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Volunteer from home ways to make a difference now!

This resource has been created by Edge Hill University Careers

Authors: Jennie Owen and Helen Rimmer, Volunteering Advisers

Latest Update: August 2021

Volunteering can help you to build your experience; put the skills you have learned into practice whilst trying something new. It can be a way into your graduate career and provides a great opportunity to give something back to the community.

Many face to face opportunities are on hold to slow the spread of the coronavirus, and charities are looking at new ways volunteers can continue to help from home. These join the hundreds of micro-volunteering opportunities that are already available. We recommend you read the additional advice on How to Help Safely which has been produced by the government to help those wishing to volunteer to stay safe.

Volunteering Advisers have included roles that can be done wherever you are in the UK. Edge Hill University therefore do not have agreements in place with many of the organisations listed and we recommend you read the Student Volunteering Handbook before you sign up. We cannot guarantee the level of support you will receive from the organisation. However, this is a starting point for students looking to see what is available. If you would like more help or guidance please read on to find out how to contact a Volunteering Adviser.

What you will find on these pages:

  • Links to Volunteering Resources
  • How to get help from Volunteering Advisers
  • Opportunities to volunteer from home starting NOW!

Volunteering Resources

You can find out more information about Volunteering on the Careers website, read about students who have volunteered and been recognised for their contribution, and access resources including:

Student Volunteer Handbook We recommend that all students read the Student Volunteer Handbook. This gives more information on how volunteering can benefit you, support your career goals, and give back to the community. It includes hints and tips to help you choose the right role for you.

International Volunteering Handbook International volunteering is an exciting experience, but it also means hard work far from home so it is vital that you are passionate and enthusiastic about it. Whilst we do not advertise opportunities abroad on our online vacancy pages, if you are considering volunteering overseas we would recommend that you read our International Volunteering Handbook.

Volunteering Advisers

Volunteering Advisers are here to help you in sourcing and applying for volunteering roles. EHU students can book an appointment with Volunteering Advisers to discuss what you are looking for, the opportunities available locally, and to research what's available further afield within the UK.

Once you have found an opportunity Advisers can help you in the application process by checking and giving feedback on application forms or CV's. You can contact us using the Ask A Question service.

Advisers invite organisations onto campus throughout the academic year to events to promote the opportunities available, and to deliver information sessions to find out more about the work they carry out. Find out more through the Events and Workshops section of the Careers website

What Can I Do?

To ensure you have time for your academic commitments, we recommend that students commit to no more than 16 hours per week of a combination of paid work and volunteering. Micro volunteering allows you to get involved right now from home, and many roles can be carried out flexibly, when you have the time! There are a wide range of projects in areas including: animals and conservation, mentoring and befriending, sciences projects, and many more!

Biosciences and Geosciences.

Frog Song is an audio based project that involves listening to audio and classifying frog calls. Advances in acoustic recorder technology are allowing researchers to collect more environmental audio than ever before. However, extracting useful information from these recordings is still a challenge. By identifying frog calls in short audio clips volunteers will help develop automated techniques at detecting species calls from recordings. Identifying frog species in long recordings improve our understanding of frog calling patterns and behaviours. By monitoring frog calling patterns in long-term recordings will help to increase understanding of: the environmental drivers of frog chorusing and other group behaviours, how frog calls and other noise sources interact to structure frog communities, as well as monitor how frog communities change through time in response to environmental stressors.

Woodpecker Cavity Cam Help researchers explore the world of woodpecker cavities and the animals that use them!

Manatee Chat Identification and classification of manatee calls

Chimp&See Volunteers needed to watch footage from camera traps in chimpanzee habitats from 15 countries across Africa. Identifying species and activity will help the project understand the lives of these apes.

Garden Birdwatch (UK). Stay connected to nature, learn about your garden wildlife and contribute to important scientific research without leaving your home.

