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Tuesday, 2 October 2023

Volunteering if you're between 14 and 19

Volunteering projects across the UK are always looking for more people to help them out. It doesn't matter what skills you have, everybody has something they can give. Being a volunteer also looks great on a CV.

Why volunteer

Volunteering gives you a chance to make a difference to others and to your community.

Also, many volunteers find that their work increases their confidence, teaches them new skills and gives a boost to their education and employment prospects. If you’ve got a clear idea about the type of career you want to follow, then volunteering is a great opportunity to collect extra experience that could give you the edge at a college, university or job interview.

There are lots of volunteering opportunities available that might be relevant to your future career plans. You might want to:

  • help out at your local leisure centre during the summer holidays as a play scheme supervisor
  • be a conservation volunteer at a nearby park or National Trust site
  • volunteer at local festivals, sporting events and exhibitions

v - the volunteering charity

v has been set up to promote youth volunteering in England. They're hoping to encourage one million more 16–25 year olds to volunteer their free time to help out on projects in their local area.

Because they're working with young people all the time, the volunteering opportunities v can offer are especially interesting to teenagers. You could end up working in a local community radio station, running a sports team or supervising young children on school holiday activities.

Full-time volunteering away from home

If you're prepared to live away from home, you might think about full-time volunteering through an organisation like Community Service Volunteers (CSV).

You need to be available for four to 12 months, and willing to go to wherever in the UK you're sent.

You don't have to have any experience, specialist skills or qualifications, just enthusiasm. You'll be placed where you're needed the most and will receive help, advice and training when you arrive at your placement.

You should expect to work up to 40 hours per week, and this may include weekends. If you volunteer with CSV, you will receive an allowance, and accommodation and food will be free.

Duke of Edinburgh Award scheme

The Duke of Edinburgh award scheme is a voluntary programme of activities that you can do in your spare time. There are different sections of activities that you can choose from. These are:

  • volunteering
  • gaining new skills
  • physical activities
  • taking part in an expedition
  • working away from home in a team

The scheme is open to anyone over the age of 14 and is divided into three different awards: a Gold award, a Silver and a Bronze. The type of scheme you can follow will depend on your age.

If you’ve not already taken the Bronze and Silver awards you can start at Gold, as long as you complete an extra six months in the skills or recreation areas and you are over 16.

A Duke of Edinburgh award could help boost your CV and may help you in your chosen career. Because the awards take a high level of commitment and hard work, they have a good reputation among employers. It’s also a great way of meeting new people who are interested in the same things as you.

Ask a teacher or a youth worker about the Duke of Edinburgh scheme. There may be others in your school or youth club who are on the scheme. If there aren’t, take a look at the website to find details of who to contact in your region.

Additional links

Volunteers wanted

Aged 18 to 25? Make a difference to some of the world's poorest communities

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