In every area of the UK that has one, still the best way to find out about volunteering options is to contact your local volunteer centre. However – bringing the kids along is still something that some brokers and organisations are not quite ready for, so you might want to go armed with a few ideas.
Keeping it Simple.
Some organisations are already doing it. The easiest way of getting involved is to hook up with something with an opportunity open to all ages:
- Community gardens local to your home
- Tree planting in local parks – contact your local council
- National Trust properties have family volunteering days
- Fundraising events; shaking buckets and wearing silly hats worked great for Simon and his kids. Get in touch with any big charity that you feel strongly about and see what they’ve got planned.
Doing It Yourself
We set up Kids Kitchen because we wanted it to happen, and it wasn’t happening already! You could do the same about something that interests you – if it fits around your own life and ideas, it will be easier to get things done. You could also plan your own Kids Kitchen – get in touch if you’d like some information.
It can be a one-off thing – Emma and her sons fundraising, are good examples of being able to make an idea fit around your life, this was an idea completely initiated by the boys.
Depending on where you live you could also organise a ‘playing out’ event – leafleting, making signs, spreading the word are all things that kids love too get involved in….
More of a challenge…
Some organisations might not be doing it yet, but would be happy to try. If it doesn’t feel like things are happening in your area, or you’d like to try out an idea that hasn’t been tested yet, look for good examples on the internet from other areas and contact the organisations you’re interested in helping out, go visit them armed with your examples and see what they say! If you’d like examples, confidence or ideas of what to say – get in touch!
And What to Expect…?
So in my limited experience:
- You WILL learn something
- Your child WILL learn something
- You’ll feel tired at the end – explaining something to a small person while trying to get the hang of it yourself is hard work!
- You’ll also spend a lot of time finding ways – sometimes small – for a little person to be part of what you’re all doing. It’s worth it.
- You might not get much done – but you will have achieved an awful lot, some of it for you and some of it for others around you.