Wildlife Trust Action for Insects: Free guide to make a difference today. Find out how to get involved in the Buglife Bugs Matter survey until 31st August and record the bugs on your car number plate using their downloadable Splatometer grid.

Pelicams: Help us analyse the multitude of pictures to document predators, extreme weather and rarely-observed nesting behaviours of pelicans.

Beluga Bits Examine underwater photos of wild beluga whales and help us identify the age, sex, and group size. We also need keen eye to look for identifying marks to recognize beluga that return to this location year after year.

Floating Forests: Help us uncover the history of Giant Kelp forests around the globe. Most life on the seafloor can only be sampled by SCUBA divers or dredging up samples from the deep. This kind of data requires a ton of (really fun) effort to collect, but it means we’re limited to places we can get to! Given the worldwide distribution of kelp, we need your help to track it across time and space.

NASA Globe Cloud Gaze Help NASA scientists identify clouds types, cloud cover, and sky color. Choose one of three options to get started!

Hubble Asteroid Hunter Help us find asteroids in images from the Hubble Space Telescope!

Plastic Litter Project: Coastal Litter Mapping We need YOU to make our beaches cleaner using Drones and Artificial Intelligence!!!

UK Tides Rescuing tide gauge data from around the UK to study climate change and sea level rise

Dark Energy Explorers Identify distant galaxies to help measure dark energy when the universe was just ~2-3 billion years old. The Hobby-Eberly Dark Energy Experiment (HETDEX) is designed to find over one million galaxies that are 9 billion to 11 billion light-years away, yielding the largest map of the universe ever produced.

Gravity Spy: Help scientists at LIGO search for gravitational waves, the elusive ripples of spacetime.

Fossil Atmospheres: Count cells of modern & fossil leaves. Help us track climate change over millions of years!

Backyard Worlds: Planet 9:Is there a large planet at the fringes of our solar system awaiting discovery, a world astronomers call Planet Nine? We’re looking for this planet and for new brown dwarfs in the backyard of the solar system using data from NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) mission. But we need your help!

Radio Meteor Zoo: Focusing on meteor showers and using images provided by the Belgian Radio Meteor Stations network that detects and studies the meteoroid population entering the Earth's atmosphere. The network generates a huge amount of data with tens of thousands of meteor echoes detected every day. Your meteor detections will be used to provide activity curves to estimate the mass index of the meteor shower, to calculate meteor fluxes, to compute trajectories of meteoroids using data from multiple BRAMS receiving stations.

People and Communities

NHS volunteering has been in news and they have received over 750,000 applications to help people impacted by the Covid 19 crisis. Check the website for updates ways to get involved. The Royal Voluntary Service who are co-ordinating the NHS Covid 19 volunteering have a number of roles throughout the UK including supporting people in the community as telephone companions or shop and drop volunteers. You can find out more on the RVS website

Telephone Befriender: Lancashire Volunteering Partnership Would you like to make a difference to someone’s week by offering a friendly call? We are looking for people who have excellent listening skills and enjoy a good old fashioned chat on the telephone. Opportunities across Lancashire and further details on the Careers Vacancy Portal. There are also similar roles advertised by organisations such as DeafBlind UK.

Sefton Covid 19 Response The Sefton COVID-19 Response Programme is a borough-wide volunteer programme operating across Sefton, to ensure systems are in place to care for people and communities during the COVID-19 outbreak. The programme is designed so that people can sign-up to volunteer in a range of different roles, depending on availability and preference. Volunteers can sign-up to offer practical support for vulnerable people (such as shopping deliveries, preparing meals, making check-in phone calls) or can sign-up as an informal volunteer to help within their own neighbourhood in more general ways.

Shout 85258 is a free, confidential, 24/7 text messaging support service for anyone who is struggling to cope. Launched publicly in May 2019 and they have had more than 750000 conversations with people who are anxious, stressed, depressed, suicidal or overwhelmed and who need immediate support. Trained Shout Volunteers are invaluable and at the heart of everything they do. They are often the first person texters have spoken to about how they are feeling. They will work to take someone in distress to a calmer place. Shout are particularly looking for volunteers who can offer support during the night time and early hours of the morning.

