Volunteering Resources

Make a Difference in Our Community

Empower yourself and your community by volunteering. This page connects you, our students and families, with a variety of local organisations that need your helping hands.

 

Looking to complete your Duke of Edinburgh Award service section?

Many of these opportunities can qualify towards your DofE hourse.  Find causes you care about, develop new skills, and make a real impact - all while fulfilling your DofE requirements.

 

Explore the opportunities below and discover the joy of giving back while gaining valuable skills and experiences. 

GAP Festival - Bi-Annual Community Festival

The GAP festival is a community festival, run entireley by volunteers. Our remit is to bring arts, culture and entertainment to the local community in and around Goring & Streatley. The festival runs bi-annually, and this year is 7-16 June 2024.

We have dozens of events, from small craft workshops, to music gigs, for up to 180. We have also introduced Opera for everyone (14-16th June), we run a local artisans market day (Saturday 15th June) and even an exciting family solar science fun day (Saturday 8th June). 

Contact Details:

Call for more information or go to our website to find out more and sign up!

Age Requirements: Requirements vary and would depond on age and ability. However even just taking tickets, putting out chairs, guiding parking, and helping with children's events are all possible activities that younger volunteers could do.

 

Girlguiding Valley Division

Girlguiding exists to help girls and young women find their voice, and build skills and confidence – inspiring them to discover the best in themselves and empower them to make a positive difference in their community. 

 

What kind of experience can volunteers gain by helping your organisation?

Volunteering empowers girls, but also has lots of benefits for you too!  Here are some reasons you might want to think about volunteering with us, whether it’s at a weekly meeting, behind the scenes or something else.  

Support your local community: Supporting your local area will help you to feel connected to your surroundings and build social connections. And did you know, people who help others report feeling happier and having higher self-esteem?  

Make new friends: Girlguiding is a close community, and volunteering is a great way to meet new people with similar values. When you join as a volunteer, you’ll be welcomed into your local district or division - full of volunteers to become friends with.

Be an inspiration for girls: Your professional and personal experience, a specific skill or simply your enthusiasm, you have so much to share with girls and young women in guiding. You’ll feel proud to watch them grow through guiding.  

Skills for your career: Volunteering can be really useful if you want to change career. You’ll get to try out a new role, learn new skills and get experience. For example, if you want to learn more admin skills, helping out with unit admin is a great way to get started. Volunteer experience also looks great on your CV!  

Boost your mental wellbeing: Volunteering can reduce stress, anxiety and depression. Doing something meaningful and helping girls and young women making a difference in the world will lift your spirits.  

Have fun: Most importantly, having a good time! If you volunteer at a unit, you get to spend an hour or two a week getting messy, laughing and empowering girls. What’s better than that?

What would you like volunteers to do to assist your organisation?

We would love some help at weekly unit meetings! Depending on your age, you could volunteer with Rainbows (4-7), Brownies (7-10) or Guides (10-14)

Contact Details: 

Please email vicky.girlguiding@gmail.com with any questions or register your interest here

Age Requirements: Volunteers need to be aged 10+

InteraKt Community Charity

We provide creative activites including drama, dance, art and filmmaking for the learning disability community. Our aim is to expose participants to various aspects of theatre, music, movement, art, fashion, film and IT alongside learning relevant life skills. By merging the creative and practical aspects of our sessions we enable participants to enjoy and learn simultaneously, building knowledge, confidence and self-esteem through providing positive and engaging experiences. Please visit our website for more information.

 

What kind of experience can volunteers gain by helping your organisation?

We provide volunteers with the opportunity to support the learning disability community across a veariety of creative art forms. We are always looking for volunteers to support in session but welcome those with mor specialist skills and interests in the creative arts too. We provide the chance to work alongside professional actors, musicians and scriptwriters when we are producing theatre performances. Voluntering witht Interakt is an opportunity to gain valuable work experience to share on a CV, give back to the communiy and learn and develop new and existing skills in a safe and friendly environment. We have a volunteer guidebook for further information on request and our volunteer coordinator is always on hand for a chat if our volunteers have queries or concerns.

What would you like volunteers to do to assist your organisation?

Support in house sessions, share existing skills they might have in drama, music, dance, fashion or theatre in ways that are relevant for the learning disability community. We would also like our volunteers to have some fun along the way!

 

Contact Details:

enquiries@interakt.org.uk

tel: 07355 673984

Newbury Football Rugby Club

Monks Lane, Newbury, RG14 7RW

 

Age Requirements: None

PQA

Pauline Quirke Academy of Performing Arts

We teach performing arts including Stage Acting - Comedy & Drama, Song & Dance- Musical Theatre and Filmmaking/Screen acting – Film & Tv.

