Updated: Feb 17
By Aaina Chopra.
Make a difference from the Couch! Check out some of these great projects, send us your suggestions and we will add them to the list.
1. Telephone Befriending with the Octavia Foundation
The Coronavirus outbreak has left many older people feeling isolated and to combat this loneliness the Octavia Foundation has moved their in-person befriending service to a telephone befriending service. In short, this means, volunteers, like you, can phone an older person once or twice a week, allowing them to feel more connected.
The Octavia Foundation also provides a one-hour video call to train all volunteers allowing people with little to no experience to also volunteer. From the comfort of your own home, you can combat loneliness in older people and support them through one of the hardest times of their lives.
To sign up to become a telephone volunteer fill out the form on the following link https://www.octaviafoundation.org.uk/volunteer/apply_now
2. Inspire Young People with Brightside
Brightside is a charity that aims to make young people feel more confident about their future and inform them fully of the choices they have available to them. They do this through several volunteer programmes.
One of these is mentoring, where anyone, regardless of what career path they have taken, can mentor a young person. Mentors help mentees develop their skills, provide them with information and a listening ear. Mentors help young people become more confident and make informed decisions about their future. This is all done through the Brightside online platform, so can be done from the comfort of your own home.
In addition to the online mentor role, there are many other remote volunteering roles such as hosting a Brightside Talk about your own experience or being an ‘Expert’ in the Ask the Expert forum about a particular career.
For information on this and how to sign up to be a volunteer refer to the following link https://brightside.org.uk/volunteering/
3. Transcribe Anti-Slavery Manuscripts with the Boston Public Library
The Boston Public Library is looking for volunteers to help turn their collection of handwritten correspondence between anti-slavery activists in the 19th century into more accessible texts.
By typing up these manuscripts, it means that they can be more easily read and researched by students, teachers and historians. This can be done through the Boston Public Library online platform. Volunteers can create an account and start transcribing immediately.
You can access this here https://www.antislaverymanuscripts.org
4. Become a SHOUT Volunteer and Help Someone Who is in a Crisis
SHOUT provides a 24/7 text message service for anyone who is in a crisis and needs immediate help. This help is provided by a team of volunteers and who are responsible for taking people from crisis to calm every day.
Anyone over the age of 18 can volunteer with SHOUT and this can be done from home. After 25 hours of training, volunteers can commit anything from 2-4 hours a week to volunteer and provide support to anyone who may be struggling.
Being a volunteer with SHOUT will allow you to better your communication, problem-solving and crisis management skills.
To sign up to become a volunteer you can fill out the Shout Form here https://www.giveusashout.org/volunteer-with-us/
5. Start Mapping with Missing Maps
Every year many disasters happen around the world killing nearly 100,000 and affecting or displacing nearly 200 million people. Many of the places where these disasters happen are literally ‘missing’ from any map and thus first responders lack information to make decisions regarding response efforts.
To help this, you can join the Missing Maps project in which you can help map areas where humanitarian organisations are trying to help vulnerable people. Volunteers use satellite imagery to help trace buildings, roadways and other features and this allows humanitarian organisations to plan risk reduction and effective disaster response.
Anyone can participate, regardless of experience, because you can learn how to map on the Missing Maps website through their training.
To find out more and get involved look here https://www.missingmaps.org/#contribute