While the national lockdown continues, we’re encouraging organisations to focus on those volunteering roles and tasks that can be done from home.

Our Sustainable Volunteering Officer, Eleanor Moore shares her tips on connecting with volunteers during closure. Download our latest resource for museums on safe volunteering during the padnemic , to help you to navigate the current rules.

Now is a good time to think about what tasks need doing and what skills are missing in your organisation that could potentially be done from home.  More information in this resource on devising tasks and roles can be found in our resource on new ways to encourage volunteers (distance, virtual & micro-volunteering).

How can you link up with the skills and volunteers you need when everyone is staying at home?

Have a look at Furlonteer, an initiative to connect people who are furloughed with volunteering opportunities.  It is simple to register.  Furlonteer has some crossover with Reach Volunteering  – which connects organisations with the specialist skills they need.    By acting a portal and ‘matchmaker’, these sites can help you find the people who are actively looking to help.  Reach currently has over 10,000 people registered who want to help; it made over 3500 ‘matches’ last year.  It currently has 1200+ volunteering opportunities advertised – why not add yours?

Neighbourly is a corporate social responsibility site that links charities up with businesses that want to support causes local to them.  Charities can create a profile on the neighbourly site.

Most universities and many colleges have student volunteering teams or student unions with a remit to encourage volunteering and social action.  Students volunteer for lots of different reasons, including:

  • Skills and experience for their CV
  • To give something back or make a difference while they study
  • To socialize, make local connections and reduce isolation

Students have been doing research on digitized collection images and information to write blog posts for Wiltshire Museum.

In an unprecedented year, Student volunteering Week (8th-14 February) might be a good opportunity to reach out to students from universities in our region.  Because so many paid internships, graduate traineeships, course-based placements and graduate recruitment schemes have been cancelled or curtailed, many more students and graduates are actively looking for high quality, challenging opportunities to gain the skills and experience they need.

If you have a distance volunteering task or project that might suit a student, how can you tell people about it?  Have a look at how Prospects, the graduate careers support body, is suggesting students find volunteering opportunities, via Do-It and a new website,  Studenteer.  Or you could contact a university’s volunteering team or student union to register your opportunity.  Have a look at these pages from some of our South West universities, to see how they could connect you up with student volunteers and the information they need from you: