Whether you give up your time to run singing workshops, take to the airways at hospital radio, work with animals, or assist at a National Trust property, volunteering is a great way to give something back to the local community and help others.
It’s also a fantastic opportunity to meet like-minded people, develop new skills and gain valuable work experience while helping a good cause, with SoGlos selecting 14 places to volunteer in Gloucestershire, including our 2017 charity of the year, Allsorts.
SoGlos’s 2017 charity of the year, Allsorts, helps families who have children with disabilities or additional needs, and offers a range of rewarding voluntary work.
Volunteering opportunities with the Stroud-based charity span a variety of different areas of work, including admin support, leaflet distribution, fundraising committee members, event helpers and researchers.
Allsorts looks for positive individuals who have a range of skills to bring to the charity, whether you want to offer your services on an ad-hoc basis or a set number of day per month.
Cirencester’s Corinium Museum, which has one of the largest collections of Romano-British antiquities in the country, offers the perfect chance for history buffs to volunteer at the popular Gloucestershire attraction.
Whether you have a day to spare or want to devote more regular time to the museum, there are a range of options for volunteers, from helping out in the garden, trialling a new museum trail, working as a gallery steward, helping with the loans boxes, or working as a children’s activity creative assistant.
The museum also recently launched Corinium Volunteer Makers, an online platform enabling those who are keen to help to offer their services from the comfort of their sofa, while also boosting the museum’s digital engagement.
If you fancy yourself as a budding DJ, volunteering to be part of the team at Cotswold Hospital Radio is just the ticket for getting experience in the world of broadcasting, while also giving something back to the local community.
The registered charity produces programmes for Cheltenham General Hospital and Gloucester Royal Hospital and welcomes volunteers aged between 16 and 85 to be Patients Ward Visitors.
Volunteers usually devote one evening a week, normally from 6pm to 9.30pm, and can expect to do a range of tasks that span presenting; collecting requests from the wards; along with learning about sound engineering and show preparation.
National Star’s mission is to help young people with disabilities realise their full potential through personalised learning, with a strong emphasis on sports, the performing arts, communication skills and creativity.
Volunteers are key to helping National Star deliver its services, with opportunities available across a variety of areas spanning specialist health care, working with learners, fundraising, gardening, and more.
The Cheltenham-based charity appreciates any time volunteers can spare, whether it’s just a day, a week, or a regular commitment, and depending on the opportunity, volunteers will be offered a full induction programme and further training.
For those with an enthusiastic love of animals, Vale Wildlife Hospital & Rehabilitation Centre, located between Tewkesbury and Evesham, is regularly on the hunt for reliable volunteers.
Jobs that volunteers can expect to do include clearing out and feeding patients on a daily basis, mopping floors, keeping the hospital tidy, and maintaining the outside enclosures, with evening volunteers needed in addition to the day helpers from April to August each year.
However, if manual work isn’t for you, there are plenty of roles in the centre’s charity shops in Evesham and Cheltenham, along with the chance to become a fundraising coordinator, helping by baking cakes for open days, sorting out donations of jumble, and manning car boot stalls.
Want to be thrown into the excitement of a Cheltenham Festival without the cost? Volunteer! With four festivals, spanning Jazz, Science, Music and Literature across the year, volunteering to help with the prestigious events is a fantastic opportunity to gain a behind-the-scenes insight.
A variety of positions are available from site preparation to front of house, where you’ll be working alongside like-minded and warm people aiming to make the festival as successful as possible.
If you’re looking for full-time work, apply to be a Festival Volunteer, while those seeking part-time positions can opt to be part of the Festival Welcome Team – with participants able to enter any non-sold out events on the day they volunteer.
Mindsong is a Gloucestershire-based charity providing music therapy to people with mid to late-stage dementia, along with running singing groups at care homes and day centres across the county.
The charity welcomes volunteers who love music but aren’t necessarily musical to join teams of three or four who provide sensitive singing sessions that are full of fun and laughter.
