Wednesday 22 January 2020

14 places to volunteer in Gloucestershire

From nurturing wildlife to getting behind the mic at hospital radio, volunteering is a great way to give something back to the local community, with SoGlos selecting 14 places to volunteer in Gloucestershire.

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, sponsored by our 2019 Charity of the Year, The Family Haven.

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1. The Family Haven

 The Family Haven

Gloucester-based charity The Family Haven provides support to help disadvantaged and vulnerable families across Gloucestershire. Founded in 1988, the charity has a day centre offering a supportive and caring environment for parents and pre-school children.

The charity’s wide-ranging services include serving hot and nourishing meals for parents, carers and children; laundry facilities; free, good quality second-hand clothing; help with benefits; parenting classes, and healthy eating workshops, along with running an Outstanding-rated OFSTED nursery.

The Family Haven is always looking for volunteers to help in the nursery and the kitchen, while there are also opportunities to get involved with fundraising activities. Those keen to help can also donate clothing, linen, food, and money, which can go towards equipment, supplies and more.

2. Slimbridge Wetland Centre

Bird lovers will be in their element when volunteering at Slimbridge Wetland Centre, part of the Wildfowl & Wetland Trust, which is home to the world’s largest collection of swans, geese, and ducks.

There are a host of visitor-facing voluntary opportunities, including working as a welcome host, inspiring visitors as a discovery guide, building dens to encourage family engagement, helping on learning visits, and providing retail support in the on-site shop.

3. National Star

A photo posted by Dan Bennett (@04bennettda) on

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.

4. Vale Wildlife Hospital & Rehabilitation Centre

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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 animals on a daily basis, mopping floors, keeping the hospital tidy, and maintaining the outside enclosures, with volunteer vets also welcomed.

5. Cheltenham Festivals

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.

7. The National Trust

With 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.

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.

10. Sudeley Castle

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.

9. Gloucestershire Warwickshire Railway

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Steam train enthusiasts and history buffs alike will relish the chance to volunteer with Gloucestershire Warwickshire Railway, which relies exclusively on volunteers to keep the visitor attraction operational.

GWR are always 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, with roles including maintenance, restoration, office administration, shop staff, and more.

10. Cheltenham Playhouse

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, while there are also opportunities to help with the technical side of things.

11. Gloucestershire Constabulary

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, while other opportunities include working as Police Community Support Officers (PCSOs), who act as crime deterrents by conducting patrols, and Police Support Volunteers (PSV).

12. The Canal & River Trust

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.

13. Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust

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.

14. The Cheltenham Trust

The Cheltenham Trust, which manages a portfolio of arts, leisure and historic buildings including The Wilson, Cheltenham Town Hall, Leisure at Cheltenham and Pittville Pump Room, has a range of voluntary roles.

From helping with social media and working as marketing photographer, to assisting the fitness team and being a welcome steward, there are plenty of opportunities to share your expertise with others, while also picking up new skills.

By Anna Marshall

© SoGlos
Monday 21 January 2019

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