A regular column from Spalding Volunteer Bureau.
I’d like to break a few of the myths that surround volunteering and that stop people coming forward
Myth 1: “I don’t have time to volunteer”
You decide how much time to give! – If you only have 30 minutes, try micro-volunteering. You can sit at home or at work and take action on global issues and read and sign a petition, map planets and asteroids or tag wild animals in images from Mozambique.
Micro-volunteering Day is on April 15 and there are lots of different suggestions at helpfromhome.org
If you have a couple of hours, even once or twice a year, how about helping out at an event?
Macmillan Cancer Support, Jerry Green Dog Rescue and Healthwatch all require volunteers that can help out at events. Help to set up stands, hang bunting and blow up balloons.
Myth 2: “It’s just charity shops and elderly people”
Helping out in charity shops and with the elderly are very important volunteer roles but in South Holland we have over 200 different roles, including administration, fundraising, gardening, supporting the police, children’s activities, befriending, heritage, youth work and much, much more.
Myth 3: “Volunteering ends up costing you money”
Many organisations will pay volunteer expenses such as travel and parking and if you need to have a DBS (criminal records check) to fulfil your role that is free for volunteers also.
Myth 4: “Volunteering will affect my benefits”
Jobseekers are likely to be encouraged to volunteer to boost their CV and it should not affect their benefits. Inform your advisor that you are volunteering and stick to the rules of your benefit, leaving time for job searching and being available for interviews. Volunteering is a great way to get up-to-date references.
Myth 5: “Volunteers take jobs away from people”
You cannot replace paid staff with volunteers. Volunteer roles are designed for volunteers only. LCVS only help to find volunteers for charitable organisations, not private businesses.
Myth 6: “Why should I work for free”?
Volunteering is an excellent way of meeting people and giving back to your community. It is great for your CV and supporting job applications. It can build self-confidence, help you to access training and assist you if you want to try a new direction.
To access all the positive benefits of volunteering and to find out what’s available in South Holland please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01205 510888 – option 3.