The Crisis Project We are living in the midst of a loneliness epidemic and the global pandemic has made this worse. Make someone's day by writing to an elderly person in a care home.

Seeing Ear We run the National Accessible Library. Books are available free of charge to anyone in the UK who is blind, has an impairment of visual function which cannot be improved by the use of corrective lenses, is unable through physical disability to hold or manipulate a book, or suffers from print blindness caused by dyslexia. Volunteers can work from their home computer; offering the chance to make a difference to the lives of people who need support, but at the same time it’s a great way to develop new skills and share knowledge and experience.

Be My Eyes is a free app that connects blind and low-vision people with sighted volunteers and company representatives for visual assistance through a live video call.

Missing Maps: Each year, disasters around the world kill nearly 100,000 and affect or displace 200 million people. Many of the places where these disasters occur are literally 'missing' from any map and first responders lack the information to make valuable decisions regarding relief efforts. Missing Maps is an open, collaborative project in which you can help to map areas where humanitarian organisations are trying to meet the needs of vulnerable people.

Right Here At Home: Our mission is to eliminate poverty by using technology to educate people in poverty. Join our team and help us build a better world when you volunteer your skills.

Omega Care for Life Make a real difference to someone’s life. As a Chatterbox Befriender you’ll offer one to one telephone support by establishing a trusting, supportive relationship with a client. Omega volunteers come from all walks of life but have a little time to spare and want to make a difference. This ‘home’ volunteering role is very worthwhile and rewarding.

Children, Families, Health and Education

Infinite Family Through computers and the Internet, Video Mentors (21 years +) fill the void as “one supportive adult” when local adults are not available to support teens in turning toxic stress into lifetime resilience and coping strength.

GT Scholars is a not-for-profit social enterprise and registered charity that is open to all young people. they run a range of in-school and after-school leadership programmes that help young people aged 11-18, achieve their academic and career aspirations! They are always looking for volunteers that can mentor scholars or provide one-to-one tutoring support in Maths or English up to GCSE. Volunteer tutors, must have a degree or currently be studying at university. Volunteers need to be available to tutor online for 1 hour a week.

Post Pals The charity helping you to ‘Post a Smile on a Sick Child’s Face’ by the sending of cards, letters, emails and little gifts to seriously ill children and their siblings in the UK.

FamilyLine Volunteering with FamilyLine can make a huge difference to the lives of families. Being part of a family can often be difficult without emotional support and guidance there to help. Many people feel confused by what information is available or struggle to access services close to home. (Telephone volunteering)

Etch a Cell VR: COLOURING IN CELLS FOR SCIENCE!  Virtual reality can be used to visualize complex data. With your help, we will generate a new data set that will be used to create a new virtual reality experience

Science Scribbler - Placenta Profiles: Help us understand mitochondrial dynamics in the placenta, and train computers to analyse new data even faster in the future!

Mind Allies are a not for profit organisation; they recognise that mental health, like physical health, can fluctuate throughout life. Mental health can be influenced by social, physical, geographical, economic, and emotional changes, and it is important that people have access to the support they need whenever they need it. They are looking for home based volunteers to support their work in a number of roles. Support Champion volunteers are the front-facing volunteers for Mind Allies, providing emotional support to those in crisis by listening and referring to the many services available. Volunteers receive training including Mental Health First Aid, Wellbeing and Self Care.

Shout At Shout 85258, our trained Shout Volunteers are invaluable and at the heart of everything we do. They are often the first person our texters have spoken to about how they are feeling. They will work to take someone in distress to a calmer place. If you like the sound of joining this incredible community, read on! We are currently only looking for people who can commit to volunteering during the night time and early hours of the morning for us. If you are a night owl and can commit to volunteering from 8pm onwards, we’d love to hear from you!

