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GIVE SOMETHING BACK. “Getting involved in your community is a great way to give back, and it’s a wonderful opportunity to interact with people and make new friends.” John Friary, Councillor. Voluntary organisations recognise that professional people bring a wealth of skills and expertise to volunteering. By passing on your skills

and learning acquired during a lifetime you can make a difference to people’s lives and improve the quality of your borough.

There are lots of different projects you can become involved with locally: donating just a few hours each week can make a real impact in your area.

Many community volunteers opt for local projects so they can actually see the difference their time makes. Physical changes, such as improving parks and open spaces may be immediate and make the environment a better place to live. Volunteers can also see social changes from assisting those who are socially deprived and help to build confidence and skills.

to becoming a seminar leader at a business education charity.

You can choose from thousands of different opportunities: from helping out at your local city farm

Show what you are made of, make a real difference!

Decide to continue working in a similar field as your old one, remaining familiar with the rules and the social network, or on the contrary decide to experience a field you have not worked in before, adjusting to a new identity and a new social environment, facing challenges you never faced before.

GET SOMETHING BACK. “Volunteering not only helps your community, but directly benefits you as a volunteer in many different ways.� Finn Grant, Volunteer Centre Southwark.

Doing volunteering is fun! It is a great way to meet new people and gain a new circle of friends, with whom share experience and spend time together.

You have the opportunity to gain new skills and be trained in new areas of expertise. You can even improve your self-esteem and

self-confidence by feeling needed and valued. And that is not all: recent American studies show that helping others

benefits your health too, being a powerful predictor of decreased mortality among retirees. If you are involved in society and have a purpose in life, your health and your mental outlook is much better than if you are not. A research commissioned for Community Service Volunteers and Barclays shows that 62% of over 65s is less stressed thanks to their activity in the community and more than a half of volunteers say volunteering has improved their physical health and fitness.

MEALS ON WHEELS. The community meals service delivers meals to older and vulnerable people who are assessed to need help in their homes on a short or long term basis according to their need. We assist those people through the help of our paid personnel, but without the help of numerous volunteers we would not be able to

face the increasing number of requests Elderly, disabled and other needy people rely on this service to get a meal; you can use your skills to provide every day, or just a few days a week, what those people need and delivery to them quickly and efficiently.

SPECIAL EDUCATIONAL NEEDS. Children’s early years are a very important time for their physical, emotional, intellectual and social development.

emotional and behavioural difficulties, or difficulties with speech and language or how they relate to and behave with other people.

Children with Special Educational Needs may need extra help because of a range of needs, such as in thinking and understanding, physical or sensory difficulties,

Volunteers with a background in education or psychology are vital for projects such as SEN, providing the assistance needed in many delicate situations.

Schools and other organisations can help most children overcome the barriers their difficulties present quickly and easily, thanks to the work of volunteers.

CANCER VOLUNTEER PROGRAMME. The hospitals are looking to recruit new volunteers to support patients in other areas of the cancer service, such as breast cancer and radiotherapy. If you have at least three hours spare a week and want to make a difference, then volunteer today. There are currently over 300

volunteers at Guy’s and St Thomas’ and 115 at King’s College Hospital. Volunteers at Guy’s and St Thomas’ provide a key role in welcoming and guiding patients and visitors around the hospitals, helping in the Medicinema (an on-site cinema which screens latest release films for in-patients) and visiting patients on

wards as part of the Spiritual Care Team. Volunteers at King’s College Hospital also provide support in a variety of ways, including holding patients’ hands during eye surgery, supporting expectant mothers on the labour wards and guiding patients around the hospital.

SOUTHWARK COMMUNITY TRANSPORT. A few agencies provide a low cost use of minibuses for the benefit of community groups and people living in Southwark. We need volunteers with good driving capacities to assist people with motor difficulties, to drive them around doing the most common things that everybody else is able to do by himself.

Another way to contribute to this service could be working in our garage repairing the various vehicles and doing periodical check-ups.



LOCAL ADDRESSES. Southwark Council Town Hall, Peckham Road London SE5 8UB 020 75255000

St Thomas’ Hospital Westminster Bridge Road, London SE1 7EH 020 71881658

LaSCoT 10 Somerleyton Road Brixton, London SW9 8ND 020 79249911

Guy’s Hospital Great Maze Pond, London SE1 9RT 020 718874424

Volunteer Centre Southwark 8th floor, Hannibal House Elephant and Castle London SE1 6TE 0800 0185692

Special Educational Needs, Children Services John Smith House 144-152 Walworth Road London SE17 1JL 020 75254278

Client Service manager Welfare Catering Service Municipal Building 19 Spa Road London SE16 3QN 020 75253862

For detailed information on activities in your area visit your Community Council: Bermondsey Borough and Bankside Camberwell Dulwich Nunhead and Peckham Rye Peckham Rotherhithe Walworth

Southwark Council Town Hall Peckham Road London SE5 8UB

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Helping Others Helps You  

A guide to local volunteering opportunities

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