you’re sure to find an opportunity to suit you.

Busting the Barriers

So, there’s no reason for you not to consider volunteering once you know how to break down those barriers. This list (also available in this fab infographic) of barriers and busters will help you to understand more about volunteering and how it’s more accessible than you think:

Barrier to Volunteering

The Barrier Buster

You don’t have much spare time

You don’t have to have hours and hours to spare every week or month, and you don’t have to commit to something long term either. You can find a role you can dip in and out of, or volunteer at a one-off event, even something as simple as cooking a meal for a lonely neighbour every now and then. There are tons of options out there. Get in touch with us if you’d like some help with finding something that suits you!

Volunteer opportunities aren’t flexible enough to suit you

There are lots of options for volunteers, whether that’s for 30 hours or 30 minutes a week or month. If you’re not sure how much time you can give, or how often, then some informal or micro volunteering might be a better option for you. But you’ll find that more formal volunteering roles can be just as flexible and there’ll always be something you can do to support the causes that matters to you.

You have children to look after or you’re a carer for someone else

Your caring responsibilities need not be a barrier to volunteering as there is always something you can do to fit around your life, responsibilities, and commitments if you want it to. There are also lots of volunteering opportunities during school hours, or where you could even take your little ones with you.

You have health issues or a disability

We encourage organisations and help them to make sure they are as inclusive as possible and to make their volunteering opportunities as accessible and flexible as possible too. Living with a disability is tough enough at the best of times, so volunteering is a great way to boost your mood, feel valued, and get out and about in your community.

You don’t feel confident enough to volunteer

Volunteering is proven to help people increase their confidence and self-esteem! If you’re struggling with confidence and/or self-esteem, volunteering is a fantastic way to get involved with others, improve your confidence in yourself and your abilities, and it can be a great way to make new friends! What better way to gain more confidence in yourself than by helping other people with theirs? 

Transport to and from the location is difficult

If you’re struggling to find transport, there may be a way to overcome that. Whether that’s covering taxi fares or if someone can pick you up and drop you off again afterwards. If you speak to the organisation you’re looking to volunteer with, they may be able to find a solution. Alternatively, there are some more informal volunteering opportunities that you might be able to do from home!

You don’t want to be left out of pocket

Most organisations pay any out-of-pocket expenses you incur while in your volunteer role. Things like travel expenses or fuel could be covered. When you enquire about a volunteer role, ask the organisation for a copy of their volunteer expenses policy to find out what’s covered. These can vary from organisation to organisation but we do encourage groups to cover as much as possible.

You feel like you don’t have the right skills or enough experience to volunteer

Everyone has skills and experience in something, and everyone has something to give. Volunteering comes in many forms, and you don’t have to be super-skilled or a have tons of knowledge to volunteer. You just need to want to get involved and have a passion for helping people. There’s an opportunity for everyone!

You don’t know any groups that need volunteers

That’s an easy one – there are hundreds of organisations out there that are looking for volunteers like you. You’ll find lots of opportunities on our online notice board. We can also help you to find your perfect role if you contact us.

You’re not sure where to look

Also an easy one! If you’re looking for an opportunity in Stoke-on-Trent and North Staffordshire, again, our online notice board is the place to go. For opportunities elsewhere in the county, please visit Support Staffordshire.

You don’t have enough local knowledge to be useful

You don’t need a lot of local knowledge to support local people and improve lives! And what better way to improve that knowledge than getting involved in your local community?

Finding ways to break down the barriers to volunteering you might face is easier than you think.

When you’re looking for a volunteering opportunity, we take the time to get to know you, your passions, your interests; all to find the role that’s right for you and for the organisation you’re thinking about volunteering with. We don’t do it because we’re paid to either, we do it because we’re passionate about volunteering, and because it matters to us that your volunteering experience is as fulfilling and as enjoyable as possible.

We also work closely with local voluntary and community organisations to ensure that their opportunities are as flexible and accessible as possible so even if you are working or you have other commitments and responsibilities, it need not be a barrier to volunteering.

If you’re still not sure, why not check out NAVCA’s #VolunteerReady campaign that will help you get prepared to get into volunteering, find a volunteering opportunity for #TheBigHelpOut – a national volunteering campaign for The King’s Coronation, or get some ideas on more informal opportunities you can do as-and-when you feel like it. There really is something for everyone!

Get in touch with our volunteering team to get some support with finding your prefect volunteering opportunity.