Bookmark As a Bookmark volunteer you’ll help a 5-8 year-old learn to read, so that they can succeed in school and beyond. You will read together, play games, and see your reader progress, all through our secure online platform.

Arts and Humanities

Criminal Characters Tracking the life histories and criminal careers of Australian prisoners

National Archives We've worked with volunteers for over 20 years, enlisting help on a wide range of tasks, from paper cataloguing and conservation to more recent online collaborations. Find out more about volunteering at The National Archives and how we ensure it is an engaging, consistent and well-rounded experience.

Davy Notebooks Project Help us to transcribe the manuscript notebooks of Sir Humphry Davy – one of the most significant and famous figures in the scientific and literary culture of early nineteenth-century Britain, Europe, and America.

Old Weather - WW2 This project will transcribe selected data from the deck logs of 19 World War II ships, starting with 1941. The purpose of this project is to recover hidden marine weather data recorded in U.S. Navy ships' logbooks during World War II. Like all Old Weather projects, these data will be used to drive sophisticated computer models that help us understand weather and climate in extraordinary detail. But there is another goal that is just as vital - to uncover the source of a mysterious distortion in the Navy temperature data collected during the war.

LibriVox volunteers read and record chapters of books in the public domain (books no longer under copyright), and make them available for free on the Internet.

Every Name Counts The Allies liberated the concentration camps 75 years ago. This year, the corona pandemic has made it impossible for people to come together at memorial sites to remember the many millions of victims who were imprisoned, exploited, and murdered there by the National Socialists under inhumane conditions. The “Every Name Counts” project provides a simple way for anyone to take part in active remembrance without leaving the house.

The Smithsonian: Become a Smithsonian Digital Volunteer and help us make historical documents and biodiversity data more accessible.

Fledgling Art Collective Central: Variety of remote roles available at this non-profit-making-volunteer run Arts Collective, providing a platform both online and offline for those who struggle with mental health, addiction, gender dysphoria, sexuality, or feel like they don't quite 'fit.' Roles include online creative journal volunteers. Find out more and how to get in touch through the Fledgling website

World Architecture Unlocked: Transcribe one of the most comprehensive and mysterious collections of architectural photography in the world

Outgrain Arts - Arts and Culture Writer: We are currently working with a Barcelona based artist from the Saharaui community who is campaigning to reduce the landmines in his native region (a flower for each mine). The project is looking for somebody who has experience in writing art and cultural grant applications. An individual who wants to join our small committed team of compassionate artists and art lovers to bring about positive change.

Liaison and Oganisation - UK International Radio Drama Festival (COVID-19 Support) The UK Int'l Radio Drama Festival is postponed & we are creating a raft of audio experiences for audiences throughout the world to enjoy online. Our administrator is on leave and we need someone to pick up the ball and run with it.

PR, Marketing and Computing

Social Coder connects volunteer programmers with charities for specific projects. They welcome programmers, designers, IT experts and individuals with software development skills.

Code Your Future Education Volunteers provide the technical learning side of CodeYourFuture. Students come from a wide variety of backgrounds including refugees, asylum seekers and people from a disadvantaged background. Education Volunteer.

Marketing Assistant STORM CIC provides innovative support and services to vulnerable people throughout the Leeds area. Our mission is to make the world a better place, we work primarily to improve the wellbeing of ethnic minority groups.

Feast with Us Marketing Trustee At FEAST With Us we are dedicated to eradicating food poverty across London and ensuring adequate nutrition is available for all. The three main aims of FEAST With Us are to prevent malnutrition, minimise food waste and encourage community cohesion

NUMBERFIT is a Mathematics based Social Enterprise with the objective of making Mathematics active, fun and accessible for children from Preschool all the way up. We aim to raise the profile of mathematics, enjoyable learning and children’s wellbeing while providing support with the educational workload to teachers and parents. Various roles available, such as: Media Sorting Volunteer and Social media and digital marketing.

