How to Find a Volunteering Opportunity Near You: A Comprehensive Guide

30th May 2023

Volunteering offers numerous benefits beyond the fulfilment of giving back to your community. Engaging in volunteer work near you provides a unique opportunity to enhance your employability while making a positive impact. In this article, we will guide you on how to find volunteering opportunities near you, emphasising the valuable career benefits they offer. Discover how volunteering can not only benefit others but also elevate your professional journey.

Is Volunteering Good for a CV?

Yes, volunteering is highly beneficial for your CV. It showcases your dedication, commitment, and willingness to contribute to society. It allows you to fill in the gaps between jobs, or work and study, whilst enabling you to develop transferable skills and gain practical experience.

How Do I Go About Volunteering?

To get started on your volunteering journey, follow these steps:

  1. Identify causes and organisations aligned with your interests.

By identifying the specific areas you care deeply about, such as disability rights or environmental conservation, you increase the likelihood of enjoying and being fulfilled by the experience. The more focused you are on your interests, the better you can find a volunteer position that truly resonates with you.

  1. Assess Your Skills and Knowledge

Many volunteer opportunities require specific skills or knowledge. Evaluate your current skillset to determine if there are particular roles you can contribute to based on your abilities. Keep in mind that most nonprofits offer entry-level positions that provide training, especially for long-term commitments.

  1. Write a Volunteer CV

Creating a CV specifically for volunteering opportunities allows organisations to quickly assess your suitability for various volunteer positions and find the best match for your capabilities. For free support with creating a CV or Cover Letter, contact the National Careers Service.

  1. Consider Your Availability

Realistically assess the number of hours and days you can commit to volunteering each week or month. Take into account your existing commitments, such as a job or family responsibilities, to avoid overcommitting yourself. Being honest about your availability ensures a sustainable volunteering commitment.

  1. Research Local Volunteer Opportunities

Once you have identified your interests and availability, begin researching volunteer opportunities within your community. Refer to the Finding Volunteering Opportunities Near You section below.

  1. Submit an Application

Many volunteer positions require applicants to submit an application. Treat this process professionally, even though it may be less stringent than a job application. Pay attention to grammar, spelling, and provide references if requested. If the position involves leadership or sensitive information handling, prepare for a potential interview.

  1. Follow Up After Applying

If you haven’t received a response from the organisation within a few days, consider following up to express your continued interest. Nonprofit organizations often have limited resources and may take longer to respond. Following up demonstrates your commitment and ensures your application is acknowledged.

  1. Complete Required Training

Upon securing a volunteer position, fulfil any necessary training requirements. Although most training is minimal, certain organisations may require certifications or specific courses before you can start volunteering.

  1. Begin with a Trial Period

When starting, initially commit to a limited period, such as a month or two. This allows you to gauge your enjoyment and satisfaction with the position and organisation before making a more significant commitment. Once you decide to continue, consider dedicating more of your time to the cause.

  1. Maintain Professionalism

Treat your volunteer commitment as you would a paid job. Arrive punctually, fulfil your responsibilities, and demonstrate professionalism in your volunteer work. Nonprofit organizations heavily rely on volunteers, so being reliable and maintaining professionalism has a positive impact.

  1. Regularly Evaluate Your Volunteer Experiences

Periodically assess your volunteer experiences. If you find that the current position no longer aligns with your interests, consider exploring other volunteer opportunities in your area. Alternatively you could discuss potential alternative roles within the same organisation with the volunteer coordinator.

Finding Volunteering Opportunities Near You:

  1. Use Volunteer Search Platforms

Begin your search for volunteering opportunities near you by using online platforms which enable you to filter opportunities based on your location and interests, ensuring a seamless connection to local organisations. This is one of the largest volunteering databases in the UK. It allows you to search for volunteering opportunities based on your location and interests. You can filter the results by county and find opportunities locally to you.

Volunteering Matters: Volunteering Matters connects volunteers with various projects and charities across the UK, with a search feature that allows you to find volunteering opportunities by location.

NCVO Volunteering: The National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO) provides a database of volunteer centres. Volunteer Centres are often a good place to start looking for volunteering opportunities in the local area. They can find out what you’re interested in doing, and try to match you with a suitable volunteering role with a local charity or voluntary organisation.

CharityJob: Although primarily a job board for the charity sector, CharityJob also features volunteering opportunities, which you can search for by location.

Reach Volunteering: This platform specialises in skilled volunteering roles. You can search for opportunities based on your skills and location.

Vinspired: If you’re between 14 and 25 years old, Vinspired is a platform specifically designed for young volunteers. It offers a searchable database of volunteering opportunities across the UK.

  1. Contact your local volunteer centre

Contact your local volunteer centre, which acts as a hub for volunteering in the community. They can provide information about available opportunities and connect you with local organisations. The National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO) provides a database of volunteer centres.

  1. Reach Out to Nonprofit Organisations

Visit the websites of charities and nonprofit organizations that interest you. Many organisations list volunteering opportunities on their websites. Check their “Get Involved” or “Volunteer” sections for more information.

  1. Leverage Social Media

Stay connected with local non-profits and community groups through social media. By following their accounts, you can receive regular updates about volunteer needs and upcoming events. Additionally, search for relevant Facebook groups, Twitter hashtags, and Instagram pages to discover volunteering opportunities in your area.

  1. Community Notice Boards

Check notice boards at local community centres, libraries, universities, colleges, and supermarkets. Organisations often post volunteer opportunities on these boards.

  1. Word of Mouth

Spread the word among your friends, family, and acquaintances that you are interested in volunteering. They might know of opportunities or can connect you with relevant organisations.

Remember to research and verify organizations before committing to a volunteering opportunity. It’s essential to understand their mission, values, and the impact of their work to ensure alignment with your interests and goals.


Volunteering offers a multitude of benefits beyond the satisfaction of giving back to your community. Engaging in volunteer work not only allows you to make a positive impact but also provides valuable career benefits. For further support in finding a volunteer placement, assessing your skills, or for advice on any other aspect of your career or learning journey, contact the National Careers Service.

To understand more about the benefits of volunteering, take a look at our blog to discover how volunteering can boost your career.

The National Careers Service offers free advice about careers and skills to anyone aged 13 or over and living in England. To speak to a professional careers adviser, call 0800 100 900 or use webchat (8am – 8pm Monday – Friday; 10am – 5pm Saturday)


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