Volunteers are fully trained by the charity’s skilled team, with those who are patient, caring and confident ideally suited to take on the role, which offers a wonderful way to make new friends while bringing pleasure and helping to improve the quality of life of others on a weekly, fortnightly or monthly basis.
The National Trust looks after special places across England, Wales and Northern Ireland, and offers an array of volunteering opportunities at its stunning collection of heritage sites.
The types of role range span working as tour guides, tending to picturesque gardens, and caring for the collections, with volunteering providing a fantastic chance to make new friends and enjoy behind-the-scenes access to some beautiful places.
Spanning famed gardens and grand homes, Gloucestershire is home to many beautiful National Trust sites, including Snowshill Manor and Lodge Park, with the charity offering both regular and one-off placements for volunteers.
Impressive Gloucestershire stately home, Sudeley Castle, is steeped in history and royal connections, and offers regular volunteering opportunities throughout its season, which runs from spring to autumn.
The beautiful castle, which is located in the Cotswold town of Winchcombe, invites volunteers to offer a least one day of the week to help with welcoming visitors, supporting guides in exhibition rooms, or maintaining its award-winning gardens.
In addition to working at one of the county’s premier visitors attractions, volunteers can benefits from a Family Season Pass, discount in the Terrace Café, and can claim travel expenses.
Steam train enthusiasts and history buffs alike will relish the chance to offer their time to volunteer with Gloucestershire Warwickshire Railway, one of the county’s top tourist pulls.
The heritage railway almost relies exclusively on volunteers to keep the visitor attraction operational, with GWR looking for enthusiastic and committed individuals aged 16 and over who are open to learning new skills.
Volunteers, who need to become a Member of the Gloucestershire Warwickshire Railway, can expect to undertake a range of jobs depending on skills and experience, with roles including maintenance, restoration, office administration, shop staff, and many more.
Community theatre, Cheltenham Playhouse is housed in a beautifully restored former spa that dates back to 1806 and has been a registered charity since 2001.
The Playhouse has been run by a team of dedicated volunteers since 1958 and regularly looks for theatre-loving individuals to devote their time to helping out on front of house.
Volunteers, known as friends, can expect to do everything from running the bars, selling ice-creams during the intervals, showing people to their seats, and selling programmes, while there are also opportunities to help with the technical side of things.
Whether you want to gain work experience or give something back to the community, Gloucestershire Constabulary has a range of volunteering options on offer, with full support and training given.
Those wanting to help make the county’s streets safer can offer a minimum of 16 hours per month to work as a Special Constable. The varied, and sometimes demanding, role spans policing sports event to helping guard crime scenes.
Other opportunities include working as Police Community Support Officers (PCSOs), who act as crime deterrents by conducting patrols to inspire public confidence, and Police Support Volunteers (PSV), who give their time and energy to help with a variety of tasks.
The Canal & River Trust is a charity that works to care for 2,000 miles of waterways in England and Wales, from improving towpaths for cyclists to creating new wildlife habitats.
The trust relies on the efforts of thousands of volunteers and has a host of opportunities available on our very own doorstep in Gloucestershire, whether you want to be an ambassador for Gloucester Docks or work as an Explorers Education volunteer at Saul Junction on the Sharpness Canal.
There are also often vacancies to help at the National Waterways Museum Gloucester, with volunteers enjoying the chance to expands their skill set and work with like-minded individuals.
Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust works across the county to provide wildlife knowledge and expertise, protect habitats and species on its 60 nature reserves, and inspire and educate people about nature with its annual events.
The trust offers a variety of volunteering opportunities, whether you want to get hands on with practical conservation work and wildlife gardening, or put your creative skills to use helping with design work and photography.
The charity also runs volunteer groups in Stroud, Severn Hams, Cotswold Water Park, North Cotswolds, Forest of Dean, Lower Woods, Snows Farm and Gloucester, offering the chance to give time to help at the local nature reserves.
By Anna Marshall
Monday 03 April 2017
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