FCancer This is a hub designed to help you contribute your skills to support cancer relief charities. You can help by providing photography, videography and/or graphic design skills.

Treasure Earth Prize. Our website is the first place our target audiences will visit to learn more about Treasure Earth Prize. Therefore your role as Website Manager is fundamental to ensuring the website is fit for purpose to support and raise awareness of our Prize campaigns and Awards to a global audience and to attract sponsors, candidates, positive media interest and to contribute to significant change.

Outgrain Arts CIC: Are you a talented & website designer with interest in human rights? Come on board to help us make an impact with the films & collaborative art projects we produce about climate, displacement & social inclusion. Website Creation Volunteers

Law, Business, Admin, and Finance

These are examples of current roles being advertised. As with all opportunities in this resource, we do not have links with a majority of these organisations. The list is intended to provide a starting point in your search. Please read the Volunteering Handbook. Further roles can be found using the links provided at the end of this document,

Treasurer Trustee Morton Hall Detainee Visitor Group Good with numbers? Opposed to the hostile environment and indefinite immigration detention? Got a bit of time to spare? Then consider joining the board of Morton Hall Detainee Visitor Group as our new Treasurer Trustee.

Criminal Characters Tracking the life histories and criminal careers of Australian prisoners

Bullyid is a future AI app that combines psychology & law principles to proactively identify bullying with an AI-analysis. The premise of Bullyid is simple: We want to fight fire with water. Bystander intervention is a best practice for addressing all forms of violence, but so often when harassment happens in person people aren’t around, and if they are around, they aren’t sure what to do. Roles include: Legal, Marketing, Research, Graphic Design and Writing.

HaliPuu addresses three challenges: mental health, consumption and climate. Research shows that mental and physical well-being is increased considerably through contact with nature. In the Arctic, nature is very fragile, and under serious threat from climate change. This can be hard to understand if not seen and experienced first hand. HaliPuu creates an open, friendly space, where people from all around the world can experience the wholesome Arctic forest nature through mobile and irl platforms. Roles include: Business development, strategy and community development.

Inuka is on a mission to make wellbeing accessible for everyone by empowering empathic humans with the skills to effectively support others to cope better with life's challenges and develop healthy habits, and connect them with a digital platform with people seeking help. Roles include: Legal, Branding and Finance.

Caredial: As a Healthcare Tech start-up, we bring healthcare and technology together to connect service users with professional carers to offer a seamless provision of services, all in one place. We champion a future where carers are recognised and adequately rewarded for their skills and aim to help the advancement of the health care profession through facilitating better pay conditions and professional development. Roles include: Marketing and communication and Digital content writer.

Be Creative

Wiggly Bags We would like volunteers to make Wiggly (Hickman line) bags for children and teenagers. These bags keep ex tubes clean and safe.

Post Pals The charity helping you to ‘Post a Smile on a Sick Child’s Face’ by the sending of cards, letters, emails and little gifts to seriously ill children and their siblings in the UK.

Woolly Hugs is a friendly, busy online community making special blankets, and is run entirely on a voluntary basis. It is hoped that through our work, babies, children and their families will feel support, comfort and the sense of being loved and looked after.

Art UKOver 500 people have contributed their time as a volunteer for the Art UK Sculpture project, by taking photographs of public sculpture, researching statues and monuments, and analysing evaluation data from our learning and engagement programme.

Stay Active

There are ways you can use your daily exercise to help or contribute to projects.

Charity Miles download the app, choose your charity, and whilst you are exercising (dancing round your living room or on a social distancing friendly walk), you move for the causes and people you feel most passionate about.

Ancient Trees If you pass an old tree on your daily walk the Woodland Trust would love you to add it to their online map.

