The rise of micro-volunteering
Pic: Rodnae Productions, Pexels
If you want to offer support to your community or a local charity but are short of time, how can you lend a hand?
Since the start of the pandemic, many people have helped vulnerable neighbours with their shopping or responded to the NHS call for volunteers to deliver medicines, drive patients to appointments or make regular phone calls to check on people isolating at home.
However, not everyone is able to commit to volunteering regularly and charities are starting to adapt to the demand of flexible, commitment-free types of volunteering that allow volunteers to balance the demands of their work and home life with short bursts of voluntary work.
Certain volunteering activities can be done quickly from the comfort of your home. Have you, for example, written to your MP about a policy that impacts your local community or charity? Or why not visit the RSPB website which suggests different ways in which you could help in less than one hour, for example by feeding wildlife in your garden, switching to a green energy provider or by joining RSPB’s annual Big Garden Birdwatch.
Not all types of micro-volunteering can be completed from home and many charities had to pause or re-think their volunteering programme a year ago when the pandemic hit.
GoodGym is a charity where volunteers combine fitness with supporting their local communities. While some of its activities, such as the befriending scheme Coach Run, require a regular commitment, other volunteering options such as their group runs allow volunteers to join when it fits into their schedule. This means that volunteers can help local community projects with a targeted group activity, such as sorting cans for their local food bank, and run 5k all within 90 minutes. Of course, group runs had to be put on halt since the start of the pandemic, but once social distancing eases, there may well be a new wave of volunteers who completed their Couch to 5k training over the last year and are keen to combine a new-found love of running with a burst of voluntary work.
At ICAEW, we know that our members support many charities and non-profits as volunteers. We provide valuable resources to members of our Volunteering Community.