 

What would you like volunteers to do to assist your organisation?

Supporting staff generally, helping more timid students, but crucially not acting as teacher assistants as they are too young to complete our safeguarding training (so you wont have to supervise toilet runs!). Dance assistants, Film Tech assistants in one or other of the academies.

Contact Details:

Doug Kirby 

Principal PQAs Reading & Swindon

Doug.kirby@PQAcademy.com

07856 364920

On Saturdays Swindon: 07723 915474

Reading Website

West Berkshire Therapy Centre

We help disabled and frail elderly adults to keep more mobile and independent, providing a highly specialised rehabilitation gym equipped with power-assisted equiment that provides gentle, repetitive movements that help stiff joints and muscles to move better, reducing pain and improving overall helath and well-being.

 

What kind of experience can volunteers gain by helping your organisation?

Volunteers work alongside our paid staff, helping our clients to understand how to use our equipment safely, so that clients can gain maximum benefit from our service. Volunteers engage in conversations with clients about the benefits of using the service and progress being made by clients, such that everyone benefits from the social interactions.

 

What would you like volunteers to do to assist your organisation?

Assist clients in our rehabilitiation gym.

 

Contact Details:

Reception Team

West Berkshire Therapy Centre

Frank Hutchings Hall

Harts Hill Road Thatcham

RG18 4QH

01635 864561

info@westberkshiretherapycentre.org.uk

 

Age Requirements: This volunteering opportunity is most likely to be of interest to students considering careers in medicine, nursing physiotherapy or social care. Students in the older age range (16+) will more likely gain benefit from volunteering with us.

Volunteer Centre West Berkshire

The organisation’s overriding ethos is to match local people to local need. We provide information, advice and guidance and personally match people to volunteering opportunities in West Berkshire.

 

What kind of experience can volunteers gain by helping your organisation?

We advise individuals on volunteering opportunities available with a range of organisations locally.

 

Contact Details:

vbase@vcwb.org.uk

 01635 49004

Volunteer Centre West Berkshire

 Broadway House

 4 – 8 The Broadway

Newbury, Berkshire, RG14 1BA

 

Age Requirements: None

Five A Day Market Garden

Five A Day Market Garden is situated in the beautiful village of Englefield, West Berkshire. 

Our Vision

To engage the whole community in accessing healthy, naturally grown produce, to educate children, adults and older people in horticultural practices within an outdoor theraputic environment. 

Are you looking for a chance to make friends, and learn new skills in a beautiful outdoor environment? Then why not consider volunteering at Five a Day. We provide training, uniform and social events. Hours are flexible and all you need is a sense of humour.

We have a number of volunteer roles not just gardening roles so have a look.

  • Garden volunteer - got a spare morning and would love to be outdoors enjoying all the wellbeing benefits? Doesn't matter whta you know about gardening or how mobile you are, there are jobs for everyone.
  • Session volunters - we always need help with the sessions for older people. It is so rewarding to hear their stories and to help them in the garden.
  • Social media volunteer - volunteer required to maintain our Facebook page and website with regular topical updates.

 

Contact Details:

If you want more information about getting involved, please contact us here.

Hungerford Youth and Community

We want our young people to take ownership of the youth programme at HYCC, supported by our youth worker and volunteers. We want young people to feel engaged and proud of their youth centre and to be enthusiastic participants in their community. We want to create a journey of learning through fun: from signing up to youth club as a 10 year old – to becoming a young volunteer in the teen years – to becoming part of the leadership team as an adult. We have so many good ideas to roll out with our young people. We will become leading lights on youth work, mental and physical health for young people, working closely with other youth organisations to make HYCC a hive of opportunities for young people.

Do you recognise the need to support our young people and the value in maintaining our community spaces? If so, there are lots of ways to get involved and help us make a difference.

We are looking for volunteers to support local young people and offer them valuable experiences and opportunities.

Benefits:

  • Meet new people
  • Work experience
  • Make a difference
  • Help your community
  • Have fun
  • Learn something new

Contact Details:

Contact us here if you are interested in getting involved.

 

 

Greenham Common Control Tower

We are a heritage destination and community gateway to the common, providing a window into its past and a centre for enjoying its present. As a charity our role is to protect this heritage building, tell its story, and develop the site for the enjoyment of our vistors.

 

Our volunteers are the heart and soul of our small & friendly charity. They are vital in making Greenham Control Tower a success. 