Do something different

As well as coordinating NHS Volunteering The Royal Voluntary Service have a Virtual Village Hall a great source of online events and activities that will help you gain skills and experience, or just do something new. Whether it's Street Dance, Qi Gong, Life Coaching, Junk Printing, or learning Healthy Eating techniques there are lots to get involved with and learn more.

Dementia Friends - Become a Dementia Friend with the Alzheimers' Society. A Dementia Friend is somebody that learns about dementia so they can help their community. Too many people affected by dementia feel that society fails to understand the condition they live with. Dementia Friends help by raising awareness and understanding, so that people living with dementia can continue to live in the way they want. You can sign up online for a virtual information session, or watch the video on their website.

Gobrik Give your time to create ecobricks and remove your single use plastic rubbish from the waste stream. An ecobrick is a PET bottle packed solid with used plastic to the standards of plastic sequestration in order to make a reusable building block. Ecobricking secures plastic out of the biosphere, generates brikcoins and creates reusable building blocks for regenerative building.

Other roles

UN Volunteers - Change the world through online volunteering. Wide range of roles from translators to outreach to education. Art and design roles, administration or writing assignments.

Surfaid: It costs the person playing the album absolutely nothing, but the more the album is played, the more money is raised for SurfAid via Spotify’s royalty payments. So we’ve made donating to a great cause so easy, you can even do it in your sleep.

As you play Freerice and answer questions right, advertisements appear on your screen. When you see one of these advertisements, you trigger a financial payment to the World Food Programme (WFP) to support its work saving and changing lives around the world.

Other useful websites:

www.do-it.org

www.zooniverse.org

www.charityjob.co.uk

www.reachvolunteering.org.uk

www.catchafire.org

www.wemakechange.org/current-projects

https://www.artsjobs.org.uk/ (Volunteering and paid roles in the arts)

Rewards

Volunteer Award

The University values your contribution as a volunteer and through the Volunteer Award, Edge Hill seeks to reward the impact made by student volunteers.

The Award is open to all current EHU students and is designed to allow you to log and reflect on the hours you spend volunteering. There are four levels: Bronze Silver Gold and Platinum.

To achieve the Bronze award you should log 25 hours of volunteering, for Silver, this is increased to 50 hours and for Gold you would need to log 100, and Platinum 150 + hours of volunteering. To receive an Award you must also complete a short reflection and case study.

You may be also be eligible for a University Scholarship or to apply for financial support to the Student Opportunity Fund

Volunteering Advisers will need to verify the hours volunteering. Many roles included in this resource require volunteers to register with the charity/organisation and we will be able to make contact to verify those hours. Other roles, are sourced through Zooniverse and they have issued guidance on how you can use your participation in a zooniverse project to fulfil the hour requirements of awards such as these.

If you are unsure how you could use your online/volunteer from home opportunity towards the Volunteering Award; please contact a Volunteering Adviser using Ask A Question

Are you ready to make a start?

Haven't found what you are looking for, or would you like more help?

Volunteering Advisers are here to help. You can Book an Appointment with a Volunteering Adviser, or get in touch using Ask A Question

Credits:

Created with images by Sabine Ojeil - "untitled image" • John Schnobrich - "together now" • terimakasih0 - "ask sign design" • Kyle Glenn - "untitled image" • JillWellington - "spring bird bird tit" • WikiImages - "galaxy star tarantula nebula" • PublicDomainPictures - "hands old young" • Joshua Eckstein - "Non-toxic = edible, right?" • jeonsango - "knocker traditional gate" • Diggity Marketing - "Digital Marketing" • succo - "hammer books law" • bilgecangurer - "painter paint artist" • smellypumpy - "wooden track web away" • qimono - "light bulbs chosen bulb" • Jametlene Reskp - "buoy launched at the sea" • Giorgio Trovato - "untitled image" • The New York Public Library - "Willow and Poplar Street, looking toward Manhattan. 1936. Photographer: Bernice Abbott"