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How You Can Be A Volunteer From Home

14 April 2022

Just about all of us have found ourselves spending a lot more time at home than we probably ever expected over the past two years, and for some people, this is not soon to change. As many workplaces have yet to return to normal in-person functionality, many of us are still waiting for the day when we’re finally leaving the house as frequently as we used to.

It’s not just our personal lives that have suffered from the imposed isolation of the pandemic; Many invaluable community outreaches were forced to change or entirely halt their operations, leading to a critical lack of volunteer power throughout the pandemic. Important community programmes such as soup kitchens, elderly clubs, and childminding had to cease, leaving not just a shortage of help for the community, but also a surplus of people wanting to help!

Well,  as the saying goes, difficulty breeds ingenuity - and that’s exactly what has happened in the world of volunteership. Innovative initiatives have sprung up all over the web for those wanting to help others as much as they can, even if they can’t leave the house. If helping others from the comfort of your own home sounds like something you’d like to try your hand at, check these online initiatives designed to allow you to volunteer with just a phone or laptop in hand!

1. Project Gutenberg

Project Gutenberg is a global project that was launched in 1971 and has since become one of the most important public archives in the world. The idea behind the project is to create the world’s largest digital library possible, archiving as much free material as possible. So far, the project houses over 60,000 free eBooks which are available for anyone and everyone to access online. If you want to donate your time to preserving and sharing important works of literature, you can volunteer from home by donating eligible materials for archiving, working to transcribe print books into a digital format, or proofreading the work of others.

2. Catchafire

Catchafire is an online platform designed specifically for people like you who are looking for a way to help others however they can. It’s a database for online volunteer projects of a wide variety and scope. Each project on the site is listed with a timeline that can range from minutes, to hours, to weeks, so you can pick projects based on your own personal skill set and availability. You can help all kind of non-profit organisations with their operational tasks, which could include writing thank you letters, gathering signatures, or editing photos.

3.United Nations Volunteers

The United Nations is the global organisation that was established in the wake of World War Two in order to ensure international cooperation, and prevent human suffering as much as possible. The UN runs all kinds of invaluable outreaches around the globe, that seek to improve conditions ranging from hunger, to education, to the environment.

Their online volunteer database connects volunteers with organisations that work for peace and progress, and are listed by skills that include writing, researching, design, and many others. The UNV already has a stellar team of over 10,000 volunteers who hail from over 180 countries, so you could be the next addition to a diverse team working to change the world.

4.RSPCA

All across the UK, there are RSPCA branches filled with volunteers who work tirelessly around the clock to ensure the welfare of animals who are facing crisis, vulnerability, or abandonment. Dogs, cats, rabbits, horses - you name it. This network of shelters takes in animals when they need help most and try to ensure their wellbeing, and ultimately (in most cases) their adoption. If you love animals but you don’t have the capacity to adopt one of your own, you can always give back to the little critters by volunteering to assist the RSPCA with their online activities.  

5.Adopt A Grandparent

Loneliness is unfortunately a major issue among the elderly community. Many old people are left without much social contact, and suffer from a lack of family or friends to assist them or even just check in on them from time to time. This is more than just an emotional issue, it actually has very real consequences on physical health.

Research shows that loneliness is a serious contributing factor to a lower life expectancy, and that’s what charities such as Adopt A Grandparent seek to combat. Adopt A Grandparent works with elderly folk who are without enough friends or family, and pairs them up with volunteers around the country who keep in touch with them as a pen pal. Even just this little bit of extra contact can make a huge difference to an elderly person’s wellbeing, so if you have the time it’s well worth giving a try.

6.The Mix

The Mix is a charity based in the UK that seeks to provide free and confidential support to young people (under 25) who are facing all sorts of personal crises. If you wish to offer your time and support to young, vulnerable people who really could benefit from a shoulder to lean on, The Mix has several opporunities for volunteers who wish to work from home. The time commitment of volunteering for The Mix will usually require a few hours at a time, so it’s a good option for people who work part time, or regularly have days off.

There’s no reason that staying at home should have to mean giving up on giving back to the community. With any of these 6 platforms, you can turn your time at home into something that makes a positive impact on the world around you. All without changing out of your pyjamas - win-win!