We are looking for people who can spare a little regular time to help with guiding, the cafe, and exhibitions. As well as 'behind the scenes' help that includes marketing, admin, and DIY.

The time required is very flexible and training is provided where necessary. All volunteers undertake a briefing session no the history of the tower, and the common, so they can help us share the passion we have.

Volunteer Roles

  • Tower Guide
  • Cafe Assistant
  • Exhibitions
  • Fundraising

Contact Details:

 

If you would like more information, feel free to email us at volunteers@greenhamtower.org.uk

You can also learn more on our website here.

You can fill out our volunteer registration form here.  

Living Paintings

We give thousands of blind and partially sighted people the opportunity to borrow our Touch to See books from a free postal libary. 

Our books are enjoyed at home with family and friends, in school, or for adults as membres of one of our community Touch to See Book Clubs around the country.

There are up to two million people in the UK living with severe sight loss, including 20,000 children. One in six of us will become blind or partially sighted by the time we reach 75. Blind and partially sighted people face constant challenges, for children they can’t take part in the same activities as their peers and siblings and often feel excluded, and in later life sight loss can be linked to increasing isolation and depression.

Living Paintings helps by giving blind and partially sighted people access to the visual world.

We can only achieve what we do with the invaluable support provided by our team of volunteers. Volunteers contribute a breadth of knowledge, experience, and skills that hugely enhances the service we offer, and help us make every penny we receive work hard for our library members.

Anybody is welcome, whether sighted or visually impaired, young or old. Your time and support would mean the world to us and make a real difference to the lives of blind children and young people across the UK.

Our volunteers help us producing our books, assisting in the library, helping with administration, raising vital funds, and promoting us by giving talks to local schools and groups. Full training and ongoing support will be provided.

Contact Details:

Please call our volunteer co-ordinator, on 01635 299 771 Mon-Fri 9am-5pm – or fill in the form here.

Berkshire Youth

Our mission is to be the champion of young people in Berkshire, furthering their development and education and enriching their lives through leisure time activities to help them grow to full maturity as individuals and members of society and that their conditions of life may be improved.

We do this by supporting and developing clubs and delivering projects so they can provide the best service for young people in Berkshire and give them the best possible start in life.  We ensure that everything we do is sensitive to each local community’s agenda so that we can be a trusted advocate for young people and communities.

Berkshire Youth supports youth leaders and young people aged 10 to 18 through challenging life transitions/events to help them make the right choices, grow resilience and mature as individuals and members of society through:

  • Activities to encourage young people to adopt a healthy lifestyle and grow in confidence and self-esteem

  • Training for youth workers, volunteers and young people

  • Action through volunteering, encouraging young people to take positive action within their own community, involve others in shaping services for young people and to grow into the next generation of leaders

  • Club support for the many clubs for young people across Berkshire, including affiliating our members to Ambition and UK Youth

Volunteers are an essential part of the team at Berkshire Youth, making a difference to the range of opportunities and events we provide to young people and the wider community.

Our current volunteers are involved in a variety of projects, ranging from supporting our clubs and venues in delivering their programmes to providing a listening ear and delivering activities to young people in the areas they meet their friends.

Volunteering is a great way to meet new people, develop new skills and interests, share your hobbies, skills, knowledge and interests and to have fun. You could also gain new qualifications and potentially develop a new career.

Your time commitment could be one or two hours a week (ideal for those participating in their Gold DofE award) to a few hours every day. We are very flexible and will work with you to agree your role and commitment.

Contact Details:

Karen Dynan

Training and Volunteer Development Manager

07881 941343

 

West Berkshire Mencap

West Berkshire Mencap exists to provide high quality services for people with learning disabilities, their families, carers and professionals. We have been in existence for over 60 years.

We listen to our users requirements and are able to tailor our services flexibly and speedily to ensure that the people that we support are able to get the service they need

West Berkshire Mencap has plenty of volunteering opportunities for all ages, volunteering is fun and rewarding.

Children's Services Volunteers

We are always looking for enthusiastic people to volunteer to work with the children, you have to be aged 14 years and up, fill in a volunteer application form and subject to 2 references you will be invited in to have a look around, attend a brief training session and meet some of the children.

Adult Services Volunteers

Each volunteer can give a couple of free hours one day a week or a few days a week it is entirely up to the volunteer as long we are aware when they are attending.

 

Contact Details:

For further information, call 01635 41464 or email info@wbmencap.org

 

Daisy's Dream

Daisy’s Dream is a charity providing support for children and young people who have been affected by bereavement, either supporting them in preparing for a loss or working with them following the death of someone important to them.

