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

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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Could you help relieve squaddie stress?

Every year a third of the servicemen and women who leave the military will experience mental illness. Many will also experience homelessness, drug or alcohol addiction and unemployment.

Have you served in the armed forces or have you got family or friends who have? Do you live or work in London? If so, you could volunteer to help an ex-soldier adapt back to civilian life and maybe even prevent problems such as homelessness, drug and alcohol addiction and unemployment.

I think mentoring is one of the most impactful forms of volunteering there is - for you and the person you mentor. With Rememberance Sunday just around the corner, what a powerful way to remember and say thank you to those amazing people that have fought for our country and now desperately could do with your help.

Our Chief Executive Helen Walker talks exclusively on the Guardian Society website about the launch of our new mentoring project for ex-servicemen and women and is calling out for 70 mentors to sign up.

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Sparking ideas

'Don't keep your dreams to yourself'.

Take a look at why Juliana, a volunteer on our Spark project, knows that with the right support, you can achieve things you didn't think were possible.

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I want a mo

I'm feeling a bit left out. There's not many things us women can't do but growing a moustache is one of them and I'm not talking having a bit more facial hair than you're happy with!

Movember sees men far and wide growing beautiful moustaches to raise awareness of men's health and in particular prostate cancer. Sadly, one man dies every hour from prostate cancer in the UK. 

Damien (aka Head of Online & Technical Systems) is growing a mo for Movember and I'm sure will update us with progress (i.e. pictures) on the blog. He's got his own Mo Space

The funds raised through Movember’s UK campaign benefit the The Prostate Cancer Charity (TPCC) - the UK’s leading prostate cancer charity.

So, men - get growing a mo. Ladies, support a man growing a Mo by joining a group and becoming a Mo Sista (I have). Or find out about how you can volunteer with The Prostate Cancer Charity.

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Remember Remember the 5th of November

Now we don’t get fireworks or bonfires but IVMD was founded and observed in 1999 to celebrate volunteer managers and to recognise the role that they play in the mobilisation and support of the world's volunteers.

TimeBank was one of the first organisations to sign up to Volunteering England’s Value Volunteer Management campaign, a campaign to do just that. Over the years the day has grown to now receive support by volunteer involving agencies - both large and small - from right around the world. If you are a volunteer, remember to acknowledge your volunteer manager or volunteering involving agency for all their hard work to make rewarding volunteering possible all year round.

Better yet let your volunteer manager know what a good job they're doing by rating your volunteering here 

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