An informal conversation and guide to the sometimes confusing world of volunteering.

World Aids Day-1 December

This World Aids Daytake action to tackle HIV prejudice and to protect yourself and others from HIV transmission. In the UK:

  • The number of people living with HIV has trebled in the last 10 years
  • More than 90,000 people are living with HIV
  • Over a quarter of people with HIV are undiagnosed
  • Over half of all people living with HIV are aged between 30 and 44, but there are significant numbers both of young people and older people now living with HIV.

There are lots of things you can do to get involved and show your support, you can attend an awareness raising event, wear a red ribbon, support a campaign, get involved in fundraising and of course volunteer

We recommend Body and Soul, the Food Chain and Dance4life

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The definition of volunteering

Internships, work experience, volunteering, voluntary work, working without pay in a profit making organisation – so can you tell me what is and what isn’t volunteering?

The London Volunteering Stakeholder Forum has published a document called The Principals of Volunteering which tries to answer and define what volunteering is and what it isn’t. 

Do you agree with these principles? 

Do you think they will help you to decide and understand what volunteering is?

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We're celebrating...

This week we’re excited to shout about 2 milestones in our Junction49 project;

  • the 8,000th person has registered to use our online community
  • the project is currently featured on the Orange RockCorps website as an innovative initiative facilitating great volunteering experiences.

Junction49 inspires and supports young people to set up and deliver their own projects, campaigns and events around issues that matter to them. If you’ve got an idea to improve your community and want some support to make it happen, get in touch with Sarah

Take a look at why Juliana, a volunteer claimes "Don't keep your dreams to yourself, tell someone and they can help make that dream come true.” 

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Breathe easy

If you're 18-25 and have asthma, or care for someone who has asthma in England then Asthma UK want to talk to you.

They're looking for volunteers to take part in a residential weekend not only to learn more about managing your asthma but also to help shape the work they're doing. For example, this will help with developing a scheme for young people that have asthma to support other young people with asthma.

It's a great chance to get your voice heard. The weekend will be happening in Manchester on 5-6 February 2011. It won't cost you anything more than your time either as they'll pay for accommodation, food and they will even cover travel costs to and from Manchester.

Find out on the website or for an application pack email Clare or you can ring on 020 7786 4989.

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Little red hen

When will you make time to volunteer?

If you don't, what volunteering might you miss out being the recipient of?

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Can I join in your conversation?

Who do you talk to about your volunteering? Is it something you're proud of and shout about to the world? Or do you only really talk about it to those you know volunteer themselves or at least consider themselves to be 'charity people'?

I'm only asking because we think that by telling people about your volunteering it will help others decide what they want to do and will get more people volunteering.

So we're giving you a place to do just that. We're trying something that's never been done before and have developed a way for volunteers to rate their volunteering. Just like Trip Advisor or Amazon Reviews.

So are you a volunteer that's already sharing their experience online and could now do it via our new website? Have you created your own facebook group of volunteers that would love to know about our new idea? Or am I missing a trick with all your volunteering tweets?

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Hold on to your hats

This morning's journey into work was a bit blustery to say the least. I was truly glad I didn't have to walk across London Bridge - that seemed a scary prospect after literally being blown to work.

But, I digress. Although I was blown around a bit, I must say, it's great to swish through the leaves and get the rain on your face. It's refreshing (even though your hairstyle leaves a lot to be desired). So, I was thinking, wouldn't it be good to get out in the fresh air volunteering?

Wrap up, get your wellies on and volunteer outdoors with organisations like BTCV and The National Trust. You don't have to volunteer for hours on end - you can do them one-off if you like too.

Find out other ways to use your gardening skills for organisations like WRVS or Age UK here

Forget the hairstyle. Get outside and get some fresh air.

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I'd rather have a volunteer than an electric shock

Apparently, applying a tiny electrical current to the brain could make you better at learning maths. It sounds a bit scary to me.

So, if the idea of jolting children to solve their maths problems doesn't really appeal, why not think about becoming a numbers volunteer?

Number Partners is a volunteering programme designed to support young people across the country with their number skills. Volunteers from the business world visit primary or secondary schools to play number games with students, making maths fun and boosting students' confidence.

You don't need to be mathematical genius, but do need an interest in young people and numbers, and able to offer up to one hour a week or fortnight at a school.

Sign up now - it's as easy as 1,2, 3.

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