Volunteering

Daisy’s Dream relies on local people to help our work in many different ways. Any help that you can give will make a difference to the life of a child and family facing, or following bereavement.

We are lucky to have a strong team of volunteers who support us, but we are always looking for new people to join us. Our volunteers donate their time to us for a variety of reasons and we try to make sure that we meet their personal needs as much as we can. Whatever your motivation for volunteering with us, we would welcome you to the team.

Contact Details:

0118 9342804

info@daisysdream.org.uk

Guide Dogs

Over the years we’ve developed a wide range of services with and without dogs to support people living with a vision impairment. Children and adults. Friends and family. Whoever you are, our expert staff, dedicated volunteers and life-changing dogs are here to help you live actively, independently, and well.

We’re a charity, almost entirely funded by donations, and we are the world’s largest assistance dog organisation. As world leaders in puppy socialisation and dog training, we’re the only organisation to breed and train guide dogs in the UK. We’re also the largest employer of specialists dedicated to helping children and young people overcome the challenges of sight loss.

Join the Guide Dogs community!

Joining the Guide Dogs community means that you will be helping more people with sight loss to live actively, independently, and well.

There are a variety of roles that you can get involved with. Whether you can give a minute, an hour, or a lifetime we have something for you. You can work directly with our dogs or with people who are visually impaired. You can support raising awareness of our services, organise events for us and so much more.

Without our volunteers, we wouldn’t be able to reach and support as many visually impaired people as we do. We're thankful for every one of our volunteers and would love for more people to join the Guide Dogs family. 

Contact Details:

Find out more information on our website Volunteering Opportunities | Guide Dogs UK

Thatcham Youth

Thatcham Youth was established in 2010 when a local young resident approached Thatcham Vision to ask for a youth club for his age group, he was 10 at the time.  After meetings with lots of partners and a lot of hard work, Vision Youth Club opened it’s doors in April 2010 and continues to run today and is a very popular club!

Volunteer Roles

One of the main ways is to join us as a volunteer. All volunteers must be at least 14 years old (may vary depending on activity). Whether you have no experience or have volunteered in the past, we welcome all volunteers who are enthusiastic.  If you are interested in any of the below volunteering opportunities then please contact info@thatchamyouth.org.uk

Age Requirement: at least 14 years old (may vary depending on activity)

Contact Details:

For more information, contact us here.

or email us at info@thatchamyouth.org.uk

 

 

Swings & Smiles

Swings & Smiles offers support for disabled children and their families in a unique and accessible environment. Our services include respite, family play sessions, youth clubs, sibling support and outreach.

Swings & Smiles provides activities for children and young people aged 0-18 years old with a wide range of disabilities and special needs.  We provide opportunities to enjoy playing together without the pressures often experienced in wider community settings. 

Volunteer

Volunteering at Swings & Smiles is all about using your personal skills and interests to help enrich the service we provide to children and families. You will be supported by the Centre Coordinator and the rest of the staff team in whatever role you choose to undertake and will be a valued part of the Swings & Smiles family.

Below are some of our current volunteering opportunities, but we are always open to suggestions if you have a different skill you think could help us!

  • Support at Play Sessions – We need friendly volunteers to help at all of our play sessions. Duties may include helping to make teas and coffees for parents, assisting with craft or cooking activities, playing with children and talking to families. We run sessions on weekdays, after school and on weekends.
  • SIBS sessions – Support for siblings is really important and we run sessions once a month on a Friday evening from 6.30-8.30pm and on a Saturday from 9.30am-12.30pm. We are looking for volunteers who can help us at these and provide support to siblings of children with special needs by spending some time playing and doing activities with them, or even just having a chat. Sometimes we’ll also go out on trips!
  • Support at the Centre – To assist us with the smooth-running of our busy calendar of sessions sometimes we need a bit of help with admin tasks, making resources and cleaning and maintaining the centre and our equipment. This could be flexible around you, there will always be plenty of jobs to keep you busy!
  • Support at Events – Sometimes we hold fundraising events outside of the centre and need some extra hands to help us with setting up, during the event and packing up at the end. During the event tasks may include greeting people, serving refreshments or generally helping things to run smoothly. We need some volunteers who we can call on as and when we have these events.
  • Garden and Grounds Maintenance –  Do you have skills that could help us in the garden and our outdoor areas? We need some help keeping our grounds neat and tidy, particularly during the summer months. This could be a flexible volunteer role, fitting around times when the centre isn’t in use. This would possibly be a weekly commitment during the summer but less frequent in the colder months.

 

Contact Details:

If you would like more information, email office@swingsandsmiles.co.uk or register your interest here.

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