Microvolunteering: How to volunteer when you have no time

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Published: Friday 14th April 2017 by Courtney Farrow

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This Saturday is Microvolunteering Day. Today we’re discussing how you can help out local causes when you have little time or money to spare.

The term ‘microvolunteering’ was coined in 2008. Since then there has been a surge in people giving their free moments to worthy causes to make an impactful change.

In short, microvolunteering is when you donate a little bit of your time to complete a small task for a charity or cause.

It could be anything, from doing some admin work to being a pen pal, and even just giving someone an hour of your day to help them do their weekly shop.

In our increasingly busy lives, we rarely have a whole chunk of time free to help out local charities. As much as we’d like to improve the world, we’re often just too busy. However, there are ways of fitting volunteering into even the most hectic schedule.

With microvolunteering, you can donate five minutes, an hour or however long you want, and it doesn’t necessarily have to be on a regular basis.

It’s great that some people can dedicate two or three days a week at a local community centre, but when you have a job, a family and other commitments it can be hard to find the time and energy.

There are several local organisations that have opportunities for microvolunteers. Hull CVS is a great place to start if you’re thinking about volunteering in any capacity. They support both charities and individuals who want to improve the world through volunteering.

Hull CVS Volunteer Coordinator, Jayne Robinson suggests having a browse of the Do-It platform. The digital database lists over a million UK-based volunteering opportunities, with more than 200,000 people each month donating their time and building their skills.

“There are a number of local microvolunteering opportunities on the platform at the moment,” Jayne tells us.

“These include an event helper for the Boys Brigade, a panel member for the Bransholme Trust, and a bucket collector for Teenage Cancer Trust.”

“The opportunities range from one day to various dates spread across the year.”

To find out more about Hull CVS, you can ring their volunteer centre on 01482 324474.

Meanwhile, as well as being convenient for individuals, microvolunteering is of course beneficial for the cause.

“Our main source of help comes from microvolunteers,” says Andrew Smith, Founder and CEO of Hull Homeless Community Project.

“People have commitments and time constraints, but still want to help and give something back. Microvolunteering is the perfect way to do this. With us, it’s completely on your terms.”

You can microvolunteer with HHCP by donating a small amount of your time. Just get in touch with them via info@hullhomeless.co.uk.

“People can help us by spending an hour a week collecting donations, or doing some paperwork and making phone calls,” adds Andrew. “It’s a chance for you to help us without it taking over your life. And our service users benefit greatly from it.”

So, if you want to make a big difference but only have a small amount of time, consider microvolunteering. For more inspiration, visit microvolunteeringday.com.

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Published: Friday 14th April 2017 by Courtney Farrow

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