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Volunteering in London: How & Where


In the bustling heart of London, amidst its iconic landmarks and thriving communities, lies an opportunity that transcends the ordinary rhythms of daily life. It's the chance to reach out, to lend a helping hand, and to make a difference in the lives of those who need it most.


Volunteering is a testament to the power of empathy, a demonstration of the belief that there is something greater than ourselves, and a reminder that even in a metropolis as vast as London, we can foster connection and support those in crisis. In this blog, we'll explore the hows and wheres of volunteering in London, showcasing charitable organisations. So, whether you have extra spare time or resources to spare, the act of volunteering can help to enrich both the lives of others and our own feelings of kindness and collaboration.



Homeless


Whitechapel Mission


The Whitechapel Mission has been helping rough sleepers across London since 1876, meeting the specific needs of the most vulnerable. They help as many as up to 350 people a day from serving warm meals, providing essential supplies or engaging in conversation when they need it the most.


For those wanting to support the Whitechapel Mission, there are two ways you can help contribute to helping London's homeless:

  • You can donate essentials such as clothing, blankets, or non-perishable food items.

  • You can offer your time and skills by serving food and assisting with cleaning duties at the shelter.

Their website below has all the details you need to look into helping the Whitechapel Mission combat homelessness in London.




Buses 4 Homeless


Buses 4 Homeless is a creative charity helping those living on the streets of London with a bed for the night.


The charity has converted 4 buses in total, each focusing on providing shelter, kitchen & dining facilities, computers & learning space and a wellness bus to aid in their mental health.


Their aim is to provide 14,600 nights' sleep for Londoners in need and each person can be enrolled into a 3 month intensive programme with the charity that teaches them soft and vocational skills, engages them into apprenticeship schemes and helps them secure employment or create their own business.


They are on the lookout for donations or you can volunteer your skills via the website with help needed across refurbishment, legal, service providers such as PT's and yoga instructors and medical practitioners.


If you are working in any of the above industries and have some free time, this could be the perfect project!


Click on the link below to get started:



Bus converted into sleeping areas with sign saying Kindness isn't an act; it's a way of living.

Image from Buses 4 Homeless



Refugees


Breaking Barriers


As more and more refugees seek asylum here in the UK, there are a number of organisations looking for volunteers to work with the refugees who have made it safely to the UK. Breaking Barriers is one of those focusing on helping refugees become integrated into society, find employment that matches their skill set and get settled in their new homes.


The team at Breaking Barriers are always looking for volunteers who are able to provide one-to-one advice and guidance to refugees, as well as those who can provide tuition in English.


To apply as a volunteer, click the website link below:




Friends of Refugees


Based in Lewisham, Friends of Refugees London is a voluntary, non-profit, community organisation that support refugees, people seeking asylum, and vulnerable migrants starting their journey of navigating life in London.


They strongly promote social inclusion and participation in local communities by holding events across the year, run by an incredible team of volunteers, as well as providing essential services such as:


  • Introducing refugees to all London has to offer.

  • Helping with English where required - you don't need to be teacher to do this; often the clients will simply require help with conversation and homework.

  • Arranging community events, such as football matches, trips, and meals.

  • Supporting clients with employment opportunities.

  • Raising money to help our clients find their feet in their new home.

Due to the nature of the work, they request that you are able to volunteer for a minimum of 2hrs per week for 6 months. If this sounds like the perfect opportunity, head to the website to take a look.





Food


Eggs & Bread


This incredible Walthamstow-based café have introduced a pay-what-you-can scheme where diners are expected to make their own boiled egg and soldiers in the kitchen area, before taking a seat at one of six communal tables in the café to eat and chat with other guests. Once finished, guests are expected to clear up after themselves.


So, what can you do to help?

  • You can either stop by the café for breakfast and a hot cuppa, and pay for someone else’s who can’t afford it.

  • You can take on some volunteering shifts to help run the café between 7am and 12pm.

For more information, check out the Eggs & Bread Facebook page.




The Soup Kitchen


The Soup Kitchen is a busy independent charity in London, providing support to a number of homeless and vulnerable people.


They have a core team of staff with hundreds of volunteers each year who work hard to provide those who need it with healthy and nutritious food, mental health support, clothing & friendship for the homeless, elderly, lonely and the most vulnerable of people across London.


Ways you can help:

  • Donate money

  • Donate food (Non-perishable items only)

  • Donate goods

  • Volunteer at one of the many soup kitchens across London - you can volunteer individually or as a team as part of a CSR day with work.


Want to get involved? Fill in the Volunteer form on the website and a member of the team will get back to you.



Queue of people for soup kitchen

Image from JustGiving



Supporting the Elderly


Contact the Elderly



To tackle the never-ending issue of loneliness and social isolation for the over-75s, Contact the Elderly began holding Sunday afternoon tea parties in a bid to enable the elderly to socialise and mix with others. These events are held on a monthly basis across London and the UK, and the charity couldn't do it without a nationwide network of 12,000 volunteers to do everything from transporting attendees to putting together a delicious spread.


To see what you can do and if there is an event in your area, head to the website and begin your journey!



The Silver Line


Another charity for those living in south-west London, The Silver Line, is a Battersea-based charity that runs a confidential, volunteer-run helpline offering advice to older people dealing with loneliness and isolation.


The line is open 24 hours a day, every day of the year. Volunteers are expected to commit regular, three-house shifts between 8am and 5pm.


To apply to become a volunteer, check out the website:





Nature and Animals


London Wildlife Trust


Perfect for the animal lovers, the London Wildlife Trust is a charity that looks after 41 nature reserves in the capital, and relies on a large body of volunteers to help London’s wildlife thrive across these sites.


The charity is amongst a few that offer one-off shifts rather than taking on regular work so it can work around your busy schedule. There are plenty of ways you can help out:

  • Join the conservation work on the likes of grassland management and river restoration, to building fences, surveying dragonflies and creating rain gardens.

  • If you’re a people person, you can give guided walks and talks.

  • They are always on the lookout for people to help in their offices if your prefer being indoors.

To find your closest nature reserve and see how you can help, head to the website for more information.



Small body of water with geese next to large apartment block

Image from Natural England Blog via gov.uk



Battersea Cats & Dogs Home


One of the most famous animal charities in the UK, Battersea Dogs & Cats Home has been supporting the rehoming of cats and dogs since 1860.


Not only do they re-home animals, they also provide lost animal services to owners whose pets have gone missing and essential medical services such as neutering and check-ups.


There are many ways for you to get involved with supporting the home:

  • You can volunteer across their 3 sites in their kennels or cattery

  • You can look into fostering

  • You can become a Community Rehoming Volunteer, offering your time to help at local events across London and in the Home Counties.

In order to become a volunteer or fosterer, there is a recruitment process where you will have to apply.


For more information, click the link below to find out more!



Happy terrier being cuddled by Battersea Dogs and Cats Home volunteer

Image from Battersea Dogs & Cats Home



 


Volunteering in London can be a fulfilling experience whether you're lending a hand at cool places like the Whitechapel Mission or jumping into other community gigs; it's a journey that's about more than just landmarks. You get to connect with people from across the world, and every small act of goodness adds up to something big.



Lady PA can research, arrange and get you started on your journey to becoming a volunteer.


Email: contact@ladypa.co or book a discovery call to learn more.








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