Volunteering your time has many rewards. If you're financially comfortable and at a loose end, there are hundreds of good causes urgently needing help (not money). Deciding which ones to help should be the only issue here. To make volunteering as fulfilling as possible, you should choose a cause that's dear to your heart. Let's take a look at look at your options:
Research by the Royal Voluntary Service revealed 1 in 5 of us do charity work, with 10% of us volunteering for more than one. The work involved can be varied an interesting, and you will no doubt meets loads of new people and make lots of friends. Though women tend to be drawn to children's charities, half of all children are boys too, and a good male role model or someone to kick a ball with could make a big difference.
If you love nature, places like RSPB and national nature reserves always appreciate a hand; or you could get involved with a regeneration project and help plant trees, monitor vegetation and wildlife or pick litter. Depending on what you're comfortable with or trained in, the homeless, abused, and people suffering with mental illness or addiction are all avenues worth exploring. For a list of what's going on near you, visit the RVS
We've heard the horror stories about one dodgy charity or another, and so most of us always check if they're official and registered. But not all voluntary work is for charities, and not all people needing help can register as one.
Help coach sports
If you used to play sports, helping out a Sunday or after school club could be the answer. Football, tennis, hockey, water-sports; whatever your interests, doing this will keep you fit and make you feel ten years younger.
There's been a massive resurgence of urban garden projects recently. Marrow's growing outside police stations, herbs in tubs decorating pavements, there's no end where community gardeners find space to plant useful things. If you've got green fingers, or you'd like to learn how to grow your own food, then this one's for you.
Many of you have opted to combine travel with helping people. If you're fancying seeing more of the world but are weary about going alone, volunteering abroad is a great solution. Many ex-pats have left home to start projects in faraway places, and they usually struggle to find reliable people who don't just hang around for free food and accommodation while tanning themselves. The range of work is almost limitless, and whatever skills you have will have a suitor.
One thing to watch out for is organisations who ask for money. It's up to you, but if you're giving your time, you shouldn't really be giving your money too. Some ask for costs towards food, etc. This sounds plausible, but is it?
Some pensioners help their local church or even help the aged. If you believe in karma, then you could spend a few hours a week chewing the fat with someone older who's lonely and without family. In today's world, there's always someone in need. Write down your interests and take it from there.
Whatever work you do, it's vital you enjoy it, and don't take on so much responsibility that you become stressed (and sick). Ideally, it should be worthwhile and serve its purpose - giving you another interest in life.