Whilst we’re celebrating all of the fantastic student volunteering that students have done this week for Student Volunteering Week 2021, we’re aware that students might not know how they can get involved during lockdown. So, Maria (BSc Finance and Accounting, 2022) is here as one of your Student Volunteering Ambassadors to let you know how you can give back to your community from home!
There is no doubt that lockdown 3.0 is taking a toll on our mental health and motivation. However, volunteering is one of the few things we can still do in lockdown — and doing good feels good! I have compiled a list of some fantastic ‘micro-volunteering’ opportunities where you can take on tasks as and when you want to, from your home, with no commitment. It would also be a good idea to read these previous blogs: Covid-19 and volunteering and Online Volunteering, for even more ways you can volunteer from home, to find the best-suited opportunities for you!
1. If you speak more than one language …
Tarjimly – The Tarjimly app connects refugees, asylees and immigrants with multilingual volunteers. As a volunteer, you’ll receive a notification whenever someone who needs your skills makes a translation request; if you accept, you’ll be connected in a live chat where you can send texts, voice notes, documents, or even call.
Translators Without Borders – This non-profit organisation offers language and translation support for humanitarian and development agencies. You can volunteer remotely to translate medical texts or crisis response documents.
TED Translate – By volunteering as a translator to subtitle TED Talks, you can enable inspiring ideas to translate across languages and borders.
2. If you’re creative…
Post Pals – Get creative and send personalised cards to sick children in hospital to put a smile on their face!
Loving Hands – Help knit and sew items for various charities. Loving Hands works with over 36 different charities including the RSPCA, The Salvation Army, SANDS and Operation Orphan. They make everything from blankets to toys for rescue animals, hospitals, the homeless and for children and the elderly in freezing conditions. Your makes will be distributed across the UK and all over the world to people in need.
3. If you love meeting new people …
Age UK – Help to combat loneliness by befriending and chatting to the elderly over the phone, from the comfort of your home. Whether you’d like to speak to someone regularly, or just ad hoc, AgeUK are here to help.
Adopt a grandparent – Create a long-lasting intergenerational friendship with your new ‘Grandma’ or ‘Grandpa’ by calling and writing letters to reduce social isolation.
4. If you’re active…
Two-minute litter pick – On your daily walk or exercise, it would be a great idea to get involved with the two-minute (or even longer) litter pick by collecting any rubbish whilst on your way! This is great way to improve your physical health, mental health and the environment, all at the same time.
5. If you like guiding…
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’ll book 30-minute reading sessions, around your schedule, through the Bookmark app.
My volunteering during this past year has looked very different as I have had to find ways to volunteer from home. As an artistic person, I find getting creative really relaxing; my flatmates and I decided to get creative during Lockdown 2.0 and we made personalised cards for seriously ill children for Post Pals. We posted our handmade cards along with some stickers to hopefully brighten their holidays!
I also love guiding and offering support to people where I can which is why I applied to be a Student Academic Mentor for incoming LSE students this year. I have had to offer my mentees support strictly online, through E-mail, WhatsApp and Zoom. Despite being unable to volunteer in-person, I have still been able to meet amazing people, such as my mentees and the other Student Volunteering Ambassadors and find some normality in volunteering during these uncertain times.
I hope this has inspired you to volunteer in anyway, to make a difference, meet new people and feel good doing so!
If Maria has inspired you to volunteer, check out one of our other ongoing opportunities You can also book a one-to-one with David Coles, the Volunteer Centre Manager if you have more questions. And why not follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to stay up-to-date with our events and opportunities and read our blog for more volunteering tips and stories.